The ideal summer salad - fresh, vibrant and, super easy to make! This beautiful pasta salad is a no-fuss, healthy meal that will become your new best friend on a busy day.
This summer pasta salad is an eternal favourite in my house, I make this at least once a week and in large quantity so we can use it for as many meals as possible. Believe me, it's a real blessing to have a bowl of this deliciousness sitting in the refrigerator, ready to be eaten up when you can't bear the thought of turning on a stove!
Bright, colourful, vibrant and fresh, this crowd-pleasing dish is a complete meal in itself.
Making the Summer Pasta Salad
- Start with cooking your pasta of choice. I used fusilli here.
- Then, toss is any freshly chopped vegetable of your choice - bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions. But you can use whatever you have at home - broccoli, spinach, zucchini, corn, grilled eggplant, peas, sun-dried tomatoes, avocados.
- Optional - for an extra touch, you can top off the salad with cheese. My go-to cheeses here are either crumbled feta, grated parmesan or cubed mozzarella.
Note about prepping pasta - when you're done boiling it in salted water, drain the pasta then rinse with cold water and toss it in some olive oil, to avoid the pasta sticking together.
I used some tangy onion slivers in this, here is how you can make them:
Soak one large sliced onion in one part red wine vinegar, one part warm water, half teaspoon salt & sugar for at least 20 mins. Then I drain it off and am left with an amazing pickled onion. This goes in salads, on sandwiches, and is eaten with our everyday vegetables and dal - super versatile and delicious!
The Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Last but not least, the dressing. This is my go-to quick salad dressing - robust garlic flavour, aromatic fresh basil, sharp lemon juice, all gets rounded off nicely with sweet tangy balsamic vinegar!
Combine all of the ingredients in a mortar pestle or a food processor and pulse till you have a coarse sauce. Taste to adjust and then toss your salad with this dressing!
Why Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Making your own salad dressings is really simple. It's also far healthier and cheaper than that bottled stuff available in the market. It offers you the versatility to change the taste per your liking, you get to control the sugar and sodium content and best of all, its made without any preservatives or additives.
Now simply combine the cooked pasta, chopped veggies, and the gorgeous vinaigrette. Top with some microgreens if you like. Or some cheese. And serve at room temperature or cold. However you like it.
This is a great salad to make ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
I hope you give this delicious summer pasta salad a try - make it your own with personalised touches and using up the seasonal veggies you have at home. Keep it simple and enjoy!
More Easy & Healthy Salad Recipes:
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Watermelon Feta Salad
- Peach Mozzarella Salad
- Apricot Pasta Salad
- Greek Salad
- Buckwheat Tabbouleh Salad
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Summer Pasta Salad w/ Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 300 gms Pasta I used fusilli. Please feel free to use any pasta you prefer.
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, julienned
- 2 Cucumbers, julienned
- 1 Onion, pickled
- 100 gms Cherry Tomatoes
- Handful of parsley
Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 20/25 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 5 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Microgreens for topping ( optional)
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta as per the directions. Drain it and keep aside.
- Once the pasta is cooled, add in the vegetables - red and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and pickled onions.
- Toss with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with parsley. Top with microgreens. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Combine all ingredients in your mortar pestle or food processor. Pulse till a coarse sauce is formed. Taste and adjust for seasoning.