My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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lemon dill pasta salad

An un-Italian flavored pasta salad?

Pasta salad with no olives?

A veggie-heavy pasta salad?

Pasta salad not dripping in oil?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

lemondillpasta (3 of 6)

My intention for this dish was to put a twist on the classic Italian veggie pasta salad everyone grew up eating.  I seem to have a think for lemon + dill right now, so I figured I would go with it.

I wanted to create a lighter dish packed with flavor and loaded with fresh vegetables.  Something that makes you come back for 2nd’s+ 3rd’s.  A dish that is great for a crowd, or to pack for your lunch all week.

lemondillpasta (4 of 6)

To make the sauce thick + creamy I used avocado alongside extra virgin olive oil.  Avocado in dressing is my new favorite trick.  So much creaminess + chock-full of healthy fats. 

lemondillpasta (5 of 6)

It’s Friday.

You’ve had a long week.

So let’s get right down to business.

Print this!

Lemon Dill Pasta Salad [serves 6-8]

  • 8oz pasta of choice
  • 3.5c broccoli, chopped
  • 2c asparagus, ends trimmed + chopped
  • 1.5c zucchini, sliced + chopped in half
  • 1 large red/orange/yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1c cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3c red onion, minced
  • 1/2c sunflower/pepita/hemp seeds

Lemon Dill Dressing [use ~3/4 of the dressing]

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2c olive oil
  • 2.5t garlic, chopped
  • 1/2t salt + more to top
  • 1/2c dill, loosely packed
  • 2/3c fresh lemon juice
  • 1T maple syrup/honey
  • black pepper
  1. Chop + prep all ingredients.  Also get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta and a pot of boiling water set up to steam the vegetables.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, then rinse with cold water until chilled.  [I used GF quinoa veggie curls – new favorite!]
  3. While the pasta is cooking, steam the broccoli + asparagus for 3 minutes, then add in the zucchini for 2 more minutes.  Be careful not to over-steam the veggies.  You want them crunchy.
  4. Remove and rinse with cold water, then place in a large bowl filled with water and ice [ice bath] until chilled.
  5. Drain the water very well and combine with the pasta, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and seeds.  I used a mix of 5T sunflower seeds and 3T hemp seeds.
  6. In a blender/magic bullet/food processor/etc. add all of the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.  Scrape the sides of the container if necessary.
  7. Adjust the salt/pepper/lemon if desired.  I added a hefty amount of pepper.
  8. Starting with 3/4 of the dressing, combine it with the pasta + veggies until well coated.  Add more if desired.  I reserved the rest and stored it in the fridge.
  9. Taste and add more salt + pepper.  I added about 1/4-1/2t more salt and a lot more pepper.  Adjust to your liking.
  10. Chill in the fridge before serving and store in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.

notes:  If you don’t like dill, you can definitely sub another herb like basil.  You will most likely need to adjust the amount.

You can add your favorite protein to make this a full meal, or serve it as a side dish.  I pressed a block of tofu, cubed it, then tossed it with lemon juice, a little oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  No cooking needed, I just threw it right in!  Also delicious with feta and/or goat cheese on top.

lemondillpasta (6 of 6)

Enjoy the weekend!


p.s.  Hi from Kenna and all 3 of her bones…silly dog.

lemondillpasta (1 of 6)

Reader Comments (27)

I love how full of veggies this is! I'm super pumped to try that dressing too. This sounds awesome!
Our pups do that too - hog all the bones. We have a little Pomeranian and she tries to grab the German Sheppard's bone. Watching her drag it out of the room has to be the funniest thing ever. It's larger than her!
This looks great! Spring has been making me crave pasta salad. Hi Kenna! ;)
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
oh I love the idea of adding goat cheese to this. although the dressing is already so creamy, I think it would still add a good punch of flavor. This sounds great Ashley, have a good weekend!
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @KatieDid
I couldn't agree more with using avocado to make creamy dressings and sauce. It is soo good, and aren't the Ancient Harvest quinoa blend pasta's the best? Now that I've discovered them, I don't miss semolina at all. Have a great weekend :)

Ashley--> Yes, I love it!! The linguine noodles are great too!
Love this - perfect for springtime :)
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
This is like the pasta salad of my DREAMS! I don't like olives, and I don't like it when it just tastes like italian salad dressing. This sounds amazing!

