A great way to use this wonderful vegetable, this Zucchini Pasta Salad is a winner!
Zucchini may get a bad rap… but it’s one of my favorite vegetables and has been since I was a kid. I grew up with a large garden and zucchini was one of the heroes of the garden every year. Not only is zucchini high in vitamin C and fiber. It’s a nutritious eat, and it takes on the flavors of mustard and oregano in this dish – giving this pasta dinner a savory and satisfactory crunch.
And I say dinner but this can be used for lunch too! It’s perfectly prepared ahead of time and left to chill in the fridge, in fact when the ingredients are left to mellow a bit, it tastes even better! Make it ahead, and enjoy it with all its deliciousness at a time that’s convenient for you, whether it’s a quick lunch or the end of a busy day!
If zucchini is a favorite for you too be sure to check out my
- Baked Ziti Zucchini Italiano
- Creamy Zucchini Soup
- Zucchini Cakes
- All veggie Zucchini Italiano, so delicious and low carb too!
- Zucchini Noodles
In fact, that’s why I love pasta. It can be made ahead of time, leaving me the opportunity to spend more time with those I love, instead of rushing around the kitchen and trying to throw something together. I have several recipes that I go to again and again. One of my favorites for a summer day is Creamy Lemony Pasta. And I simply adore this Feta Basil Balsamic Pasta Salad, it has black olives, creamy feta, and the most perfect al dente bowtie pasta. It’s savory and oh so amazing, my tummy growls thinking about it!
And if you ever want to try your hand at homemade pasta, I have an easy homemade pasta recipe right here! You wouldn’t believe how simple it is to make, and how satisfactory it is to eat your own homemade pasta!
Okay but let’s get to this lovely, light zucchini dish.
To begin, bring a big pot of water to a boil, drop your pasta, and cook.
While your pasta cooks, slice the zucchini into quarters, then slice them. They will look like triangles.
Mix the dressing of a balsamic vinaigrette (or mix oil and balsamic vinegar) with dijon mustard and add a pinch of dry oregano, salt, and pepper.
When pasta is done, rinse in cold water until pasta is cooled off and allow it to drain.
Once drained, toss with your dressing and add in the zucchini and onion.
Refrigerate until all chilled. Add more balsamic vinegar so it’s not dry, mix well.
Top with diced fresh mint and grated cheese and serve!
I slice the zucchini into quarters lengthwise, then slice them into “triangles”. You can cut them into any shape you like, if the zucchini is similarly sized to the pasta it makes it nice to eat together.
Can I use another vegetable in place of the zucchini?
Yes, yellow squash works just as well! It has a similar texture and taste. Add in some diced peppers, any color to kick it up if you’d like.
How do I choose a ripe zucchini?
Look for a uniform green color encompassing the entire zucchini. You want to find a medium-sized gourd around 6-8 inches in length and it needs to be firm and not too soft.
What’s the best method for checking the doneness of pasta?
This is a question for the ages, but everyone seems to have their own method for doing this, one of which is throwing a piece of pasta against the wall. But for me, I follow the package directions, using a timer. This has never failed me and takes the guesswork out!
- 8 oz pasta, cooked to package directions (I used large elbows)
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette, or oil and balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
- pinch dry oregano
- fresh mint
- While the pasta is cooking, slice the zucchini into quarters, then slice them so you have "triangle" pieces.
- Mix the dressing of a balsamic vinaigrette (or mix oil and balsamic vinegar) with dijon mustard, add a pinch of dry oregano, salt, and pepper.
- When pasta is done, rice in cold water until pasta is cold.
- Allow pasta to drain well, then toss with dressing, then add in the zucchini and onion.
- Refrigerate until all chilled, add more balsamic vinegar so it's not dry, mix well.
- Top with diced fresh mint and grated cheese and serve.