Light and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Light and refreshing pasta salad recipe for summer

Today I’m excited to share one of summer’s quintessential sides – pasta salad, but a little lighter. For some reason, I never took to the heavy mayo basic pasta salads, so I make mine with a vinaigrette, which is perfect for summer outings like picnics and parties. Pretty little bow tie noodles all dressed in a lemon vinaigrette and tossed with feta, basil and cherry tomatoes…does it get any better? I love making it for a side dish but often enjoy it for lunch as an entree. It’s light, fresh and flavorful!

Even the girls enjoy this simple pasta salad. Adalyn can’t resist the cherry tomatoes and who can resist adorable bow tie pasta? You can make enough to serve 10 in less than 15 minutes {including prep/cut and boil time}.

Easy summer pasta salad recipe - the perfect side for BBQ

The best pasta salad recipe in just 15 minutes, light and refreshing for summer

The best pasta salad recipe in just 15 minutes, light and refreshing for summer

Light and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 16 oz box of pasta
  • ¼ c lemon juice
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 5 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 leaves of basil sliced thin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Boil pasta until tender.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and minced garlic.
  3. Toss drained pasta with dressing, feta, cherry tomatoes and basil.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

The best pasta salad recipe in just 15 minutes, light and refreshing for summer

This weekend I’ll be remembering those who died while serving our country and thinking of their families. I’ve been feeling especially grateful for the doctors and nurses who serve veterans and their compassion as my dad has been hospitalized over this past month. I am looking forward to some time at the pool, a little reflection and lake house hunting this weekend. I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner


  • Emily says:

    Thanks, Julie – looks great! Hope your dad is doing better!!

  • Emily says:

    Ok, Julie Blanner – I made this for tonight’s dinner and it was WONDERFUL!!! This is my go-to pasta salad recipe from now on!

    • Julie says:

      I’M JUMPING FOR JOY! Thanks for making my night, Emily. I can’t resist this one either. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

  • Michelle says:

    Making it for a pool party tomorrow. Do I need to let the pasta cool before mixing? Have you made it a day early?

    • Julie says:

      You can make it the day before, but because it’s so quick and everything is best fresh, I encourage you to make it the day of. When you strain the noodles, run cold water over them and you can toss immediately. Enjoy!

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