Serving up a big serving of one of my favorite pasta salads todays!
For whatever reason, I begin to think of pasta salad around this time of year. My dad used to make it often throughout the summer, when the days were packed full of sunshine and fun, and dinner just needed to be quick, simple, and easy!
Summer is definitely not quite here yet, but we are mid spring and the weather is finally beginning to cooperate, YAY! It was a gorgeous sunny day today, the kind that make you feel like summer is here. For me, this means way less time in the kitchen and way more time outside…or at least that’s the way I dream of it being. In reality, more likely it means me sitting in the window with the most vibrant sun shining through while typing away on the computer. Hey, but at least it’s a very big window…with incredible views…got to do what you got to do!
Anyway, this pasta salad is a mix of all the flavors I am loving right now. Fresh oregano, basil, dill, plenty of Greek veggies, and the most delicious lemony roasted broccoli. The major bonus here is that this could not be easier to put together…and the leftovers just get better, making this one of those dinners to make on Sunday and eat for lunch throughout the week. Cool. Cool.
OK, but while I love pasta salad, the real inspiration here actually came from my cousin, Maggie. She announced on the family Group Me text messaging app that she had just booked a summer trip to Greece, yes, Greece!
I mean, how amazing does that sound? I am totally jealous. She’ll be traveling to Athens, Santorini, Paros, and Crete…talk about a trip to paradise. Literally just got even more jealous typing that out. I told her to make sure to take tons and tons of photos of everything she eats so I can attempt to recreate each dish. Bring on all the gyros, colorful salads, and of course – feta!
Clearly her trip got me thinking about Greek foods, and in turn, I decided to create this simple pasta salad loaded with Greek flavors. It’s probably one of my favorite pasta salad combos, and trust me, I have made a lot of pasta salads!
The recipe starts off by roasting the broccoli in the oven with a little garlic and lemon. While that’s happening, just boil up some pasta, drain, and add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the hot pasta. It’s important to toss everything together while the pasta is still warm so you can really activate the flavors of the fresh herbs.
My secret flavor booster? Using the oil that comes in the sun-dried tomato jar. I feel like I’m saying this all the time now, but that oil is like liquid gold, so don’t throw it out!
My other not so secret, secret? Lots and lots of really good cubed feta cheese. It is just a must in a Greek salad.
Done and DONE.
Greek Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli Pasta Salad
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 293 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 heads broccoli, florets roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 1 (8 ounce) jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 zucchini thinly, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.2. On a large baking sheet, toss together the broccoli, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and a large pinch of both salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli is just beginning to char.3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and add back to the hot pot. 4. While the pasta is still warm, add the roasted broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes - plus the oil in the jar, olives and 3 tablespoons of the olive brine (the liquid surrounding the olives), the zucchini, red pepper, cucumbers, oregano, basil, dill, lemon juice and zest. Toss until well combined and the pasta is coated in oil, if needed drizzle in little olive oil over if there doesn't seem to be enough. Add the feta and gently toss. Serve warm or at room temperature. The pasta can be made up to 1 day in advance.
PS. kind of love when you can call pasta…salad. 🙂
This was amazing. I used dried herbs and will try it again this summer when I have fresh herbs. Two comments 1) you will use virtually every appliance/tool in your kitchen, but so worth it and 2) this recipe makes a lot so if you are not serving a large group or you don’t want days of leftovers you might want to consider cutting it in half. I am more than happy with the amount as I will have lunch all week long. I love that it is so delicious and still very healthy. I recommend you try this.
Happy Monday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xT
Yum! I love the Broccoli in it—a little different than your usual pasta salad but so good!
Thank you so much Michelle!! I love to hear that! xTieghan
So I guess the zucchini is uncooked then, right?
Hi Jamie, yes, the zucchini is left uncooked. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love the salad!
I made this recipe last night and I was literally so delicious!! Great almost summer recipe. I freakin’ love pasta and all the flavors in this recipe made it so there was something new to look forward to in every bite.
Awh I am so glad you loved this Kristen!! Thank you so much!
Love the simplicity of this dish, looks like something I would love to have for dinner tonight!!
Hope you get to try it tonight Riya, thank you so much!
Also, if I were to halve the recipe, what is the measurement of sundried tomato oil used? And the lemon juice, how much juice do you usually get from a lemon? I usually get about 2-3 tablespoons, but no more.
Hi! It would be about 1/4 cup oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
I’m intrigued by this very simple pasta salad, but when you say chopped, sliced, what exact measurements and cuts are you speaking of? I measure every ingredient in a recipe by ounces and cups to try to be exact as possible, so if someone else makes it, they get it right. Chopped, does that mean quartered and diced into 3/4-1 inch cubes, and sliced, does that mean halved lengthwise and sliced widthwise, or just sliced into large rounds???? Sorry to be a bothersome, but I don’t like when I prepare something, and it turns out looking like a monkey made it.
Chopped = diced into 3/4-1 inch cubes
Sliced = halved lengthwise and sliced widthwise
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love the pasta!
I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe. 🙂
So happy you liked it Erin, thank you!
What type of pasta shape did you use in this? I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!