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Can we just talk about this pasta salad??

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

It’s kind of my favorite right now. Full of all my favorite flavors and SO easy to make. I make a lot of recipes… wait, not a lot, A TON, and it’s rare that I’ll make a recipe more than twice. It’s not because I don’t love each and every recipe that I tell you guys about, it’s just that new recipes need to be made, tested and eaten… you know?

That said, I have a handful of recipes that I do fall back on when family parties come up or we have people coming in to visit OR on the rare occasion when I just need a quick dinner and there’s nothing already made in the fridge.

Pasta salad is one of those recipes. It seems I make it different every time though. Whenever I make a pasta salad, it normally consists of the odds and ends that are in my fridge. Think leftover sauces, dressings and vinaigrettes… roasted veggies, herbs and of course cheese! Always a different combo, but yet somehow always delicious. Weird how that works, huh??

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, the last pasta salad I made was one for the books. Literally, I mean, it was just SO freaking good, and it took me ten minutes to throw together. Any recipe like that is always a winner to me. Plus, when my brother told me he took the leftovers with him on his road trip back to LA, and that even after siting in the warm car it was still amazing, I knew the recipe needed to be shared.

But um, I don’t recommend the warm car thing…that’s probably not a good idea.

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OK, so this is how this Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad goes.

Start out by roasting up some beets, which I am slightly beet obsessed with these days, I just cannot get enough of them. While the beets are roasting, boil some short cut pasta and then toss the hot pasta with the goat cheese and a little basil vinaigrette. YESSS.

SIDE NOTE: speaking of goaty things, I can’t believe I have yet to tell you guys this, but all three of the family goats are preggers!! AHHH! This means that come September you will be getting mass amounts baby goat snapchats (follow hbharvest). Honestly, I cannot even wait. BABY GOATS you guys. AHHHH. Now go look at baby goat photos and be prepared to waste some time doing so, because stopping is so HARD. Too cute! 🙂

Tossing the hot pasta with the goat cheese is key here, as the pasta melts the goat cheese and makes for a creamy sauce. Seriously.

Now just add a bunch of raw zucchini, watercress, summer squash and corn (if you are a newbie to raw corn you have to give it a try, it’s so flavorful and sweet!). Then toss everything together with those roasted beets. So simple, right?!?!

Not going to lie, you guys should probably make this for dinner tonight AND on Memorial Day next weekend. Trust me, it’s going to become your go-to summer pasta salad!

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, serious question…

What would you guys have titled this recipe? I went back and forth between so many names. Keep it short and simple like the recipe? Add some of the key ingredients into the recipe? Call it a Spring Pasta Salad? Call it a Summer Pasta Salad? Like what? So many options!!

What you would guys name this one? So curious to hear your thoughts on this! 🙂

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Basil Pasta Salad.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 637 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Basil Vinaigrette

Salad

  • 2-3 small red or yellow beets halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 1 pound short cut pasta use gluten free if needed
  • 4-6 ounces soft goat cheese crumbled
  • 2 small yellow summer squash or zucchini thinly sliced
  • 2 ears fresh corn kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 large bunch watercress or spinach
  • 1 avocado sliced

Instructions

Basil Vinaigrette

  • In a blender or food processor, blend the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and a pinch red pepper flakes until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

Salad

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Toss the beets together with the olive oil and a good pinch of both salt + pepper. Spread the beets out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are tender and charred on the edges.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until a dente. Drain and add the pasta to a large serving bowl. To the hot pasta, add the goat cheese and couple large spoonfuls of the basil vinaigrette, toss well until the goat cheese coats the pasta completely. Add the yellow squash, fresh corn and watercress and toss to combine. Top the pasta with the roasted beets and avocado. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Pasta salad for the win! 🙂

Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Omg – so I used your recipe as inspiration because I was trying to make it a little more weight watchers friendly – also I can’t each zucchini/yellow squash.

    I skipped avocado, zucchini & sqush, halved the pasta, increased the corn and beets swapped out half the olive oil for nonfat Greek Yogurt, and used fresh basil, cilantro and parsley since I didn’t have enough basil and finally arugula instead of watercress because It’s what my store had.

    Somehow despite my bastardization of your beautiful recipe it STILL turned out incredible!!! Worked wonderfully for meal prepped lunches all week (I keep the cheese and beets separate and added in right before serving)

    I’ll be returning to this recipe and this site for more!!!

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    One of the most delicious things I’ve had in a while. Had to make a few changes, didn’t have avocado on hand and used some pea sprouts instead of watercress or spinach, but it was still amazing and I will be recommending this recipe to everyone I know! I love any excuse to add beets to things and I can see using the basil vinaigrette for other salads or as a marinade. Great recipe overall, and I will definitely be having it again as well as using some components in other dishes!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for dinner tonight and I have to say that it was absolutely amazing. Surprisingly, deliciously, amazing. The pasta mixed with that goat cheese and vinaigrette is purely delicious and everything else just adds to it to give a fabulous blend of ingredients that has already been shared with family and friends.

