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Jalapeno Pesto Pasta Salad

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re not getting sick of pepper recipes because I have another one for you today.  My garden has gone insane with jalapenos and I am trying to come up with creative recipes to use them.  Well today’s recipe is one of my new favorites.  It’s light, refreshing and not to spicy, but has lots of flavor; it’s my Jalapeno Pesto Pasta Salad.

This salad is perfect for a side dish to share at your next BBQ. It’s made with quinoa pasta that has been tossed with a pesto sauce made with jalapenos and surrounded by tomatoes, corn, Anaheim peppers and scallions. It’s really a light dish and has a nice pepper flavor and not spicy at all. I will tell you, for some reason my jalapenos from the garden have a wonderful flavor, but I do not find them too hot. As some of you know I am allergic to jalapenos. I can eat them raw, but when I cut them open, it cuts the off the air in my throat, where I can’t breathe. For some reason the peppers that I am growing do not do that to me. I am so happy for that. I guess they maybe more of a mild jalapeno? Since my jalapenos seem to not have so much heat, I highly, highly recommend tossing the pasta with the pesto sauce and tasting it first before adding the additional jalapeno to the salad. I hate for you to tell me that it was way to hot to eat.

I did use Mexican Chili Peppers in the salad, since they are mild in flavor. I recommend using Anaheim peppers, since it is also considered a Mexican Chili Pepper and normally don’t contain a lot of heat.

For the jalapeno pesto, I used my basic pesto recipe which is a bunch of basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and two jalapenos. It is so good and a nice little change-up from traditional pesto.

I thought I would also add some fresh grape tomatoes from my garden. They are a little bigger than cherry tomatoes and a little bigger than the average grape tomatoes you find at the store, so I sliced them up. You can slice your tomatoes or leave them whole, as long as they are bite size. I also had some frozen corn that I thawed because I thought it would be a nice compliment to the dish. It adds a natural sweetness that corn can only give.


Jalapeno Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A light, pasta side salad made with homemade jalapeno pesto that has been tossed with fresh tomatoes, corn and Anaheim peppers.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 12 servings
  • 16 oz Fusilli Pasta ( I used quinoa pasta)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes cut in half or sliced
  • 3 Anaheim or mild Chili Peppers, seeded, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, diced small
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen that has been thawed
  • ⅓ cup scallions, chopped small
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For Jalapeno Pesto:
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups basil, fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Once cooked, drain and add to a bowl.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add jalapeno, basil leaves, garlic, and Parmesan cheese; blend until combined. With processor running add olive oil.
  3. Add Jalapeno Pesto over cooked pasta and gently toss in the tomatoes, peppers, corn and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to serve.
Before adding the jalapeno to the salad, taste it first with the jalapeno pesto. My peppers were not real spicy, but yours could be and that extra jalapeno could be to much.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 228 Fat: 8.6 Carbohydrates: 32 Sugar: 3 Sodium: 43 Fiber: 3 Protein: 6 Cholesterol: 1.6

As I was writing this, I just came up with an idea. Instead of basil, you could use cilantro for a Mexican flair. I think that would be really good. I’m not much of a cilantro lover, but if you like it, it would probably be amazing in this recipe.

Sorry for the jalapeno recipes, but I can’t help it. I have so many of them. I have been trying to spread out the recipes. 🙂

Have a great rest of the week.



P.S. I want to thank my friend Diane for the beautiful bowl that she bought me in Sonoma. I love it and it is perfect for my pasta recipes.

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