Easy enough to toss together in a hurry, this tasty Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad is great for busy weekdays, lazy weekends, and all your summer parties and barbecues!
The chickpea has a habit of marching over to the fridge and chirping for, coincidentally, the very one thing I’ve run out of. This morning it was string cheese. The horror! As to be expected this was a hard one to explain to my mini-me. She just couldn’t fathom a world where there was not string cheese awaiting her in the fridge.
I know kid, I get it. A world without cheese is a scary place indeed!
I’m guilty of the same disbelief. When the craving for pasta salad struck I couldn’t shake it, yet I was missing all the usual suspects! I was clear out of tomatoes and bell peppers and running dangerously low on olive oil. Of course running out of ingredients has it’s perks, and improvising has lead to my favorite P&C recipes!
In fact, running out of pantry and produce staples led to [this] tasty salad, [this] wildly addictive side dish, and even my bell pepper pizzas! Talk about awesome! What’s even more awesome is that we now get to add this finger-licking pasta salad to the list! It’s light and crisp and so. flipping. good.
Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad with Banana Peppers and Feta
Let’s do this!
Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad with Banana Peppers and Feta
- 15-20 spears asparagus trimmed
- 2.5 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup pickled banana peppers (chopped or sliced)
- 2 cups ditalini pasta
- 5 TBSP avocado oil or favorite healthy oil
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper plus extra to taste
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- lemon zest to taste ( used half a lemon's worth)
- 1-2 TBSP fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, approx. 9-10 minutes for al-dente.
- While the pasta boils, blanch or steam your asparagus until tender yet firm, then toss in ice water to halt the cooking process.
- Chop asparagus, cucumber, and banana peppers if desired and add to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice and set aside.
- Remove pasta from stove top, drain, rinse with cool water, and pour into your veggie bowl.
- Add dressing and top with crumbled feta a sprinkling of parmesan.
- You can even add a pinch of parsley and red pepper flakes if you're feeling feisty!
- Enjoy at room temperature.
If you get a chance to try this Asparagus Pasta Salad, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!
special diets and swaps
Though I used champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar and regular white vinegar will also work! Same goes for the oil, feel free to use your go-to for this salad! Avocado, olive, and grape seed are all awesome options. As for the pasta, any shape will work! Orzo would be fantastic and so would rotini.
so . . . how was it?!
SO GOOD! I love my classic pasta salad but this bad boy totally gives it a run for it’s money! The lemony dressing pairs perfectly with the crisp veggies, yielding a light and refreshing salad that my friends and I could not get enough of! I can’t wait to make it again!
This easy, refreshing summer salad is amazing! The flavors shine through! It was a huge hit at a family barbecue last year. I had so many requests for the recipe and happily shared it. Looking forward to making it today for Memorial Day!
Really nice change of pace from “typical” pasta salad. The lemony flavor is great. I subbed asparagus for roasted broccoli and cauliflower, just cause I love ’em!
I do not have asparagus or feta but I’m thinking of substituting with thinly-sliced snow peas and gorgonzola cheese. What do you think? I’m not very good with selecting substitutes. Also, could this made a day ahead or will the cucumbers turn mushy?
Hey Martha! Snow peas would be a glorious swap here! Gorgonzola could be wonderful too but I’d first try the salad without the cheese, then add a little at a time, to taste. It’s super flavorful so this way you add the perfect amount to make your taste buds happy! You can absolutely make this the night before. When I’m making it ahead of time, I usually only add a little bit of dressing to season the salad (the veggies and pasta will soak it up) and then add the remainder before serving the next day. Hope this helps! xoxo
We left out the banana peppers and added black olives so the dish would suit our preferences. This salad was delicious! Even my daughter who swore she didn’t like sour asparagus and therefore wouldn’t like it ate thirds! Next time we’re doubling the feta though. We are cheese people to the max.
Thank you so much Donna! Cheese people are my kind of people!!! I always sneak extra feta on everything too 😉 So happy y’all enjoyed it!
I love this recipe – and your others! – but is there a trick to keeping the dressing in the fridge? I saved some of this for later, and the oil separated in the dressing…it could be user error in whisking, but if there’s a trick, I’d love to hear it. 🙂
Hi Emily! I’m so glad you love it! No error whatsoever in the whisking, but instead we’re working against science here 😉 The oil will naturally separate and need to be whisked back in for temporary emulsification. To keep the dressing together, you can add an extra ingredient such as dijon mustard and/or a little mashed feta cheese. They’ll help keep the oil and vinegar from parting ways for ya and taste great too!
Ooo awesome. Thanks! 🙂
Looking forward to your veggie influence .
I tried this but made a few changes. I just made 1 portion, and used wholewheat fusilli. I added 3 steamed asparagus stems, some cucumber and some cherry tomatoes. Then I mixed some extra virgin olive oil with some fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and black pepper. It was really tasty, and fresh. I’d definitely recommend it!
Me and M have another thing in common. We chirp for cheese. I however get ignored.
Another winner here- LOVE the feta and cucumber pairing!
I love the addition of asparagus and am digging the lemony dressing. Sometimes the very best recipes come when we let the food in our fridge or pantry speak to us. This is beautiful.
This salad looks delicious! Love the combo of flavors and textures here!
oh yes please! I am in love with asparagus right now! This looks amazing 🙂
Yum…..I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.