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.

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.

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. 

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

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

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2.5 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to top
  • 1/2 cup dill, loosely packed
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon 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.

Enjoy the weekend!


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