This Sunny Lemon Pasta Salad Is Bursting with Fresh Herbs

Despite having a dicey relationship with houseplants, the first thing I do come summertime is plant a patio herb garden. And now that my tiny victory garden is overflowing, I’m adding the fresh, fragrant herbs to everything I’m cooking — including this lemony pasta salad that bursts with freshness and flavor.

Whether you, too, have a bounty of fresh herbs to use or you’re simply looking for a lighter, fresher spin on pasta salad, you’ve come to the right place. Toss snappy green beans, a citrusy vinaigrette, and handfuls of fresh herbs (oregano, mint, basil, parsley, or thyme — chef’s choice!) with al dente pasta, then shower the salad with nutty grated Pecorino Romano cheese and wisps of lemon zest to finish. It’s an all-in-one complement to any main dish coming off of the grill.

A Versatile Lemon Vinaigrette to Use All Summer Long

This salad’s lemon vinaigrette is a simple mix of freshly squeezed juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper, but it’s exactly what’s needed to pull all the ingredients together and add a kick of tart lemon flavor. Toss 1/4 cup with the pasta and herbs as you assemble, then add the rest just before serving.

Memorize the simple formula and you’ve got a citrusy dressing to use all summer long. Toss it with salad greens, drizzle over roasted fish, or pour over grain bowls for fresh, punchy flavor.

Patty Catalano


Patty is a freelance recipe developer who worked as Alton Brown’s Research Coordinator & Podcast Producer and in the Oxmoor House test kitchen. She loves maple syrup, coffee and board games. Patty lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.