Summer Pasta Salad is THE SALAD you should make for all the summer gatherings. This combines pasta cooked to al dente, crunchy vegetables, protein-rich chickpeas, salt feta cheese, and zesty lemon dressing! You will get rave reviews from this delicious pasta salad!
The BEST Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is on repeat here. I make it for friends and family and always get so many compliments! It is simply all the things.
- Healthy – Full of fresh veggies, protein (from the chickpeas and feta cheese), and a light dressing.
- Zesty – The lemon dressing is zesty but perfectly balanced with olive oil and a touch of honey. My favorite pasta salad dressing so far!
- Filling – I can eat this for a main course, easily. But you can also pair it with a simple protein.
- Colorful – We eat with our eyes first, which is why this colorful pasta is so appetizing. All of those fresh colorful veggies make this a stand-out recipe, and they make it healthy too!
- Pasta – I used three different kinds of pasta noodles for this batch. You can easily make just one or two. I recommend boiling them separately, however, because they will require different cooking times.
- Chickpeas – My favorite canned item EVER. I use it in many of my recipes, like my Healthy Chickpea Tuna Salad and my Chickpea Salad Sandwiches.
- Fresh Vegetables – Use a variety of veggies, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and green onions.
- Feta Cheese – A nice salty cheese balances all of the flavors of this pasta salad.
- Lemon Dressing – This lemon dressing screams summer, and is nice and light tasting. Just a quick combo of olive oil, fresh lemon, honey, salt and pepper.
How to make Summer Pasta Salad:
This pasta salad is SUPER easy to make. You can also prep it in advance! That spells summertime fun!
- Boil pasta. Cook pasta in some salty water until al dente. You want a little bit of bite in the pasta. Strain pasta and let cool. (If using more than one type of pasta noodles, cook them separately as they will require different cooking times.)
- Prep veggies. Chop the fresh veggies and set aside.
- Make dressing. Combine the lemon dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake vigorously.
- Assemble pasta salad. Combine the cooked and cooled pasta, the chickpeas, feta cheese, and chopped veggies. Toss and then add the lemon dressing. Toss again. Top with the fresh basil.
Other favorite summer recipes to make soon:
- Smoked Spatchcock Chicken with Blackened Seasoning – MAKE this one, friends! So delicious and a great summertime recipe!
- How about a burger? – Try my Grilled Poblano Burgers with Apricot Preserves or my Juicy Lucy Burgers with Goat Cheese!
- You’re going to need a cocktail too. Go make The Best Mai Tais and my most recent share, my Swirl Margaritas! These are favorites of mine, for sure!
Summer Pasta Salad
- 3 ½ cup dried pasta – I used three different kinds but any works
- 15 oz. chickpeas – rinsed and drained
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1 cup cucumber – sliced
- 1 medium bell pepper – any color, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1/2 cup green onions – diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves – chiffonade (or sliced in small strips)
For the lemon dressing:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons) – freshly squeezed
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Boil the pasta noodles in some salty water. If using more than one kind of pasta, boil them separately as the cooking time will vary. Strain and set aside to cool.
- Chop up the veggies and set aside. Rinse and strain chickpeas.
- Mix up the dressing in a mason jar. Shake vigorously.
- Pour the dressing on the pasta salad to serve. You can add this in advance and store in the refrigerator.
- Top with fresh basil to serve.
- Using different shapes of pasta add interest but is not required.
- Add the dressing a couple of hours ahead of time to help the pasta absorb the flavors.
- I like the flavored feta crumbles best for this salad.
Thursday #BBQWeek Recipes
Appetizers and Drinks
- Berry Basil Moscow Mules by Daily Dish Recipes
- Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris by House of Nash Eats
- Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Antipasto Chickpea Salad by Making Miracles
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad by Sweet Beginnings
- Dutch Oven Potatoes by Devour Dinner
- Summer Pasta Salad by SueBee Homemaker
- Grilled Ham Steak with Honey Mustard Glaze by Blogghetti
- Strawberry Margarita Ice Cream Sandwiches by That Recipe