This Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad is perfect for barbecues and spring picnics. Grilled vegetables, pasta, and a lemon-dijon dressing come together in minutes to create this bright, flexible, and plant-based side dish.
If you really want to take your everyday pasta salad up a notch, try adding in grilled vegetables. There’s nothing better!
This easy Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe would be a perfect addition to the spread at a spring potluck party or backyard barbecue. A classic side dish, this pasta salad has rich and deep flavors from grilled asparagus, red onion, and bell pepper. Every bite comes alive thanks to the bright and zesty citrus dressing!
- A simple and easy side dish with bold flavors
- It’s delicious when served warm, cold, fresh, or as leftovers.
Asparagus: The star of this pasta salad are grilled asparagus spears. Look for bright green and tender stalks at their peak between May and July.
More vegetables: Red onions and bell peppers are grilled alongside the asparagus while cherry tomatoes give the salad a nice fresh flavor. Use any color of bell pepper you love or easily swap the veggies for other varieties.
Pasta: Any short pasta noodle will work in this recipe. Gluten free pasta works too!
Dressing: Made from olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and zest, the pasta salad dressing gives each bite bright and fresh flavors.
Step 1: Cook the pasta. Boil and drain the pasta according to the package instructions. Set it aside until it’s time to assemble.
Step 2: Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, dijon, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl then set aside.
Step 3: Grill veggies. Toss the vegetables (except the tomatoes) in oil. Cook the asparagus directly on the preheated grill and the rest of the vegetables on a grill pan to prevent them from falling through the grates.
Step 4: Assemble and serve. Cut the grilled veggies before adding them to a bowl with the cut tomatoes. Add the pasta and dressing to the same bowl and toss everything together. Enjoy immediately or save it for later!
Tips and tricks
- Add more to the salad if you wish, like feta cheese, parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, or grilled zucchini.
- You can roast the tomatoes on the grill pan as well, but their juices will add extra liquid to the pasta salad.
- The longer the salad sits (at room temperature or in the fridge), the more it will dry out. Feel free to make some extra dressing to pour on the leftovers.
- Switch the dressing for something creamy, fresh pesto or tzatziki, or an herbaceous vinaigrette.
Should you rinse pasta for pasta salad?
No. The extra starch on the pasta helps the dressing stick.
Should this be served cold or warm?
Either! The salad will be warm when the pasta is freshly cooked and the veggies are right off the grill. Otherwise, assemble the salad and keep it in the fridge for a few hours or even days before serving it cold.
What goes well with pasta salad?
- Refrigerator: Store the assembled asparagus pasta salad in a sealed bowl or individual airtight containers in the fridge for 5 or 6 days.
More fresh pasta recipes
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Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad
- 12 oz. pasta regular or gluten free
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped, seeds removed
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 lb. asparagus ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the dressing:
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta over the stove as you normally would; drain it and set it aside.
- Next, prepare the dressing: whisk olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, dijon, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Slice the tomatoes then place them into a large bowl.
- Add the bell pepper, onion and asparagus to a separate bowl, then drizzle them with olive oil and use your hands to toss until they're coated in the oil.
- Heat your grill to medium heat (350-375°), and place the asparagus directly onto the grill and the pepper and onion in a grill pan (this works best so you can ensure they don't fall through the grates).
- Grill everything for 5 minutes, then use tongs to give everything a good toss and grill for 2-3 more minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Place the pepper, onion and asparagus onto a large cutting board, then roughly chop them and place them into the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the pasta to that same bowl, then pour the dressing over top and use kitchen tongs to toss.
- Enjoy this salad warm, or place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and enjoy it chilled.