Summer is here and with all the heat, cool food and drinks are in store. I enjoy good food all year long but agree that some food dishes taste better during certain seasons. Cold pasta salad definitely tastes better during the warmer months of summer. Since my family has always been rather picky, I’ve never cooked cold pasta dishes. But since my daughter has expanded her food pallet, she agreed that making our own pasta salad was a good idea. We reviewed a few recipes and formulated a summer pasta salad that we can’t get enough of.
I had some bowtie pasta on hand so we decided to work with that. However, ziti or macaroni would work too. I love using what I have on hand first so I’d suggest the same for you. We put the pasta in salted water first and started to boil it. While it was boiling, we went ahead and started cutting all the fresh ingredients. I love fresh veggies so I was getting excited. Marley (my “mini chef”) helped with prepping all the salad ingredients.
Cooking with vegetables that are in season is truly the best. Fresh corn, bell pepper, crunchy cucumbers, and tomatoes make this salad vibrant with flavor. At this point, we didn’t realize how big the pasta salad would be and prepped all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. We quickly realized that this bowl would not be enough. We quickly moved to a very large bowl and prepped the dressing.
After all the ingredients are ready, you’ll need to mix everything together well. I was apprehensive about the chickpeas but they added a texture that was needed. Avocado could be a good substitute instead of chickpeas too. Definitely feel free to omit any ingredients you don’t like or add in extra ones. Also, add more feta cheese, lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Marley and I love olives so we tossed in a few extra.Print
Summer Pasta Salad
This refreshing pasta salad is perfect for all your summer meals – BBQ, grilled salmon, and more! It features chickpeas, bowtie pasta, olives and more. Serve chilled for optimal flavors.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15-20
- Total Time: 30
- 1 pound of pasta of choice (bowtie or ziti)
- 2 ears of corn, cut from ear
- 2 or 3 mini cucumbers, sliced and quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- (1) 15 oz. can garbanzo beans / chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cook pasta, al dente, according to package directions.
- Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Toss salad ingredients, pasta, and dressing until well mixed.
- Season to taste with feta cheese, lemon, salt and pepper.
- Garnish with fresh dill.
For optimal flavors, chill for 30-45 minutes in refrigerator.
The flavors of the pasta salad come together really well after being chilled. I’ll be honest, Marley and I enjoyed the pasta so much we couldn’t wait to chill it. We fixed plates immediately! It’s crunchy, slightly creamy (the chickpeas), and the dressing gives it the best flavor. We really love this pasta salad! It’s a great side dish for BBQ, fish, and chicken. It’s a great snack by itself too! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Do you like pasta salad? Let me know in the comments.
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