Vegetarian Summer Pasta Salad with Dill Vinaigrette
This easy vegetarian Dill Pasta Salad is the perfect accompaniment to your summer grill outs. Serve it Nicoise Salad-style or toss everything together for a more traditional serving option.
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Today I’ve partnered with Alessi Foods to bring you (what I hope to be) your new favorite summer pasta salad recipe! With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, I can’t be more pumped for grilling season. Here in Indiana, we get very wet and damp springs that make it almost impossible to plan for outdoor hangs ahead of time.
Memorial Day weekend always feels like the kick off of summer, with the weather quickly changing from damp to constant sunshine. It’s also the first weekend that I start to feel like my garden is healthy enough to begin pulling from (hello, gorgeous dill plant), which means it’s official veg season! Needless to say, I’m already planning and am so excited for a weekend of hanging out at the lake and pulling out the grill for the first time this season!
I created this pasta salad using Alessi’s bronze die pasta because I read that it absorbs dressing better than normal pasta, so I really wanted to put it to the test with a bright and punchy vinaigrette. I made the dill pasta salad “Nicoise Salad style” with the individual pieces neatly laid out on the plate – I personally love the modern vibe and punchy presentation but if you are short on time, you can also just toss everything together for a more traditional pasta salad look.
This summer pasta salad is so light and refreshing. The chickpeas and potatoes make it filling enough to enjoy as lunch on its own or bring to your next grill out as a delicious side.
What’s Needed for Dill Pasta Salad?
This vegetarian pasta salad recipe uses ingredients you likely have on hand already. Win! Here’s what you’ll need to make the pasta salad vinaigrette and the salad itself:
- Fresh green beans
- Small potatoes
- Canned chickpeas
- Cherry tomatoes
- White wine vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
What’s the Best Pasta for Pasta Salad?
For this dill pasta salad recipe, you’ll want to use a short, sturdy pasta. I used penne pasta, but rotini, macaroni, and farfalle would also be good options.
How to Make Dill Pasta Salad
I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make dill pasta salad, but here are the basic steps:
- Blanch the green beans. You want them to retain some crispness without being too hard.
- Using the same boiling water you blanched the green beans in, cook the small potatoes until soft. Drain and set aside.
- Then, boil the pasta according to package instructions.
- Transfer cooked pasta to a serving dish, then top with green beans, potatoes, chickpeas, radishes, tomatoes, and olives.
- Drizzle with pasta salad vinaigrette, then chill for 30 minutes before serving.
Can I Use Different Veggies in This Recipe?
You can definitely swap in whatever vegetables you have on hand, but make sure you pick out a variety of colors and textures to keep the summer pasta salad interesting.
Can I Prep Pasta Salad in Advance?
You’re probably safe to prep this dill pasta salad up to 24 hours before you plan on serving it. I wouldn’t wait any longer than that to serve it, otherwise the pasta and veggies will soften.
Tips for Making Dill Pasta Salad
Fresh dill is a must in the pasta salad vinaigrette. Don’t substitute dried here, otherwise your dill pasta salad won’t have the same flavor as mine.
Be sure to salt the pasta water so the pasta itself has some flavor too. Bland pasta makes for a bland dill pasta salad!
If creating your salad “Nicoise Salad-style” then make sure to make a base layer just made out of pasta so that there is room for everything.
Want More Summer Salad Recipes?
- Mac Salad
- Fruit Salad with Tahini Granola and Creamy Yogurt
- Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Butter Dressing
- Mint Feta Lime Melon Salad
- Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing
This easy dill pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to your summer grill outs. Serve it Nicoise Salad-style or toss everything together for a more traditional serving option.
- 1/2 pound green beans
- 1/2 lb small potatoes (a variety of red, purple, and gold are what I used)
- 8 oz pasta (I used Alessi's Organic Penne)
- 15 oz canned chickpeas , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , sliced in half
- 1 bunch radishes , stems trimmed and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup olives
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil (I used Alessi's extra virgin olive oil)
Prepare an ice bath by combining water and ice in a large bowl. Set aside.
Bring a large stockpot full of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but crisp. Use tongs to transfer the cooked beans into the ice bath and set aside.
Using that same boiling water, add the potatoes and let them boil for 12 to 15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring another stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package directions. Remove from heat and strain.
Transfer pasta to a large but shallow serving dish, making sure to pile the pasta a bit higher on one end. Top with green beans, potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, radishes, and olives. Alternatively, you can just toss all the ingredients together for a more traditional looking pasta salad.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour olive oil into the mixture while constantly whisking to emulsify the dressing. Pour over the pasta salad.
Cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to let flavors develop.
***Please note that this post was sponsored by Alessi Foods. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make VV possible.***