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April 15, 2021

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

With crumbled feta and lemon vinaigrette, this roasted broccolini zucchini pasta salad is a fresh spring to summer vegetarian side or main dish.

With crumbled feta and lemon vinaigrette, this roasted broccolini zucchini pasta salad is a fresh spring to summer vegetarian side or main dish.

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

We are sailing through April, so I think it’s safe to say that pasta salad season has begun. Not that we needed anything specific to make it official.

And I have to say that I am pretty excited.

There’s just something about cold noodles paired with greens or veggies that’s really good.

I’m convinced my love of leftovers is why I am such a fan of pasta salad. Give me any pasta shape chilly from the fridge, and I will devour everything straight from the container. 

Why even bother to spoon it into a bowl?

But seriously, a salad version requires more strategy than simply serving a dish cold that’s meant to be hot.

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

Probably the most important thing with pasta salad, including this roasted broccolini zucchini pasta salad, is getting the right balance of flavor and seasonings.

Cold food needs more salt, pepper and acidity than hot food because it has less intensity.

I like using two or more vegetables in pasta salad along with strong ingredients that have some pop. 

Lemon juice and feta cheese are great options. Citrus and saltier cheeses give the oomph that’s needed.

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad Ingredients

This is what you need for the pasta salad:

  • Broccolini: As cute as those tender florets look, broccolini is not baby broccoli. It’s actually a cross between the usual broccoli and Chinese broccoli. For this recipe, I roughly chop the stems and florets.
  • Zucchini:  Two medium zucchini are quartered lengthwise and then sliced. By cutting the zucchini into small pieces, you can roast them on the same sheet pan with the broccolini.
  • Fusilli: Corkscrew shaped pasta does a good job holding onto the vinaigrette, scallions, parsley and feta.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: It is so easy to make this zippy vinaigrette with lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Scallions: These are my go-to when I am using raw onions in a recipe. They are crisp and fresh.
  • Parsley: Chopped herbs are a must for every pasta salad. Here, parsley, lemon and feta work together as a team.
  • Feta: The fusilli picks up all the little bits of crumbled feta. 
  • Salt and Pepper: Even though the veggies are tossed in salt and pepper before they are roasted and there is salt and pepper in the vinaigrette, make sure to taste the pasta salad once everything is stirred together. Cold pastas require more seasoning than hot pastas. You may have to make adjustments.

How To Make Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then toss the broccolini and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes or so. The broccolini will turn slightly darker and the tips of the florets will turn crisp. The zucchini will soften and only be just ever so brown on some of the edges.

While the broccolini and zucchini are in the oven, I simmer the pasta on the stove. Once it is al dente, I dump it into a strainer and rinse it with cold water. This stops the noodles from cooking. Also, then they won’t stick together.

I make the vinaigrette in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta and the vegetables. All you have to do is whisk together the juice of a lemon, white wine vinegar olive oil, salt and pepper.

Next, I fold the broccolini, zucchini and pasta into the lemon vinaigrette with sliced scallions, chopped parsley and crumbled feta.

Finally, I taste the pasta salad and add more salt and pepper as needed to get the right level of seasoning. 

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

Try One Of These Pasta Salad Recipes

Strawberry Cucumber Pasta Salad

Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Pasta Salad

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Roasted Tomato Garlic Pasta Salad

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta Salad

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Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

Roasted Broccolini Zucchini Pasta Salad

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

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
  • 2 bunches broccolini, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For pasta
  • 8 ounces fusilli
  • For vinaigrette
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  •  
  • For salad
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss the broccolini and zucchini with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepperon a sheet pan and spread into a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the broccolini is crisp at the edges and the zucchini is tender.
  3. While the broccolini and zucchini are in the oven, cook the fusilli according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the broccolini, zucchini, pasta, scallions, parsley and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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