Lemon Summer Pasta Salad
Now that the unofficial start to summer is upon us, people across the country are heading outside to dine al fresco. Whether you’re attending a neighborhood block party, throwing a backyard barbeque, or planning a family picnic in a park, I’ve got you covered in the lunchtime side dish department.
Pasta salad has long been the go-to accompaniment to outdoor meals, but the traditional mayonnaise-laden recipes are heavy and fattening (not exactly what you want to eat in the heat of summer, right?!).
Well, not to worry… because this light pasta salad includes whole wheat elbow macaroni, sauteed zucchini, summer squash, fresh corn, and grape tomatoes tossed in a tangy & creamy dressing comprised of Greek yogurt, canola oil mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and a double dose of lemon (by way of both zest and juice).
While on the topic of the dressing, let me toss in a quick note. The pasta will absorb some of the yogurt mixture while it chills in the fridge, leaving the salad lightly coated with the dressing. If you’re a fan of the traditional mayo-heavy pasta salad, you might want to double the dressing ingredients; if you do this, I suggest tossing the pasta and veggies with the listed amount of prepared dressing, letting it sit in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld, and then stirring in the additional dressing when you’re ready to serve the salad.
You can also customize the recipe to suit your summer veggie preferences. I happen to love the flavor of squash, and the addition of fresh corn adds a welcomed sweetness; the tomatoes add juiciness as well as a pop of color.