Summer Pasta Salad is a delicious, garden-fresh veggie-filled salad loaded with summer squash, zucchini, carrots, scallions, edamame, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes! It’s topped with a simple light and fresh dressing.
Summer will be drawing to a close soon, and the explosion of fresh fruits and vegetables which, we have enjoyed will begin to taper off at farmers’ markets. Today I have an easy pasta salad recipe to help you savor the last of the summer vegetables. It’s a flavorful, veggie-filled pasta salad, which will be a perfect addition to your summer festivities.
This is not the usual dish that shows up at most potlucks or picnics. It’s a lighter, healthier version loaded with all things good for you!
Here’s what you need for the salad:
The complete list of ingredients includes pasta, kosher salt, summer squash, zucchini, edamame, carrots, scallions, broccoli, and cherry or grape tomatoes and feta cheese.
Here’s what you need to make the dressing:
You will need olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, (just a little, I promise) sugar, and black pepper.
How to make the salad:
To get started, add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat. Check the directions on the pasta package and set the timer for 3 minutes less than is shown. For instance, if the instructions say to cook for 10 minutes, set your timer for 7 minutes.
When the timer goes off, add the carrots to the pasta and cook for two minutes longer. When there is one minute remaining, add the broccoli, squash, zucchini, and edamame and continue boiling for 30-45 seconds to blanch the veggies or until the broccoli is bright green.
Immediately drain the pasta and your veggies in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Make sure to drain the pasta and vegetables thoroughly. Set aside.
How to make the dressing:
While the pasta is cooking, make the pasta salad dressing by combining the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sugar, and garlic in a mason jar or small bowl. Cover and shake the mason jar well, or if using a bowl, whisk until everything is thoroughly combined.
Add the cooled pasta and veggie mixture to a large bowl along with the tomatoes and scallions and pour in the dressing. Mix well. Add the feta cheese and toss carefully to combine.
What to serve with it:
This delicious salad can be served as a light lunch or as a side dish at a backyard BBQ. It is also a great dish to take to a potluck dinner. I like to serve it with my Grilled Chicken with Peach Glaze, Southern White Acre Pea Succotash, or Tomato Salad with White Acre Peas and, for a fabulous end-of-summer dessert, wait for it… Watermelon and Lemonade Ice Pops! Yes, you read that right, and I can’t even begin to tell you how good they are!
Sharon’s Expert Tips:
This dish can be made ahead and stored covered in your refrigerator for up to three days. Do not freeze it.
You can add even more vegetables or substitute different ones if you like. You can also substitute any other type of pasta you have on hand or your family likes.
This recipe calls for feta cheese, which is delicious, but again, feel free to customize it to your family’s tastes. Suitable substitutes are goat cheese, blue cheese, cheddar, or mozzarella. You can use pretty much any cheese that you have on hand or your family prefers.
If you like pasta as we do, you might also enjoy these popular recipes:
- Roasted Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake
- Easy Supreme Pizza Casserole
- Spaghetti with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce
If you need more menu ideas for recipes which include pasta, just enter “pasta” the “search recipes” tool in the All Recipes” section.
★ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and give it a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Summer Pasta Salad - Loaded with Fresh Vegetables
- 1 pound Torcetti pasta or any other kind of pasta you like
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 yellow summer squash cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 zucchini cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
- 2 carrots sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 head broccoli cut into bite-size pieces
- 2-3 scallions green and white parts thinly sliced
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
Pasta Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice fresh
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 large garlic clove minced or grated
- Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat. Check the directions on the pasta package and set a timer for 3 minutes less than is shown to cook the pasta. For instance, if the directions say to cook for 10 minutes, set your timer for 7 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, add the carrots to the pasta and cook for 2 minutes longer. When there is 1 minute remaining, add the broccoli, squash, zucchini, and edamame and continue boiling for 30-45 seconds to blanch the veggies or until the broccoli is bright green.
- Immediately drain the pasta and your veggies in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Make sure to drain it thoroughly.
- In the meantime, make the pasta salad dressing by combining the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a mason jar or small bowl. Cover and shake the mason jar well, or if using a bowl whisk until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Add the cooled pasta and veggie mixture to a large bowl along with the tomatoes and scallions and pour the dressing over the mixture. Mix well. Add the feta cheese and toss carefully to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 36 hours.
**Post updated on July 27, 2019, to increase the amounts of the dressing ingredients slightly. Also added new images and updated the narrative.
Looks Yummy! Excellent video.
Making a run to the grocery store today, getting prepared for the upcoming storm. Will put all ingredients on my list, this looks sooooooooo yummy and I love a good pasta salad. BTW, where did you get that pasta, I’ve never seen it before.
Hey Carolyn, thanks so much! I found the pasta at Fresh Market.
It pays to look more closely, saw that after I came back to see if you had put it on here. I have never bought their pasta. Thanks. I think I’ll make this the day our storm is to arrive, it looks like it would keep well. Now, Mr Picky Eater won’t eat broccoli????? but he can pick it out, I do think he will like this. Anything with Feta in it and I’m all in.
Beautiful! Delicious and nutritious!
Thanks Martha! So glad you liked it!