    I expected this recipe to be good. I did not expect it to be nearly this good. This is definitely going in my favorites. I did also roast chickpeas to eat on the side for added protein but ended up tossing in a couple. Gave it a great little crunch and a slightly nutty flavor that I highly recommend, but I also loved it without them. Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh hell yea. This was awesome. To be honest, all the recipes here are awesome but this was a good light summer dinner that was filling in the way a heavy meal would be without leaving me feeling heavy. I roasted the beats on the grill and charred the corn just a teensy bit. I wish I had doubled the vinaigrette recipe because it’s amazing and it disappeared and I still have oodles of leftovers! Really good recipe.

  5. This is seriously fantastic! I did zest the lemon before juicing. I just love lemon zest! The flavors in this recipe are scrumptious!

  6. Hi, for the beets – do I peel skin off before roasting? Or do I roast with skin and then peel it off? Or eat with skin? Sorry so many beet skin questions! Thanks so much!

  7. Hi, for the beets – do I peel skin off before roasting? Or do I roast with skin and then peel it off? Or eat with skin? Sorry so many beet skin questions! Thanks!

    1. I would use feta, burrata or mozzarella, but honestly any cheese you really love will work. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks!

  8. I made this as a side over the weekend with Steak on BBQ. WOW!
    A lighter salad, fresh, healthy, tasty, YUM!
    great flavor & gorgeous presentation. I was never really one for beets, but i gotta say, your changing my mind on them. them roasted is really great.
    This salad screams spring/ summer.
    Thank you.

    1. Wooohoooo!! Thats awesome! So happy to help change your mind!! So happy you liked it!! Thanks Karen!

  9. Tieghan – you are a godsend and so talented. Every food item I prepare from your blog tastes like heaven. Definitely making this Sunday!

    1. Thank you so much Nicole!! It is so nice hearing that and it makes me so happy that you enjoy my recipes! I hope you enjoy this pasta too!! (:

  10. This sounds delicious! Added it to my family’s meal plan for the week. Question – do you serve hot or recommend chilling in the refrigerator?

    1. Hey Samantha! You can eat this warm or cold. I like it warm, but I just prefer warm foods! ? let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

  11. Just want to say that I’ve seen some beautiful food photography in my day, and I’ve made a lot of food as well…but you have serious talent! Amazing recipes on the blog, stunning pictures. SO impressed by you. I’m following you for sure now! Keep it up!

  12. Hi,
    I just wanted to drop a line to say this was amazing. We made it tonight and so hit the spot. The raw corn was so sweet with a little crispness. This is definitely going to be on the menu for the summer. Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. WHAT ARE THE TWO DEEP RED “OBJECTS” IN THE SALAD PHOTOS ??? DID YOU SNEAK IN SOME RED BEETS, TOO ???

  14. For me doing a recipe several times is completely normal. When I fall for one I just can’t help it!
    Maybe this one will get a new favorite one of mine too!
    xo hope

  15. This pasta salad looks totally gorgeous and delicious! A few questions though: for the zucchini and yellow squash, do you cook them before adding them to the pasta? Also, what is the difference between feta and goat cheese? In my house growing up the terms were always interchangeable, but I’m thinking that’s just not the case?

    1. Hey Steph!

      The zucchini and yellow squash are both left raw. Feta is a very salty and much drier cheese. It doesn’t really melt and it is meant to be crumbled over dishes. Goat cheese is typically very soft, creamy and tangy. The two are pretty different, but feta would be delicious in this as well. Just know that if you use feta in place of the goat cheese, the pasta will not be creamy in any way. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks! 🙂

    1. HI! Yes, I do! You can sign up to get new emails sent to your inbox on the left hand side of my site. If you have any trouble finding it, let me know. I can also just add you myself if you would prefer. Thanks!

  16. Ahhh I hope you’ll post pics of the baby goats here! I bet they’ll be so cute! 😀

  17. Beauiful and delicious. My mouth is watering and I’m dreaming of how delicious this salad is going to be.

  18. I’d call it “Warm Beet, Basil, and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad.” Because I couldn’t tell it had beets in it until I read your post and I love beets so that is such a game changer! Also the fact that it’s served slightly warm and doesn’t need to sit/chill in the fridge is a plus.

  19. A lovely salad , you could call it a a creamy goat cheese salad with a basil vinaigrette and roasted beets.

  20. Oh wow ! I had so much fried this&that, tempura this&that last week that i vowed to eat healthy this week ahah ! So I made a ton of salad. I was starting to think about my lunches for next week (I cook them on sunday so I don’t have to make them at night after work), and I wanted to try pasta salad. Your recipe arrives right on time and is just about everything that I like !!! I’ll sure make it 🙂

  21. I had no idea those were beets… I thought that was fried goat cheese! In any case, this salad looks, indeed, amazing… But why is everyone talking about avocado?? There’s no avocado in here, right?… As for a name, I’d go with the ingredients. Short and simple.

    1. Hey Ksenia!

      Yup, there is actually avocado in this pasta. Thank so much for the kind words and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

  22. This pasta salad is gorgeous! It has pretty much all of my favorite ingredients: pasta, avocado, corn…and oh lawdy—that basil vinaigrette! I must make this!

    1. Yup yup agree. Never have eaten yellow beets before. Gonna mix summer squash and green zucchini in this bad boy. And too be fancy, was thinking about using the zucchini flowers on top to spice up my boring life. Whaddya think? Great salad!!