Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Bacon

Everybody wants a scrumptious spring pasta salad of their repertoire. There’s one thing a few colourful, packable pasta that simply tastes like seashore days and picnics within the park. That mentioned, the household reunion-style macaroni salad, made with mayo and extremely questionable when served at room temperature, is a tough cross for me. Fortunately, in the present day’s recipe is a far cry—made with inexperienced olives, artichoke hearts, lemons, and tons of shaved parm, it’s acquired that zesty, briny, salty punch that elevates this to summer season banquet standing. Learn on to see how this very inexperienced, spring pasta salad comes collectively, plus just a few ideas for pasta salad success.

My inspiration for this pasta salad truly got here from one in every of my favourite pizzas at Gjelina, IMHO the most effective Italian spot in LA. It’s acquired inexperienced olives, guanciale (an Italian cured meat), and chiles for warmth, and the combo is completely addictive. I needed to attain that very same taste profile in pasta kind, swapping in crispy crumbled bacon for the guanciale and parmesan as a substitute of the mozzarella. The aim? To get that scrumptious mixture of flavors in each single excellent chew.

Tips on how to make this spring pasta salad

A recipe that’s made for breezy heat climate gatherings needs to be simply as breezy to make, so I created this pasta salad to be tremendous straightforward—you’ll be able to toss it collectively in lower than half-hour.

First, I put my pasta water on to boil, since I need to cook dinner the pasta and let it settle down a bit earlier than I add it to the remainder of our components.

Whereas the pasta is cooking, I make the intense zingy dressing by including parsley, lemon zest and juice, shallot, garlic, and olive oil to a blender. I skinny it slightly with scorching water, then mix it up and retailer in a mason jar till I’m prepared to make use of it.

I seize the most important serving bowl I’ve acquired, add my cooked and drained pasta, then toss in our inexperienced olives, artichokes, crumbled bacon, and pistachios (that crunch is completely important.)

Subsequent I drizzle on an enormous pour of our inexperienced dressing together with some salt and pepper, toss it round till every bit of pasta is calmly coated, then add handfuls of arugula and a ridiculous quantity of shaved parmesan. Toss it once more, add as a lot warmth with purple pepper flakes as you want, and it’s able to roll.

Carry it to a potluck or picnic

I typically get questions from you guys about what dishes to convey to a gathering, and this pasta salad occurs to make the right potluck facet.

For one, it may be made fully upfront, and holds up superbly when transported. Again in my catering days, I shortly realized which dishes style simply pretty much as good after sitting on a buffet for an hour, versus those who acquired unhappy and wilty. Pasta salads proved to be one of many heartier choices, and the components on this one actually lend themselves to hanging out for awhile.

That is additionally a very versatile dish that’s a crowd pleaser with children and adults alike. I made it for a pool social gathering final weekend, and everybody went again for seconds and took dwelling leftovers. It’s stuffed with veggies and makes a scrumptious facet dish with grilled hen or steak, nevertheless it’s additionally filling sufficient to face in as a most important course.

Suggestions for achievement

Right here are some things to know that may make this recipe a house run.

What to serve with this spring pasta salad

For a easy weeknight dinner, this pasta salad is hearty sufficient to be a one-dish meal—pair with a glass of chilled rosé and it’s formally spring.

For a gathering, I like to grill some marinated hen, salmon, or steak, and serve this alongside. Because it’s full of veggies and pasta, it’s the one facet dish you want.

Tips on how to retailer leftovers

I can say from expertise that this pasta salad is simply as scrumptious the subsequent day—simply retailer leftovers in an hermetic container within the fridge, and serve chilly or room temp.

Concepts for swaps and modifications

This pasta salad is the right dish for riffing primarily based on what’s in season and your private choice. A couple of concepts:

  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
  • Flip it into an antipasto salad by including these tiny balls of recent mozzarella.
  • Swap in any inexperienced veggies for the olives and artichokes—blanched sugar snap peas, grilled zucchini, or calmly cooked broccoli would all be scrumptious additions.
  • You need to use any quick pasta—gemelli, fusilli, and even penne all work nice on this dish.

Different spring pasta salads you’ll love:

We clearly love heat climate pasta salads round right here, and these are just a few different favorites from our archives:

Inexperienced Goddess Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad with Feta and Tahini Dressing

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Scroll on for the recipe, and in the event you make this spring pasta salad, make sure you depart a score and remark under.


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Pack this brilliant and zesty spring pasta salad for each picnic all season. Tremendous straightforward to toss collectively, it’s bursting with greens and a lot taste.

  • 1 pound cavatappi or different curly quick pasta, cooked in keeping with bundle instructions
  • 1/2 cup inexperienced olives, halved (I purchase pitted Castelvetrano or Cerignola)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
  • 23 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Spring Inexperienced Dressing (under)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Kosher salt and freshly floor black pepper
  • purple pepper flakes, to style
  • a number of freshly grated parmesan, to style

For the inexperienced dressing:

  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp scorching water
  • Salt and pepper

  1. First make the dressing by combining all components in a blender. Retailer in a mason jar within the fridge till prepared to make use of.
  2. Add the cooked pasta to a big serving bowl.
  3. Add the olives, pistachios, bacon, artichoke hearts, and an enormous drizzle of the dressing. 
  4. Toss properly to mix—add extra dressing if wanted.
  5. Add the arugula, purple pepper flakes, and parmesan. Give it a light-weight toss, style for seasoning.
  6. Serve, passing extra purple pepper flakes and parmesan on the desk.


  • You may make this pasta salad forward—mix all components and retailer within the fridge till able to serve.
  • Use any quick pasta you want: gemelli, fusilli, cavatappi, or penne all work nice.
  • Be happy to make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
  • Double or triple the recipe to serve a crowd.
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook dinner Time: 10
  • Class: pasta, facet dish

Key phrases: spring pasta salad, straightforward facet dish, potluck facet


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