It’s the perfect time to make pasta salad… and this one is bursting with fresh lemon flavor that will leave you wanting this fresh flavor any time of year. Nothing tastes lighter yet is packed with fresh flavors like this creamy lemon pasta salad!
No matter the season I just love this pasta salad, it’s creamy and delicious which is a different version than most lemony pasta salads that have a salad dressing type of dressing on them. I just can’t seem to get enough of this recipe. The creamy tangy lemon flavor with fresh basil is sure to win you over.
Parmesan and lemon sing together in perfect harmony!
Don’t be hesitant to make the sauce, it’s made like homemade mayo. If you are hesitant, he acids from the lemon raises the temperature at which the yolk cooks alternatively they do sell pasteurized eggs. If you really don’t want to make the sauce, you could omit the oil and egg and use purchased mayo. I prefer homemade, it has a far better flavor but there are many options to choose from.
And if you’re still not sure, here is another amazing recipe that has similar flavors, my basic but flavor-packed Lemon Pasta Salad.
Now, if you’re ready to dip your toe into elevated cooking – keep reading! This recipe is simple to assemble, especially if you make your dressing while your pasta is cooking.
To begin, cook your pasta according to the package directions.
Once you drain the pasta, rinse with cold water until the pasta is cold, drain water so the pasta isn’t wet.
In a tall container with an immersion blender, place egg yolk, lemon juice, oil, and salt and blend until thick and creamy. Alternately, you can use a small food processor, drizzling in the oil, and blending until smooth.
Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding in sliced basil leaves, and topping the pasta with grated cheese.
Chill the pasta salad for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop, then serve it cold, at room temperature, or heated (it’s delicious any way you decide to serve it).
I like it lemony and always add more lemon. And so, can you! You may also add more salt or pepper if needed – it’s all about personal tastes.
I tend to add more salt and pepper when it’s ready to serve for the best flavor.
What type of pasta is best for this dish?
I like Penne, but any pasta is fine. Fusilli, rotini, or bow ties are also fun with this recipe, and if you want to go smooth on the pasta choose large elbows, the sauce will coat the noodles and won’t dry out or be absorbed like other pasta if you are bringing it to a party and want it to hold over longer.
What herbs could I use aside from fresh basil?
If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, dried basil could be supplemented – you would simply add it into your emulsion of oil, yolk, and lemon juice. It won’t have the crisp flavor of fresh herbs but will still be delicious. You could use Italian seasoning as well.
What if I want to serve this warm, are there any alterations I need to consider?
Yes. Even though our acid from the lemon has essentially cooked our yolk, as a safety precaution when adding your dressing to the hot pasta, you’ll want to drizzle slowly and mix. Adding a yolk-based sauce all at once to hot pasta can break the sauce.
This is a smaller batch recipe, using 8 oz of pasta, if you want to make a whole pound of pasta, be sure to double the sauce recipe.
This dish is also great heated, which makes it a win-win! Add a side vegetable of roasted or steamed asparagus, broccoli, or spinach.
If you don’t want to make the sauce, you can use purchased mayo, but trust me homemade is so yummy!
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup oil (avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil)
- ½ teaspoon salt, I use coarse kosher salt
- 6 basil leaves, sliced
- 1 oz Romano or Parmesan Cheese, grated finely
- add additional salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Once you drain the pasta Prince with cold water until the pasta is cold, drain water so the pasta isn't wet.
- In a tall container with an immersion blender place egg yolk, lemon juice, oil, and salt and blend until thick and creamy. You can use a food processor a small one with work best with this small-batch, drizzle in the oil as the remaining ingredients blend smooth.
- Add more lemon if desired. I like it lemony and always add more lemon, just before serving.
- Toss the pasta with sauce, add sliced basil leaves and top the pasta with grated cheese.
- Add more salt if needed and add some black pepper.
- Chill the pasta salad for at least an hour for the flavors to develop.
- It's great served cold, at room temperature or heated.
It’s no secret I love lemon recipe, here are some of my all-time favorites:
- Lemon Sour Cream Cake a delicious 13×9 cake with a great lemon frosting
- Lemon Garlic Chicken a simple and delicious chicken recipe you’ll make again and again
- Lemon Dill Potato Salad the best-flavored potato salad ever!
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Lemon and Parmesan Not only a delicious low carb recipe but so tasty even non-low carb eaters will rave over it.