This pasta salad is picnic perfect!
It combines a few of my favorite ingredients to make a dish that is flavorful, summery, and perfect for a light lunch.
It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly too. That’s right – there’s no meat, no dairy in this fun and colorful pasta salad.
Scroll down to the bottom of this blog for an easy printable version of this Lemon & Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad Recipe. And keep reading through for delicious tips on how to perfect your pasta salad recipe.
When making this pasta salad, chop all your veggies in little bite size bits. The shape is totally up to you! Just be sure that the bites are small for easy snacking.
When you add the vegetables to the pasta while the pasta is still warm, it will soften the veggies ever so slightly and help the flavors blend together.
The lemon is a perfect replacement for Italian Dressing. It’s fresh, clean, light, and is so flavorful! If you need even more lemon essence in your Lemon & Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad, add some zest. Use a microplane to add just a sprinkle of zest to the lemon juice.
Confession: I actually made this recipe as an alternative to Italian Dressing salad because I am just not a fan of Italian Dressing.
When you add your spices to your lemon juice mixture, break them apart in your hands. Just give them a little squeeze to help the herb flavor and scent open up.
It’s makes for a remarkably delicious Lemon & Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad!
The herbs like thyme pair so well with this dish. As for the Italian Blend – we used Tuscan Sun by Penzey’s Spices but you could use any favorite blend of your own!
One of my favorite’s in this dish in the Jalapeno Garlic Powder by Bravado Spice. It’s a twist on regular garlic powder with a little kick of spice. Even though we added this Jalapeno Garlic powder and a touch of cayenne, I would not call this dish spicy. It’s definitely flavorful, be rest assured if you have an aversion to spice, you will be fine.
Lemon & Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad
- 1 box Rainbow Rotini Pasta
- 1/2 Zucchini
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 4 Carrots
- 1/2 Large Red Onion
- 1 Lemon
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Bravado Spice Jalapeno Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoons Italian Blend Seasoning
- 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cook your pasta al dente, using the box directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, slice your zucchini, carrots, bell pepper and red onion into small bite-sized pieces.
- Juice your lemon and set aside.
- Add your olive oil and seasoning to the lemon juice. As you are adding the seasoning, crush any herbs you can in your fingers as you drop them into the lemon to open up the flavors.
- When your pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl.
- While the pasta is still hot, add just a touch of oil to keep it from sticking together. Then add your chopped vegetables and combine thoroughly.
- Wait a few minutes. When the pasta gets closer to room temperature, add your lemon and olive oil mixture and combine thoroughly.
- This salad keeps in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, serve chilled.
This Lemon & Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad makes the perfect lunch, the perfect side dish, and the perfect snack for a picnic!
When will you try this pasta salad?
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