Looking for a quick and easy salad that could be a meal or a great addition to a summer BBQ, and is gluten free friendly, dairy free friendly, vegan friendly – just an overall very friendly salad? 😉
This lemony springy pasta salad is your answer! It is also a great way to eat your seasonal veggies. And who doesn’t love pasta? Try this with a gluten free pasta to make this even healthier! 🙂 It can also totally be made vegan friendly by skipping the feta cheese.
Simple Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing
The lemon zest is the secret ingredient in this dressing.
The dressing is made with fresh lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard and maple syrup. You will end up with more dressing than you will probably need for the pasta salad, but you can always use any remaining dressing as a veggie dip, salad dressing over lettuce, or just save it for more leftover pasta salad, as the pasta will absorb all the dressing in a few hours and you can always drizzle more dressing on top before eating the leftovers later or the next day.
The Perfect Summer BBQ Salad
This also makes the perfect summer BBQ or picnic salad because it doesn’t have any mayo or egg in it that would need to remain chilled. It actually tastes best when it is not chilled, but rather at room temperature. It is also a great way to eat all your seasonal veggies. Feel free to throw in some baby spinach or chopped lettuce to make it even healthier.
Lemony Springy Pasta Salad (Veg, Gluten Free)
- 12 oz pasta (gluten free works too!)
- 10-15 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 4-5 radishes)
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved (the sugar bomb variety if you can find them!)
- 5-6 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
Lemon Dijon Dressing
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp maple syrup or more to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper , to taste
- In a large pot with a lid on high heat, bring about 4-5 cups of water to a boil (you should have enough water to cover the pasta, when it is added to the pot, with at least a few inches of water.) When the water comes to a rolling boil, remove the lid, bring the heat down to medium and add enough salt to make the water taste like sea water. Add the pasta and stir well. Allow to boil for as long as required by the package directions, or until al dente (soft but still with a bit of bite).
- About 2-3 minutes before the pasta is ready to drain, add the chopped asparagus, peas, and chickpeas to the pot. This will blanche the veggies while the pasta finishes cooking.
- Once the pasta is cooked though, drain off the water. Toss the boiled pasta with veggies and chickpeas into a large serving bowl.
- Toss in the feta, cherry tomatoes, radishes and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine. Allow to come to room temperature while you make the salad dressing.
Make the Dressing
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid, add all the dressing ingredients. Cover and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper and sweetness level to your liking.
- Drizzle half the dressing over the pasta and toss to combine. Add more dressing if you like. (You might have some leftover dressing depending on how saucy you like your pasta).
- Serve immediately. This pasta salad can be stored at room temperature for a few hours, making it perfect for a summer picnic too! Or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just allow to come to room temperature before serving for best flavour. Enjoy!