Lemony Pasta Salad

This bright, lemony pasta salad is quick to make and perfect for summer. The tomatoes, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and red peppers add a variety of textures and flavors. This easy salad holds up well in the fridge, making it a go-to for your next picnic or potluck.

lemony pasta salad
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 40 mins


  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil

  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped, reserving 1/4 cup oil from jar

  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

  • 2 cups packed arugula

  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Combine shallots, thyme, mustard, honey, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl; stir to mix well. Gradually add grapeseed oil and reserved 1/4 cup oil from sun-dried tomatoes, whisking constantly, until combined and emulsified.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and immediately transfer the pasta to the bowl with the dressing; toss to fully coat. Add bell pepper and sun-dried tomatoes; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

  3. Add grape tomatoes and arugula to the pasta mixture and toss to evenly coat. Garnish with additional lemon zest and crushed red pepper, if desired.

To make ahead

Prepare through Step 2; cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

494 Calories
22g Fat
67g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 2 cups
Calories 494
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 9g
Added Sugars 3g 6%
Protein 12g 24%
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Vitamin A 1361IU 27%
Vitamin C 50mg 56%
Vitamin E 5mg 31%
Folate 85mcg 21%
Vitamin K 15mcg 13%
Sodium 387mg 17%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 4mg 22%
Magnesium 120mg 29%
Potassium 726mg 15%
Zinc 3mg 27%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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