Summer Pasta Salad

summer pasta salad in a bowl

Don’t you just love those easy, summer recipes that use vegetables and herbs when they’re in their prime? This Summer Pasta Salad checks all of those boxes – plus it is best served chilled, which makes it great after a long day in the hot sun. I’ve been wanting to develop this recipe all summer, and I’m so glad that I got around to it!

summer pasta salad in a bowl
Summer Pasta Salad made with tomatoes and basil from my garden!

Here’s how to make it: Mix up your favorite whole wheat pasta with some halved cherry tomatoes, finely-chopped red pepper, sliced black olives, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. This Summer Pasta Salad is enhanced with a simple yet delectable mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard to give it a refreshing, slightly citrusy (and addicting) tang without being overpowering. It’s really that simple.

This is also a great recipe to pack for lunch on the go. Just be sure to pack it up with an ice pack in a cooler bag to keep it all fresh. I could also see this working so well for a potluck, a bridal shower or for other entertaining purposes, since the red, black and white colors provide such a nice contrast.

summer pasta salad in a bowl

Summer Pasta Salad

This easy, refreshing whole wheat pasta salad makes great use of summer vegetables and herbs while they're in their prime!
Prep Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Grain, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Keyword: summer pasta salad
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Dena Don



  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups black olives, sliced (one 6-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1⅓ cups mozarella cheese, cubed (8 ounces)
  • cup fresh basil, finely chopped


  • cup olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Mix all ingredients for base together in a large mixing bowl.
    (Note: If preparing salad one day or more in advance, don't add basil until you are ready to serve).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing until homogenous.
  • Pour dressing over base. Gently mix until evenly combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear how it went for you! Please rate and comment below.

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