Ashley--> We are 1 in the same!
This looks delicious and refreshing, I can't wait to try it! I am usually not a fan of pasta salad but this one looks like an exception.
Yum! This looks just perfect for summer.
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
This looks fantastic!! I love pasta salads and dill is my all time favorite summer herb. Anything with dill makes me feel like it's summer. I can't wait to try this!
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex @ Raw Recovery
Oh man oh man oh man!! I licked the container clean!!!!! This is theeee BEST pasta salad EVeR!!!!!!

Ashley--> You are the best food tester + neighbor everrr!
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey
lemon and dill are so classic, and i'm sort of totally and completely in love with the colors in this salad!

Ashley--> Aw, thanks!
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
By the wayyy... I made your chocolate chocolate chip greek yogurt dip and had it with some Annie's honey bunnies and banana today for a snack at work, delicious! Love that it was a perfect portable snack! I'll be making it again for sure.
May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
This looks perfect! I love all the veggies, and the avocado dressing sounds amazing. I don't usually like pasta salads because of all the oil, but it looks like you've solved the problem with this one! I know it will be delicious!

Ashley--> Thanks, Kerry! Definitely will be making this again soon!
May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
That picture of Kenna is gorgeous! She's a beauty for sure. So is this salad...I love new takes on pasta salad!

Ashley--> Thanks so much... x2!
This is such a nice, fresh and colorful dish!!!!
DEFINITELY making this for a BBQ sometime this summer!!
hope you're having a fantastic time at blend! wish i were there!!

Ashley--> I so wish you could have been there!
May 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternat@thesweetslife.
I am making that pasta salad today! I hate italian dressing type pasta salads. eew.

Oh Kenna.... ;)
Wow so my google reader is lame and it just never updated with all your new changes. Phew! I have it all fixed and I have a lot of catching up to do. Love what you've done with the place!

Ashley--> Ahh, no, when I switched blogs I had to get a new feed and couldn't just forward people over. I'm sorry for the confusion!
May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFallon
I love how fresh and light thie pasta salad sounds and look, its definetely a winner for my pool parties!
YUM! I made this yesterday and it is fantastic!!! And leftovers for lunch! Hurray!

Ashley--> So glad to hear. You are the first to let me know. Thanks!
May 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrista
I am officially in love with your blog! So glad to have found it. Amazing recipes, stunning photos... love it all!

Ashley--> Much appreciated. Thanks, Ally!
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlly
I just made this snazzy pasta dish + forwarded the recipe to like everyone I know.....mmmmmmmmmmmm....MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. So easy + so healthy + SO GOOD!!

Ashley--> YAY!!!!!! Thanks for letting me know, lovely lady!
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey
I just had this for dinner... It was such a nice recipe and really satisfying due to all the veggies. Colourful salads are always better in my opinion. I loved the hint of avocado flavour in the background. :) Thank you. Sometime in the very near future I shall be trying the falafel burger recipe you just posted.

Ashley--> So glad to hear! Thanks for letting me know!
May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Oh I'm so excited! I hopped right on here to find a yummy pasta to take to our Mom's Day picnic tomorrow. This looks like a winner. That dressing looks delicious!

Ashley--> I hope it's a crowd pleaser!
May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolly W
I just made this for friends and it was a major hit. The dressing is amazing!! I added some lentils to stretch the it into enough to send everyone home with leftovers.
April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
@Laura - Awesome!! Glad to hear it. Thanks for letting me know!
April 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley

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