Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta Salad is the perfect recipe to use up your bumper crop of zucchini. Made with summer squash, zucchini, fresh herbs, and a very fresh-tasting lemony vinaigrette, this salad is sure to please.
For this salad, I use bow tie pasta and add LOTS of zucchini and summer squash. I also add diced red onion, toasted pine nuts (or sliced almonds), fresh herbs (oregano and parsley), Greek kalamata olives and cheese (feta and parm). You can even add fresh spinach or arugula to this salad for added nutrition.
The dressing is a delicious light tasting lemony vinaigrette. It’s worth doubling the dressing so it can be used on a green salad. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
This dish will make a nice side at your next BBQ, but I’ve been known to add some grilled chicken to a serving for my lunch or dinner. Delish!
What’s in Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta Salad
For the salad
- farfalle (bow-tie) pasta (about 3/4 of a 16-oz box)
- yellow summer squash
- olive oil (for roasting)
- red onion
- fresh parsley (optional but adds extra flavor and phytonutrients)
- toasted pine nuts or toasted slivered almonds
- pitted kalamata olives
- feta cheese
- Parmesan cheese
For the dressing
- red wine vinegar
- fresh oregano leaves, chopped (or dried oregano)
- Dijon mustard
- lemon zest
- fresh lemon juice
- garlic cloves
- freshly ground black pepper
- extra-virgin olive oil
How to make zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta Salad
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to the water so it “tastes like the sea”. Cook the bow tie pasta the boiling salted water until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water until cool.
For the Lemon-Vinaigrette Dressing
- Whisk together the red wine vinegar, oregano, mustard, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until smooth.
- I often combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blending jar or beaker and use my hand-held blender to blend the dressing/vinaigrette. It works well to quickly emulsify the dressing.
For the Zucchini and Yellow Squash
- Cut the zucchini and squash into 1-inch chunks, trying to keep the size of each cube the same.
- Place the pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle the zucchini and squash with a little olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the squash evenly on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
- Bake the zucchini and squash for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally while roasting.
The zucchini and squash are done when some of the pieces begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the squash cool. If the pieces seem too large, cut them into smaller even pieces.
To Make the Salad
- Add the pasta to a large salad or mixing bowl.
- Pour in the dressing and toss to coat.
- Add the zucchini and squash, onion, parsley (if using), nuts, olives, feta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
- Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or refrigerate for later use.
Other favorite salads
Zucchini and Summer Squash Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces farfalle bowtie pasta
- 1 pound yellow summer squash cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound zucchini cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil for roasting
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley optional
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 6 ounces feta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 medium garlic cloves minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- PREHEAT the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a BOIL.
- COOK pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
- DRAIN and RINSE under cold water until cool.
- For the Dressing: WHISK together vinegar, oregano, mustard, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. ADD olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until smooth.
For the Zucchini and Yellow Squash
- CUT zucchini and squash into 1-inch chunks.
- PLACE on a parchment-lined baking sheet. DRIZZLE with olive oil and TOSS to coat.
- SPREAD evenly on the baking sheet and SPRINKLE with salt and black pepper.
- BAKE zucchini and squash for 20 minutes.
- TURN the pieces over and BAKE for an additional 10 minutes, or until the zucchini and squash start turning brown.
- REMOVE from the oven and let COOL.
For the Salad
- ADD pasta to a large bowl. ADD dressing and TOSS to coat.
- ADD the zucchini and squash, onion, parsley (if using), nuts, olives, and feta cheese. STIR to combine.
- TASTE and ADD more salt and/or pepper if needed.
- SERVE immediately or refrigerate for later use.