Pesto Pea Pasta Salad

I totally enjoy reading and making Ina Garten’s recipes. Even as I write this post, I’ve finished watching an episode of her popular Barefoot Contessa television show on the Food Network. Her food has great flavor, beautiful visually, and extremely easy to prepare. But there are times when I feel like her food tends to feel a little heavy.

So when Stonyfield asked if I was interested in trying their new Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, I seized the opportunity to update one of her salads. Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt, which makes it a great substitute for mayo. I ended up cutting the mayo almost in half and then combined it with the plain Greek yogurt. The end result was a tangy dressing that soaked into the pasta to give the entire salad a fresh, and light, flavor.

Pesto Pea Pasta Salad
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Salads
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 (14 oz.) box cavatappi pasta, uncooked
  • 1 1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbl. prepared pesto
  • 1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (5 oz.) container greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl. Toss in the peas, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the pesto, lemon juice, Greek yogurt and mayo until well combined. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss until completely coated.
Author's Note
Inspired by Ina Garten’s Pasta, Pesto & Peas Salad

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  • I think an appetizer dip with spinach and artichoke would be great with the greek yogurt, I’ll be posting it soon on my site. Personally not an Ina Gartner fan but your dish looks good!

  • You know, I basically just coughed up a bad interpretation of your pesto pea pasta salad. Shameful. Sorry, am I allowed to post twice?

  • Mmm..I had these meatballs in Turkey last month; it was like, beef crumbles covered with a layer of bulgur…I know, vague. But it was on my mind, so what the heck.

    Relatively simple and healthy comfort food for the summer is what I’ve been craving basically. Something that tastes good with lemon juice drizzled over it…like the meatballs, haha. But the bulgur is what really did it for me, so I think there needs to be some kind of grain or chewy pasta in it. Hearty stuff. Wow, way to go, Minshu, some recipe idea you’ve outlined there, real detailed. (:

  • What about your guiltiest pleasure recipe? And I don’t mean “ooh this is going STRAIGHT TO MY HIPS” so much as something that you feel that, as a food blogger, you shouldn’t like… but you do.

    And I know my domain is Canadian, and I am too, but I live in the US, so I promise this is a valid entry.

  • How about a recipe for yogurt muffins? They always sell them at the local coffee shop, but i can never find any recipe to try and recreate.

  • I also enjoy Ina Garten’s show but often find that the recipes are quite caloric. I appreciate your healthier version of this salad.

    I have looked through your recipes and noticed that at least once you recalled thinner days. I suppose many of us are in that situation. My request for your site would be an entree and dessert make over so that there would be a complete meal of healthy alternatives.


  • I’m doing a virtual catering gig for a fashion showroom launch and thinking about developing recipes for the following appetizers.

    Indian “spanokopita” with spiced paneer and spinach, served with mint chutney dipping sauce
    Sesame coated meatballs with orange soy sauce glaze
    Bulgogi norimakizushi with kimchi and marinated daikon and carrots
    Hash brown baskets with chorizo/manchego cheese filling.

    You can pick one of them to do for your blog!

    Did you see that I gave you an award? :

  • My husband’s grandmother gave me a humongous zucchini from her garden. I’d like to see a Zucchini bread recipe.

    Another idea…maybe a gazpacho or other chilled soups recipes. Anything to get out of the hot kitchen this summer! 🙂

  • I love cold pasta recipes! Thanks for posting this one. Here’s a suggestion, although you just posed pasta salad, can you recommend one with an oil based dressing (lighter) . . . lots of veggies. Also, how about something that travels well in the summer heat . . . ya know, for all those crazy potlucks and reunions that we have to attend (maybe it could be mixed on site?)

  • Wow that pasta looks tasty!

    As for a recipe idea for this blog I’d like to see a pasta recipe utilizing Chorizo. 😀

  • I am really into making ice cream and frozen yogurt
    these days, it would be nice to have some of this yummy product.

    Also love this yogurt for making a rich Ranch Dressing
    for Gluten-free pasta.