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Extra Lemon Pasta Salad with Basil Herb Vinaigrette

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of Extra Lemon Pasta Salad with Basil Herb Vinaigrette, a perfect dish for dining al fresco. This pasta salad features fresh herbs, light and simple ingredients, and a zingy lemon kick that brings extra freshness to every bite of this easy pasta salad recipe.

Everybody loves a good pasta salad and a twist on a classic pasta salad. Picnic Extra Lemon Pasta Salad is the perfect dish for having dinner in the fresh air. It’s easy to prepare and so delicious, especially on a hot summer day.

You don’t need a big occasion to enjoy a delicious summer pasta salad recipe. Picnic Extra Lemon Pasta Salad comes together in minutes even the first time you make it loaded with fresh lemon juice flavor. The good news is how easy this pasta salad is to make and how refreshing it is for this time of year. Your family will be begging you to make this recipe as the extra flavor makes it hard to resist. 

One of my favorite things about this fresh lemon pasta salad is the extra citrusy flavor and how easy a meal prep for a light meal when we are all busy with summer activities. The best part is that Picnic Extra Lemon Pasta Salad is a great dish that can be taken on picnics, potlucks, or extended family dinners. Nothing beats the flavors of extra lemon vinaigrette and pasta tossed in fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and fresh herbs. 

lemon pasta salad with peppers, onion and cucumbers in white bowl on a blue checked napkin silverware and salt and pepper shakers in the back ground

Picnic Extra Lemon Pasta Salad dish is a side dish however, you can check out this recipe for our family’s traditional Chicken Pasta Salad. I have been making it for years and my kids love it and ask for it each week in the summer.

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lemon orzo pasta salad in a white serving bowl on a blue green checked napkin with forks and a serving spoon and blue salt and pepper shaker in the background.

Extra Lemon Pasta Salad Perfect Side Dish for Kids:

Give pasta salads a try next time you are looking for a fun side dish or a veggie main dish. I know pasta salad will become a tradition in your home. The fresh lemon juice helps make the pasta salad extra fresh.

Most kids like pasta but like most kids, they like their plain. Start introducing veggies in a pasta dish is a great way to mix a food they love with a new taste. I make a large chop of the veggies, that way of a particular veggie is objected to that veggie is easily pushed to the side. 

Each one of my kids would set their disliked veggies to the side, but by the time they reached their late teens, everyone was eating the whole thing.

Pasta salad on a pastel flower shaped paper plate with fork and pink napkin on gray table

Variations on a Lemon Basil Pasta Salad:

  • Substitute arugula for the spinach
  • Substitute Feta Cheese or Fresh Mozzarella Balls
  • ​Add Grape Tomatoes
  • Add Pine Nuts
  • Add Kalamata Olives
  • Top with Green Onion

More Pasta Salads You Will Love:

Ingredients Needed for Summer Pasta Salad Recipe:

  • 1/2 box of Mini Farfalle Pasta (Bowtie Pasta)
  • 1/2 box of Orzo Pasta
  • Baby Spinach
  • Chickpeas/ Garbanzo Beans
  • Sweet Bell Pepper
  • Sweet or Red Onion
  • English Cucumber
  • Fresh Basil
  • ​Celery
  • Celery Seed
  • Fresh lemon Juice
  • lemon zest
  • Black Pepper
  • ​Garlic Expressions Classic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing for the pasta salad dressing.
  • Cubed Provolone Cheese

How to Make an Extra Lemon Pasta Salad

  1. To cook pasta on the stove, start with cold water in a large pot and bring salted water to a boil. 
  2. Cook each box of pasta separately according to the time on the box. Orzo cooks fast so keep watch so it does not become to mushy. (We like our pasta cooked Al Dente).  
  3. Drain and cool completely. (Cooking the pasta can be done early in the day as the cooked pasta should be cold.)
  4. Next, chop all of the other vegetables, baby spinach, bell pepper, onion, and celery; I use a Vidalia Onion Chop Wizard as it makes all the veggies the same size.
  5. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas.
  6. Cube the Provolone Cheese.
  7. Zest the rind of the 2 lemons with a zester.
  8. In a large bowl mix the cooked pasta, cooked orzo, spinach, chickpeas, bell pepper, onion, English cucumber, basil, celery, celery seed, and lemon zest and mix lightly. 
  9. Squeeze all the fresh lemon juice from the 2 lemons with a lemon reamer. Add to the pasta.
  10. Next, add the Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing (you can add more or less depending on your taste)
  11. Mix well & refrigerate.
  12. Add the Provolone Cheese just before serving.
top view of lemon pasta salad with peppers, onion and cucumbers in white bowl on a blue checked napkin silverware and salt and pepper shakers in the back ground

Tips for making Pasta Salad

  • Pasta salads are so easy to toss together. The pasta can be made the night before and put in the refrigerator. This way when it is time for dinner the next night the pasta is already cooked.
  • I also have another time-saving method I use when trying to keep up with everyday mom life. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received from an older mom was to chop the veggies at noon and put them in containers ready to mix at dinner time.
  • What a simple idea but so practical. If you are making lunch and have the cutting board and knife already in use, just take a few more minutes to chop what you need for dinner.
lemon pasta salad with peppers, onion and cucumbers in white bowl on a blue checked napkin silverware and salt and pepper shakers in the back ground

Supplies Needed:

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lemon pasta salad with peppers, onion and cucumbers in white bowl on a blue checked napkin silverware

Picnic Lemon Garlic Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Susan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish

Description

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of Extra Lemon Pasta Salad with Basil Herb Vinaigrette, a perfect dish for dining al fresco. This pasta salad features fresh herbs, light and simple ingredients, and a zingy lemon kick that brings extra freshness to every bite of this easy pasta salad recipe.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Cook each box of pasta separately for the time on the box. (We like our Al Dente).  Drain and cool completely. (This can be done early in the day as the pasta should be cold.)
  3. Next, chop all of the other vegetables, I use a Vidalia Onion Chop Wizard as it makes all the veggies the same size.
  4. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas.
  5. Cube the Provolone Cheese.
  6. Zest the rind of the 2 lemons with a zester.
  7. In a large bowl mix the pasta, orzo, spinach, chickpeas, bell pepper, onion, English cucumber, basil, celery, celery seed and lemon zest and mix lightly. 
  8. Squeeze all the lemon juice from the 2 lemons with a lemon reamer. Add to the pasta.
  9. Next, add the Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing (you can add more or less depending on your taste)
  10. Mix well & refrigerate.
  11. Add the Provolone Cheese just before serving.

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6 Comments

  1. I love cold pasta salads for summer. This Picnic Extra Lemon Pasta Salad recipe looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing it with us at the #HomeMattersParty this week.

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