How to Pack for a Picnic

Pesto and Tillamook White Cheddar Pasta Salad

We’re skipping the mayonnaise in this pasta salad recipe and replacing it with fresh pesto, fresh grape tomatoes, and nutty squares of Tillamook White Cheddar.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword mayonaise free pasta salad, pasta salad, pesto pasta salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 pound of Orecchiette pasta
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil
  • 2/3 cup of fresh pesto
  • 1 cup of pasta water reserved
  • ¾ cup of grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 6 ounces of Tillamook White Cheddar diced
  • ¼ cup of sprouts
  • Pickled watermelon radish, capers, cornichons to garnish.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve a cup of starchy pasta water.
  2. Let pasta cool and stir in olive oil to keep pasta from sticking together.
  3. When pasta has cooled, mix in fresh pesto and 1 TBSP of starchy pasta water until the pesto stirs in easily and the pasta is well lubricated.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add grape tomatoes, and diced Tillamook white cheddar.
  5. In a resealable glass container, layer in a few sprouts, then spoon in pasta salad. Top with more sprouts and pickled watermelon radish (or capers, or cornichons).
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.