How happy are we that asparagus is back in season??? Happy, right?! I’ve been dreaming up new recipes, and I can’t wait for you to try this new Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini Pasta Salad with Lemon, Dill, and Feta. It has so many amazing flavors and is bursting with a bright freshness that is perfection! For another bright and delicious pasta salad, try this Spaghetti Pasta Salad next.
Roasting the asparagus, zucchini, and garlic add a unique depth of flavor to this beautiful pasta salad. The fresh dill and lemon complement the summer vegetables, and it’s all brought together with crumbled feta. You are going to love it!
I can’t wait to make it again. I ate the last of it last night and can’t stop thinking about it. Once you taste this unique pasta salad, you won’t be able to stop craving it.
More Delicious Salad Recipes
- Easy Greek Salad
- The Best Classic Potato Salad
- Classic Broccoli Salad Recipe
- Greek Couscous Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Layered Salad
step-by-step photos on how to make roasted asparagus and zucchini pasta salad with lemon, dill and feta
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips about how to make Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini Pasta Salad with Lemon, Dill and Feta
what is a good substitute for Gemelli pasta?
If you don’t have Gemelli pasta on hand, fusilli, rotini, or penne pasta will work in this salad.
can I use canola or vegetable oil in place of the olive oil?
Yes, you can. However, it will change the flavor of the dressing, but it will still taste good.
why do you rinse the pasta in cold water?
Quickly rinsing the pasta in cold water will help it to partially cool. You actually want the pasta to still be a little warm when you combine it with the veggies and the dressing. This helps the noodles absorb more of the flavors from the vegetables and dressing.
can I make the salad without asparagus?
Yes. If you do, I would recommend using another zucchini or yellow squash in its place.
- Zest the lemon first and then juice it. It’s a lot easier to zest a lemon when it’s whole.
- I like to add a zested, small piece of fresh garlic to the salad. Make sure to zest the fresh garlic and not chop it. It needs to be zested to keep the pieces so tiny that they won’t add a harshness to the salad. Adding this extra piece of fresh garlic is optional, but I prefer the flavor of the salad with it.
- Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to help bring all the flavors together. The longer it sits in the fridge the more flavorful it will be.
- 1 lb Gemelli pasta, cooked in salted water according to package directions
- 1 bunch asparagus, approx. 1 lb
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, quartered
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- ⅓-1/2 cup finely chopped dill
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Start a pot of boiling water to cook the Gemelli pasta. Make sure to salt the water.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
- Next, wash and prepare the asparagus. Remove the bottom portion and then cut the remaining stems into 1.5-inch pieces.
- Place the asparagus pieces on the parchment along with the quartered zucchini and 2 cloves of garlic. Drizzle them with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. (I prefer coarse sea salt.) Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until browning.
- The pasta and the roasted veggies should get done at about the same time. When the pasta is done, drain it and give it a quick rinse in cold water to help it partially cool, but you want it to still be a little warm when you combine it with the veggies and put the dressing on it. This helps the noodles absorb more of the flavor.
- Pour drained and rinsed noodles into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped dill, crumbled feta, roasted asparagus, and the roasted zucchini. (Reserve the roasted garlic to add to the dressing.)
- Next, in a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, the juice from one lemon (approx. 2 tbsp), 1 tsp of zest from the lemon, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cracked black pepper. Thoroughly chop the roasted garlic, and then whisk it into the dressing. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and stir until well combined.
- At this point if desired, you can use a zester to grate one small piece of fresh garlic into the salad. It needs to be zested to keep the pieces so tiny that they won't add a harshness to the salad. Adding this extra piece of fresh garlic is optional, but I prefer it.
- Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.