This simple summer pasta salad with grilled vegetables, feta, and an herby balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect way to enjoy the late summer harvest. It's super easy and quick to make and is a great side for a BBQ or potluck. Leftovers make wonderful lunches too!
A couple of weeks ago I went to my friend's place for some evening drinks and chit chat, and she served a lovely snack board that included some marinated grilled vegetables. She whipped this thing up in about 15 minutes after a full day of kid activities! I think that's one of my favorite things about summer. The simple pleasure of putting a bunch of stuff on the grill at the end of a busy day, and having a delicious healthy dinner on the table in minutes.
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Anyway, I was still thinking about those grilled vegetables the next day, so I decided to make a big batch myself. There are plenty of things you could do with grilled vegetables, but I decided to toss them with some pasta and an easy herby vinaigrette for the perfect summer pasta salad. This was so good, It was pretty hard not to eat it all on the spot, but I refrained and instead prepared some lunches for the week.
Since I try to spend as little time as possible in the house on summer Sundays, I really tried to make this summer pasta salad as efficiently as possible. I made a big batch of the vinaigrette and used half of it to marinate the vegetables before grilling them, and the other half to dress the salad.
All in all this was super simple and quick to make and tasted exactly like summer. I used my trusty Lodge grill pan to grill the vegetables, which means I can get the taste of summer in the dead of winter, if I want to (and I will!). But you could obviously do this on a gas or charcoal grill. In fact, if you wanted to be extra-efficient, you could just put some veggies on the grill the next time you're grilling something for dinner and use those.
I used colorful bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, and corn in this salad, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand, or whatever your garden is producing in excessive quantities! I also love a little cheese in my pasta salad and happened to have some feta in the fridge, so I used that. But bocconcini, burrata, or goat cheese would have been great too.
This summer pasta salad is fast, fresh, and full of summery flavor. It's perfect for BBQs and potlucks!
Sound good to you? If you make this summer pasta salad recipe, I would be thrilled if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later!
A Couple of Other Favorite Pasta Salads to Try
Summer Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables
- 1 zucchini sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and quartered
- 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and quartered
- 1/2 red onion quartered
- 2 ears corn shucked
- 1 lb dry pasta shapes such as rotini, penne, or farfalle
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Marinade and Dressing
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon each of basil, oregano, parsley and thyme chopped (more for garnish)
- 1/2 salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add half the marinade (1/2 cup), to a gallon-size plastic baggie, reserving the rest for the dressing, and add the vegetables to the bag. Swish around until well combined and refrigerate for an hour or up to a day.
- Preheat a grill pan or grill on medium-high heat. Remove the vegetables from the marinade and grill, turning once 8 - 10 minutes. Corn will need to be turned a few times to cook evenly. Watch the vegetables as they cook and remove them as the are done, when they are crisp-tender. (Zucchini will be done first, with bell peppers taking the longest).
- While the vegetables are on the grill, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Once cooked, remove the vegetables from the grill and chop into 1 inch pieces. Run a sharp knife down the length of the corn cobs to release the kernels.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, vegetables, dressing (reserved marinade), feta and additional chopped herbs, if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.