Summer Pasta Salad

Drizzle this summer pasta salad with red wine vinaigrette for a fresh perfectly chilled salad.

Summer Pasta Salad
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
40 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
40 mins
16 side-dish servings


  • 8 ounce dried lasagna noodles, broken into 3-inch pieces, or 3 cups dried bow ties or penne pasta

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ cup fresh green beans, trimmed

  • 8 ounce cubed fresh mozzarella cheese or bite-size fresh mozzarella balls

  • 1 ½ cup thinly sliced yellow summer squash and/or zucchini

  • 1 cup chopped tomato, halved cherry tomatoes, and/or halved grape tomatoes

  • 2 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces, or salami, halved and sliced (optional)

  • 1 cup arugula or fresh baby spinach

  • ½ cup thinly sliced, halved red onion or sliced green onions

  • ½ cup pitted ripe olives, halved pitted kalamata olives, or sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives (optional)

  • 2 tablespoon slivered fresh basil

  • 1 recipe Red Wine Vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • cup red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano, thyme, or basil or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme, or basil, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. In a very large bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Add pasta; toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

  2. In a large saucepan cook green beans in a large amount of boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and let cool. Add green beans, mozzarella cheese, squash, tomato, prosciutto (if using), arugula, onion, olives (if using), and basil to pasta. Add Fresh Herb Vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  1. In a screw-top jar combine olive oil, vinegar; shallots, fresh or dried herb, mustard, sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover; shake well.

Fall Pasta Salad:

Prepare Summer Pasta Salad as directed, except substitute 2 cups cubed roasted butternut squash,* 1 cup fresh whole kernel corn or broccoli florets, and 1 cup bite-size strips red, green, and/or yellow sweet peppers for the green beans and summer squash. Substitute cheddar, smoked cheddar, or Gouda cheese for the mozzarella cheese. Substitute 1 cup torn kale for the arugula or spinach. Use the salami option. Substitute 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme for the basil. Use Fresh Herb Vinaigrette for dressing, using cider vinegar for the vinegar and a combination of hazelnut oil and olive oil. *To roast squash, preheat oven to 425°F. Halve, seed, and peel half of a butternut squash; cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss squash cubes with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place cubes in a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is tender and brown.Nutrition analysis per serving: 297 calories, 7 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 22 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 3 g total sugar, 57% Vitamin A, 41% Vitamin C, 359 mg sodium, 13% calcium, 6% iron

Winter Pasta Salad:

Prepare Summer Pasta Salad as directed, except substitute 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets and 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets for the green beans and summer squash. Substitute Monterey Jack cheese for the mozzarella cheese. Substitute snipped fresh oregano or dill for the basil. Add 1/2 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, chopped, and 1/4 cup oil-pack dried tomatoes, drained and chopped. Use the green olive option.Nutrition analysis per serving: 267 calories, 6 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 21 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 2 g total sugar, 10% Vitamin A, 49% Vitamin C, 354 mg sodium, 13% calcium, 6% iron

If using fresh herbs, cover and store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If using dried herbs, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The olive oil will solidify when chilled, so let vinaigrette stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using. Stir or shake well before using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

245 Calories
19g Fat
14g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 245
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 290mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6.5mg 33%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 139mg 3%
Folate, total 45.9mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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