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The words "Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Salmon" under a photo of the salad in a white bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Salmon

Pasta salad takes on a new look with spinach and kale, and tossed with a pesto vinaigrette. Delicious topped with grilled pesto salmon.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pesto
Servings: 6
Calories: 605kcal
Author: Marie


  • 13.25 oz. box of whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta cooked till al dente, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 c. baby kale
  • 1 1/2 c. spinach
  • 2 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. diced fresh mozzarella about 8 oz.
  • 1/4 c. sliced kalamata olives
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice or the juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Tbsp. pesto divided
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. salmon fillets


  • Prepare salad by tossing together cooked pasta, kale, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, and kalamata olives.
  • In a small jar mix together lemon juice, garlic, and 3 Tbsp. pesto. Add olive oil and blend vinaigrette together with a hand blender or by capping the jar and shaking all ingredients until well blended.
  • Take a paper towel and lightly pat the salmon dry. Then spread the last tbsp. of pesto evenly on the flesh side of each salmon fillet.
  • Preheat grill to medium high and place salmon on grates flesh side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then check to see if the salmon will easily release from the grates. If so, flip the fillets over so the skin side is down. Cook another 8-10 minutes or until flesh flakes easily. Remove from grill and let rest.
  • Drizzle vinaigrette over salad ingredients and tossed gently. Divide salad onto plates.
  • Gently cut salmon into bite size pieces and arrange on top of each plated salad. Serve immediately.