This vegetarian Summer Veggie Pasta Salad with Creamy Feta Dressing is perfect for potluck or bbq parties. Easy!
Brightening up your day with this fresh Summer Veggie Pasta Salad! Tossed with a creamy yogurt-based feta dressing, this summer side dish will feed a happy crowd.
What's summer without a pasta salad or two? A cold pasta salad is always popular at a summer party. This one is chock-a-block full of healthy garden and farmers' market veggies. While pasta salads can sometimes be bland, this one has a bold feta dressing that is anything but boring!
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Ingredients for Summer Veggie Pasta Salad
Choose a regular or gluten-free pasta (I chose bow-tie) and fill up your salad with:
- crisp bell peppers: one of each colour is fun
- zucchini: green or yellow, or both
- broccoli: blanched and shocked
- tomatoes: cherry tomatoes
- onions: red or green
The toss it all together with a simple creamy Yogurt-Feta Dressing made with:
- feta cheese
- Greek yogurt
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
This vegetarian pasta salad is simply the best! This summer side dish is an easy recipe to which you can add your own twist. Make it yours! Add your favourite garden veggies and herbs (basil is always a good choice.) But follow these tips to make it extra specially delicious!
Tips for making the BEST pasta salad
- Cut all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces so this salad is easy to serve and easy to eat.
- Salt the pasta cooking water generously. Just for once, disregard all those warnings about too much salt in your diet. I learned this tip from an Italian mama years ago. It really will make a difference to the flavour of your pasta!
- Blanch and shock the broccoli. Place the broccoli florets in boiling water for 2 minutes until they turn bright green and have softened slightly. Then immediately remove them from the hot water and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel before adding to the salad.
- If making this salad ahead of time, toss with the dressing to allow the pasta to soak up the flavours.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving. More salt? A few generous grinds of black pepper?
Do I need to rinse the pasta?
Yes, absolutely you do. Remember: Rinse for pasta salad, don't rinse for hot pasta with sauce. This article explains why.
Rinsing will stop the cooking and help the pasta to retain its shape. A quick 30-second rinse in cold water will help to remove the starch and prevent the pasta from becoming gummy and sticking together.
If you'd like, after rinsing and draining, give the pasta a quick toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil to add flavour and keep the pieces from sticking.
- Vary the dressing. Cold pasta salad is always good with a simple Italian dressing.
- Add your own garden veggies: cucumbers, blanched and shocked cauliflower florets, tiny asparagus spears.
- Use the herbs you love: try basil or fresh oregano.
Looking for a pasta salad recipe that's a little different? You'll love this Tuscan Kale Pasta Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing
Summer Veggie Pasta Salad with Feta Dressing
- 18 oz pasta gluten-free if necessary.
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium zucchini cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 large head broccoli chopped into small florets (about 4 cups)
- 3 bell peppers 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 med red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
Feta Yogurt Dressing
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 200 grams feta cheese divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- In a mini food processor or jar, combine 1 cup yogurt with half the feta cheese, olive oil, and pepper. Reserve the remaining feta to crumble on top of the salad.
Summer Veggie Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions. Drain, then rinse in cold water for 30 seconds or until pasta is no longer warm. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- While pasta is cooking, boil water in a large saucepan. Set up an ice bath: a large bowl of water and ice cubes. Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for 2 minutes, or until it has turned bright green and has softened slightly. Remove from heat, drain, then transfer the florets to the ice bath to cool completely. Drain, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Combine the cooled pasta and prepared vegetables in a large salad bowl. Toss with Yogurt- Feta Dressing, sprinkle with feta cheese and parsley. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Need more summer salad ideas?
- Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil, Capers and Feta
- Rustic Tomato Salad
- Tomato Avocado Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Garden Fresh Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Avocado Grilled Peach and Chipotle Shrimp Salad