Versatile Pasta Salad

Food blogger Lauren Snyder shows you how to take summer ingredients like bell peppers, feta and olives and mix them with what you have on hand like pasta, orzo or healthier grains to make a versatile pasta salad.

Summer Pasta Salad

Citrus Dressing:
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 small shallot, diced
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional - 1 tablespoon of prepared pesto

Pasta Salad:
½ pound pasta, cooked al dente
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 medium zucchinis, quartered and chopped
½ medium red onion, chopped
2 cups sun gold yellow tomatoes, halved
¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup shredded parmesan, for garnish

Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients in a mason jar or mixing bowl with a whisk. Mix well.

For the pasta salad, either in a mason jar or large bowl, combine all ingredients and combine. Using the dressing sparingly, toss the pasta salad in the dressing to coat. If desired, add in some pesto.


Asian Pasta Salad: Use any pasta, or Asian noodles/vermicelli noodles. Instead of the lives/tomatoes/zucchini use edamame beans, shredded carrots, sliced green onions. No cheese needed. Whip up an Asian ginger dressing.

Southwestern Pasta Salad: Use any short pasta. Toss in cubed chicken breast. Instead of the olives/tomatoes/zucchini use black beans and corn. Add in Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese. Garnish with cilantro. 

Gluten free? - Use chickpeas in place of pasta