One of my favorite things about the weather getting warmer is all of the delicious summery food – fresh fruit, popsicles, grilling outside, salads…any excuse to snack on something fresh and tasty and I’m there! One of my favorite things to whip up quickly in the summer is an easy pasta salad. They’re perfect if you’re going to a party or BBQ, but it’s also a great option for packed lunches to take to work!
There are so many different combinations you can make with different veggies, proteins and dressings. This one that I tested out earlier this month has rapidly become a new favorite of mine, though, so I wanted to be sure to share it with all of you!
Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of olives, but beyond that I absolutely adore mediterranean food – especially salads. That’s why I couldn’t resist when I saw this lemon herb mediterranean pasta salad (and why I haven’t been able to resist making it again, and again…and again!)
I haven’t had the time to home make the dressing that comes with this, but on lazier days I’ve been grabbing a bottle of different vinaigrettes at Trader Joe’s. Personally, I recommend their Tuscan Italian Vinaigrette, but they have about 25+ more that I’m excited to try, too! The nice thing about switching up dressings is that it feels like a whole new dish every time without having to hunt down a great new recipe.
- 12 oz. penne or bowtie pasta
- 4 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado, chopped (I use two because it’s my favorite!)
- 1-2 red pepper chopped into thin strips
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced (I skipped this part, I’m picky!)
- 5-6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Two tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Two tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- cracked pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
- Prepare the dressing while pasta boils. Whisk together thoroughly and set aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients to bowl with pasta and combine with dressing, mixing simultaneously to spread dressing evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
**If you’re planning to use this for meal prep purposes, I recommend waiting to add the avocado until right before eating each day to avoid it browning**