Summer Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
This tasty summer pasta salad makes the most of seasonal produce and makes a great side dish to serve with grilled entrées like steak, chicken and skewered shrimp.
The recipe is a simple blend of pasta (we used mini farfalle), zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes and sweet onion tossed with crumbled feta cheese and a tangy, creamy lemon dressing.
- 10 ounces pasta (farfalle, rotini, penne)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half or cream
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- Prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, half-and-half and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended and set aside.
- Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl, add about 1/2 of the reserved dressing, combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, parsley and feta cheese. Toss to combine, adjust the seasoning if necessary and add the remaining dressing. Toss again and add an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve immediately.
This pasta salad can easily be made ahead. For best flavor, remove from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before serving.