Pasta salad with Swiss chard pesto

Today I am posting a cold pasta salad. This recipe is perfect for the warmer months to come and it makes large use of Swiss chard in its pesto, so it is perfect for those of you who receive a CSA box and are overwhelmed by leafy spring greens.

I spent the last weekend at a friend’s place in California. I had a work commitment there and it was a good chance of catching up. When she asked me to help her create a dish for a family visit that made good use of some of the many greens she had in the fridge I started thinking about one of my mom’s quiches made with spinach, tuna and black olives.

Pasta salad with Swiss chard pestoSince we needed to make food for 10 people, I thought a pasta would be much easier to make in large quantities. Also, making a pesto would allow using a bunch of Swiss chard that was still delicious, but looked a bit battered. Adding tuna and olives would recreate much of the flavor profile of the quiche and the tomato would add freshness and texture.

We prepared the pasta in the morning and then let it cool down until lunch time, when we served it to the whole family. It received thumbs up from the whole family: from grandparents down to grandchildren.

Pasta salad with Swiss chard pesto

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10 Servings


    Swiss chard pesto
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pasta salad
  • 2 lb pasta (I used bow ties)
  • Swiss chard pesto
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cans tuna packed in oil
  • 1/4 cup black pitted olives


    Swiss chard pesto
  1. In a food processor or blender, process the Swiss chard with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. It might help to add a bit of water to get the blending process going.
  2. Pasta salad
  3. Cook the pasta al dente in a lot of salted boiling water.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and place in bowl. add in the drained tuna and the drained olives.
  5. When it is ready, drain the cooked pasta and dress it with the pesto. Add oil if the pesto is too thick and the pasta sticks.
  6. Top with the tuna and tomato salad.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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2 Responses to Pasta salad with Swiss chard pesto

  1. Sounds very nice, perfect for a sunny afternoon on the deck. I’ve been meaning to try non-basil-based pestos for some time—this may be my ticket!

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