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Light and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

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.

Easy summer pasta salad recipe - the perfect side for BBQ

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!

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

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}.

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

How to make a light and easy Pasta Salad:

Light and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 15 mins
Yields 10


  • 16 oz box of pasta
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 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.
4.4 rating
17 reviews
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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 at the VA 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, too!

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner

18 comments on “Light and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe”

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

  2. 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!

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

    • 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!

  4. This looks amazing! I will have to try it out! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This salad looks great… and the bowtie pasta makes it look even more special. 🙂 Very pretty.

  6. I love it, I might make this too but will use yellow cherry tomatoes which are a bit sweeter. #ThursdayFavoriteThingsBlogParty

  7. This looks like the perfect take along for a picnic or summertime party.

  8. I loved it and will make tus again and again ❤️

  9. This pasta salad is so GOOD! Definitely making it again.

  10. Pingback: Fiesta Pasta Salad Recipe

  11. This recipe was great. I made it as a side for a BBQ and it was a hit. Tastes great and is so easy to make! I will keep it as one of my go-to recipes. Thanks!!

    5.0 rating

    • So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and sharen I’ve since shared a couple others you may like as well. Happy Spring!

  12. I made it and added black olives yum

    5.0 rating

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