Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

I keep trying to think of something light and fluffy to start this post with, but to be honest, my heart is feeling pretty heavy today.  The culprit?  Motherhood.

Lars has been teething/not his usual self the past few days and it has me seriously wanting to pull my hair out.  Which isn't good, because after my crazy postpartum hair loss, I don't have much to lose.

He's been fussy, crying for no reason, not eating as much as he usually does, and just plain irritable.  Now, I'm not saying he's never like this, but he's usually a very happy little guy.  He's never been an "easy" baby, as, like I've mentioned before, he's always been very active.  As in, he rarely wants to sit still.  This, admittedly, is very very challenging and makes getting anything productive done almost impossible.  But he's not a cryer.

So after a couple of days of this odd and exhausting behavior, I am feeling completely defeated.  I feel like I'm doing everything wrong.  I feel like, as a mom, I'm failing.

Obviously, I also know that I'm NOT doing everything wrong and I'm NOT a failure. I know this.  But regardless, I'm feeling like it and it's sitting in my stomach like a rock.  So...any mom advice for this mama?

Anyways...uhh...pasta salad!

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is honestly, the perfect side dish for an exhausted mom.  Super minimal ingredients, minimal prep (pro tip: you could skip chopping the tomatoes if you're short on time and just buy the mozzarella balls so you don't have to cut up the cheese), and maximum deliciousness.

I made this for our Mother's Day BBQ to go along with the burgers and brats that we made.  It's not a BBQ without a carb-filled side dish, right?!

I love how this creamy pesto pasta salad turned out.  The creamy pesto sauce, made with just 3 ingredients (mostly yogurt, a little mayo, and pesto), is seriously addictive.  I couldn't stop picking bites of pasta, tomatoes, and mozzarella as I was stirring this all together, dishing it up, and photographing it.  Also, like I said, it's really a breeze to whip up.

While this was a delicious side dish, I think it would also be a wonderful summer dinner with some shredded chicken mixed in.  And of course, this will be so perfect when the basil is overflowing in your herb garden and at the farmers market!

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Print Rate
Servings: 8 -10 servings


  • 12 ounces dried pasta cooked (I used rigatoni)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt I use Stonyfield whole milk yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • cup pesto homemade or store-bought
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized pieces


  • Cook pasta according to package.
  • Let cool.
  • Mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, and pesto and toss with the cooled pasta.
  • Add cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
  • Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

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  1. Hang in there with the teething. Go out and do stuff with other mom's. Take the whining outside where its less grating to listen to. Turn up very loud music (so you cannot hear the crying) and dance it out with Lars. Know that you are not alone, that every mom I know has gone through this and come out on the other side stronger (if more cynical with a few more grey hairs.)

  2. Aw Taylor you are most certainly not a failure!! Hang in there!! I don't have any advice since we don't have any kiddos yet but stay strong lady!! PS this pasta salad looks delicious!

  3. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes because I'm so exhausted by this crying baby. My husband just came home from the gym and took her and I decided to go to the grocery store and and maybe make some pasta salad to go with the chicken he's smoking. I can't believe of all the posts this is the second recipe I opened. I never really comment on things but I just wanted to tell you that your post made me feel a little less alone as I'm crying in the grocery store aisles.

    1. Rachel, I wish I could give you a big hug! Being a mama is no easy task and I totally get how the crying of a baby wears on you. I'm glad you were able to get out of the house and I'm even more glad my post made a difference in your day! xo, Taylor