A bowl with pasta salad. Two serving bowls in foreground

Summer Pasta Salad

  • Author: Ana Frias
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American


A super delicious Summer Pasta Salad with zucchini, basil, grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella mixed with a homemade tomato vinaigrette.



For the dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad

  • 4 oz cellentani, campanelle or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 small zucchini
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella pearls
  • 1/4 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper according to taste. 


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.  
  2. While the pasta cook, make the dressing: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. 
  3. Remove the garlic and place in a small food processor or small blender like a bullet.  Add the cherry tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil and basil; puree until smooth. 
  4. Season with salt & pepper according to taste.
  5. Make the salad: When the pasta is ready, drain it and rinse under cold water; shake off the excess.
  6. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and toss with the dressing.
  7. Shave the zucchini into strips with a vegetable peeler or mandoline; halve the strips crosswise and add to the pasta.
  8. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, almonds and basil. Toss and mix well. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  9. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring to room temperature before serving.


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 431
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 27 g

Keywords: side dish, cooking for two, lunch, summer parties, tomato vinaigrette, garden salad