Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

5 from 3 votes

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Roasted vegetables are one of the best feature ingredients you can toss into pasta salads. They add their wonderful flavor and bite to this easy broccolini & zucchini pasta salad. Dressed in a mustard lemon vinaigrette, it also has toasted walnuts, fresh herbs, scallions and crumbled feta cheese.  This recipe is perfect for a spring or summer vegetarian side dish or main dish.

Pasta salad with roasted broccolini and zucchini on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

It has lots of roasted vegetables. When I make a pasta salad, I always try to have enough other ingredients, so I end up with more than noodles in each forkful. That keeps things more interesting. I also like the balance of pasta and vegetables to be more even.

A great pasta salad has a mix of flavors and textures. For this recipe, I toss everything in lemon vinaigrette, which gives the salad nice brightness and acidity. Also, the vegetables have a variety of soft, crunchy and crisp bites with the broccolini stems and crowns and the sliced zucchini.

Pasta salads are fantastic for potlucks, holidays, cookouts and so much more. That’s why you should have a few go-to recipes to cover all these occasions and lunch or dinner on any day of the week. They are great for vegetarians as a main dish.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including broccolini, zucchini, pasta, lemon, walnuts, lemon, olive oil, feta, salt and pepper.

This is what you need:

  • Broccolini is pretty easy to find at the grocery. Even though it isn’t technically baby broccoli, you sometimes see it labeled that way. For this recipe, I trim off the bottom end, and then roughly chop it from stem to crown. I love the variety of pieces you get when you prep it this way.
  • Zucchini should have deep green skin with a slight sheen to it. Avoid any that have soft spots or are limp. Fresh zucchini should feel firm.
  • Pasta: Fusilli or rotini are great because their corkscrews really hold on to the bits of fresh herbs, feta and broccolini tops. You can substitute with other short shapes such as penne or orecchiette.
  • Feta has this wonderful salty, briny flavor. Those crumbles end up mixed throughout the salad. Goat cheese is the closest substitute. For more mild cheese options, try torn fresh mozzarella or grated parmesan cheese.
  • Walnuts add their crunch. You can enhance their nutty taste if you toast them first. Whenever I buy walnuts, I chop them and spread them out on a sheet pan and toast them in a 350-degree F oven for 5-7 minutes. Then you don’t have to do this every time you add nuts to a recipe. You can substitute with almonds.
  • Scallions have a light green onion flavor. If you want something bolder, swap scallions for 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions.
  • Parsley and chives give the pasta salad something fresh and herby.
  • Lemon vinaigrette: The dressing has minced garlic, whole grain mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste.
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper: As mentioned, these are ingredients in the vinaigrette, and you also toss the vegetables in them for roasting.

How To Make This Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Toss the broccolini and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can do this right on a baking sheet. Spread out the veggies across the pan in a single layer. They shouldn’t be overlapping.

2. Roast the vegetables until the broccolini is crisp on the edges and the zucchini is lightly browned. They will roast in 20-25 minutes.

Broccolini and zucchini on a sheet pan before and after they roast.

3. Cook the pasta while the broccolini and zucchini roast. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and simmer the fusilli until it is al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water.

4. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk the garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil in a small bowl.

Pasta in a colander. Vinaigrette in a small bowl.

5. Combine the pasta, roasted broccolini and zucchini, scallions, parsley, chives, feta and walnuts in a big bowl.

6. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad, tossing everything together. Taste the pasta salad and season with more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

Salad ingredients in a bowl. Salad tossed together.

Serving

As mentioned, you can serve this zucchini pasta salad as a main dish or a side dish. It all depends on what else you have going on with the meal. The flavors of roasted vegetables and lemon are incredibly versatile and play well with all sorts of other spring and summer recipes such as baked corn zucchini fritters

I like serving this salad with a grilled entree too. It can be helpful to split your cooking for a single meal. Not everything has to go on the grill. When you use both the grill and the oven, it can make multitasking much easier. Grilled main dish ideas include tofu veggie skewers and grilled halloumi with vegetables.

Leftovers & Storage

You can save leftovers in an airtight container the refrigerator up to 2 days. The longer you keep the salad, the more the pasta will soften losing some of that al dente bite that it had when you first cooked it. That is also the same for the roasted broccolini and zucchini. Give leftovers 15 minutes to sit out at room temperature before serving.

Broccolini zucchini pasta salad in a bowl.

Recipe Tips

Take advantage of all the space on the sheet pan. Every chopped vegetable should make direct contact with the metal of the baking sheet. This is essential for browning.

Use fresh lemon juice in the dressing. Bottled lemon juice has all sorts of unnecessary ingredients in it besides juice, and it doesn’t taste good.

Check the seasonings once you have the pasta salad assembled. Cold foods need more salt and pepper than dishes served warm. Take a few bites before you serve the salad to see if it needs more. This isn’t about making your pasta salad salty. The right level of salt should bring out all the flavors in a recipe.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make this pasta salad gluten free?

Just make sure to use gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta or lentil pasta.

How do you make the pasta salad vegan?

Either leave out the cheese or use a plant-based, dairy-free cheese. 

More Pasta Salad Recipes

Strawberry Cucumber Pasta Salad
Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Pasta Salad
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Southwestern Pasta Salad
Strawberry Cucumber Pasta Salad
Roasted Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad
Tortellini Pasta Salad

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Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
With crumbled feta and lemon vinaigrette, this roasted broccolini zucchini pasta salad is a fresh spring to summer vegetarian side or main dish.

Ingredients 

For broccolini and zucchini

  • 1/2 pound broccolini, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium or 3 small zucchini), quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving

For pasta

  • 8 ounces fusilli

For vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For salad

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • On a sheet pan, toss the broccolini and zucchini with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread out the vegetables into a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the broccolini is crisp at the edges and the zucchini is tender and lightly browned.
  • While the broccolini and zucchini roast, cook the fusilli in salted boiling water until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander.
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.
  • Combine the pasta, roasted broccolini and zucchini, scallions, parsley, chives, feta and walnuts in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad, tossing to combine.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

Instead of fusilli or rotini, you can substitute with orecchiette or penne.
You can use chopped almonds instead of walnuts.
Goat cheese is a good substitute for feta. You can also use torn fresh mozzarella or grated parmesan for cheeses that are more mild.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days. Let them sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1583IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I had to improvise a bit (spaghetti instead of rotini, had no chives or parsley) but the combination of roasted veggies and the vinaigrette were amazing. Will definitely make again. Might try with roasted grape tomatoes next time.