Perfect for summer, this lemon herb pasta salad with roasted vegetables and feta is both light and satisfying. The air fryer roasted vegetables really set this dish apart from the usual pasta salad.
- Ditalini Pasta
- Yellow Squash
- Red Bell Peppers
- Fresh Lemon
- Olive Oli
- Feta Cheese
- Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Mint
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Oregano
- Fresh parsley
This recipe is all about the herbs, I listed the ones that I used of course, but you can use any combination that you like. I used mint in my blend to really set off the flavors of the other herbs. Fresh mint used sparingly can add a brightness to a fresh herb blend that is truly unique, and delicious. If you are planning on experimenting with fresh mint, I recommend using it one or two leaves at a time. If you go overboard, you run the risk of making your dish taste like toothpaste. No thanks!
Dressed for Success
The dressing is simple, just lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt and pepper. You just need to balance the sour of the lemon with a little salt. We will add the fresh herbs at the end to preserve their flavor. The zest is optional, but really kicks up the lemon flavor while keeping the acidity under control.
This dressing is not meant to define the flavor of the pasta salad, it should just accent the flavors of all the veggies and herbs while letting each ingredient retain its own unique character in the dish.
Last Minute Garnish
Be sure to save the crumbled feta cheese, for last. I like to top the pasta salad with the feta just before serving, then squeeze some fresh lemon over the feta. The feta absorbs the lemon and creates these salty lemony nuggets throughout. So be sure to save some lemon wedges to garnish.
In addition, if you have leftover mint leaves, they make a great garnish. The bright smell of mint coming from the plate is a nice touch, especially if you want to present a fine dining like experience for your guests.
I hope you enjoy this classic summer side dish. Let us know what herb blend you decided to use.
Till next time – Eat well my friends.
– Chef Eric
Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- Air Fryer
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Small Mixing Bowl
- Standard Stove
- Medium Pot for cooking pasta
- 3 oz broccoli florets chopped small
- 3 oz yellow squash cut into 1/2 " pieces
- 3 oz red bell pepper cut into 1/2 " pieces
- 4 oz ditalini pasta
Lemon and Garlic Dressing
- 1/3 cup Light Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon or Brown Mustard
- 3 medium cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tsp fresh chopped mint
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
- 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
- fresh lemon wedges
- 3 oz feta cheese crumbles
Roasting The Vegetables
- Preheat Air Fryer to 350 F or 176 C
- In large mixing bowl toss chopped broccoli and red bell peppers with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Repeat this step with yellow squash in a separate bowl.
- Add broccoli and peppers to preheated air fryer, and air crisp for 4 minutes
- After 4 minutes add yellow squash and cook for 3-4 more minutes. If the broccoli gets more than a medium brown, it will turn bitter.
- Let roasted vegetables cool on a plate.
- Combine all "Dressing" ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Drain cooked pasta and add ice cubes to the colander. Rinse with cool water till pasta has completely cooled down. Then drain any excess water.
- Combine dressing, pasta, and roasted vegetables then add chopped herbs and mix well.
- Just before serving top with feta cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
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