Basil Lemon Pasta Salad

LAST UPDATED: Jun 15, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Apr 10, 2018 | By: Julie Blanner

An easy Lemon Basil Pasta Salad recipe that’s light and refreshing.

summer pasta salad

This time of year, I start to make a lot of lemon basil recipes. They’re light, yet full of color and flavor. It’s a nice change of pace from heavier fall and winter dishes.

Through the years I have made a number of lemon basil recipes. This Lemon Basil Pasta Salad recipe blends a few favorites including lemon vinaigrette I use in an arugula salad and this basil lemon pasta.

Lemon basil recipes are perfect for spring and summer get togethers or for a light and refreshing lunch or dinner. This lemon pasta salad is no exception!

how to make pasta salad

With just 8 ingredients you can mix this up start to finish in less than 20 minutes. Because this recipe is so simple, I like to use fresh ingredients including:

  • fresh cracked pepper
  • fresh grated parmesan
  • fresh basil

vinaigrette for pasta salad

Basil is one of the few herbs I always have on hand because the plants are as inexpensive and purchasing fresh basil and easy to grow. Just one leaf adds so much flavor to dishes, making it my favorite garnish.

However you can always find it fresh at your grocer in the produce section. It enhances just about every pasta dish!

light pasta salad

Thick shavings of parmesan cheese add a lot of flavor to this simple summertime dish. We always keep a block on hand. It’s a staple for so many recipes and keeps well, too!

Pine nuts add a little crunch to this easy lemon pasta salad recipe and just a hint of color.

lemon basil pasta salad

Add a Little Protein to Basil Lemon Pasta Salad

This lemon pasta salad certainly doesn’t need anything else, but if you’d like to add a little protein, there are a few delicious options!

easy pasta salad recipe

One of my philosophies is that food should look as good as it takes. This Lemon Basil Pasta Salad is pretty enough to take to any party. It’s my new go to spring and summer pasta salad recipe.

You can make enough to serve a crowd in less than 20 minutes (including prep/cut and boil time)! It’s a great make and take dish because it tastes even better after it spends a little time marinating in the refrigerator for a couple hours. It is a one dish wonder that’s easy to cover and take.

This pasta salad recipe also feeds a crowd! It serves 10-12 side portions. If you happen to have leftovers (which rarely happens), enjoy for lunch! Just toss it with a tablespoon of lemon juice or olive oil.

Even kids will enjoy this irresistible recipe. My girls can’t keep their hands off of it! It’s light, fresh and flavorful!

The Best Pasta Salad Recipes

Try one or all of these delicious pasta salad recipes for your next summer gathering! Made with homemade vinaigrette, fresh herbs, cheese, and fun shaped noodles, these pasta salads are sure to be a hit!

Tips to Make Lemon Pasta Salad with Fresh Basil

  • Don’t overcook your noodles. This will prevent your pasta salad from becoming mushy. It also makes your noodles easier to toss. Overcooking your noodles can result in a mushy pasta salad. 
  • Rinse boiled noodles with cold water to shock them.
  • Allow your pasta to cool before adding the pasta salad dressing and ingredients.
  • Let your pasta salad marinate in the refrigerator for 2+ hours to allow the flavors to soak in. 

Lemon Basil Pasta Salad:

summer pasta salad

Basil Lemon Pasta Salad

A refreshingly easy Basil Lemon Pasta Salad. This spring and summer pasta salad recipe is a lighter alternative to traditional pasta salads and easy to take to get togethers.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Refrigerate: 2 hours
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings (hover to scale): 12


  • 1 lb pasta {shown with campanelle}
  • 1/4 c white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 cracks pepper or to taste or to taste
  • 1/3 c pine nuts
  • 1/2 c parmesan flakes
  • 1/4 c sliced thin fresh basil


  • In a large pot of water, bring noodles to a boil and prepare al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Meanwhile, combine white wine vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice in a jar and shake well.
  • In a large bowl toss pasta with dressing and pine nuts. Add fresh cracked pepper, basil and parmesan flakes.
  • Refrigerate 2+ hours before serving.


This spring and summer pasta salad recipe is a lighter alternative to traditional pasta salads and easy to take to parties!
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If you make this spring and summer infused pasta salad recipe, please leave a comment below using my 5 star rating system! You can find all of my pasta salad recipes here if you’re as excited as I am to kick off a season of summer entertaining.