This 30-minute recipe for Spring vegetable pasta salad is so easy to make and perfect for picnics! Use veggies like asparagus & peas, make this vegan or add bacon. I make this recipe with homemade chicken stock. Serve hot or cold!
I love this time of year – the weather’s warming up and summer is just around the corner! And since I know that we’ll be retreating to the A/C as soon as July hits here in Georgia, I try to take advantage of our beautiful May and June weather for picnics!
Just like our simple camping menu, our family picnics are usually pretty basic – I toss some sliced cheese, crackers, raw veggies, fruit, and nuts into my basket and we head to the park. But, more often than not, this means requests for more food the minute we get home.
I’ve learned it helps to whip up a simple, yet satisfying dish to help everyone feel like they’ve had enough to eat, and keep me from having to make another meal once we’re back at the house! Make-ahead recipes are my go-to, and now I can add this frugal Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad to the list!
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
I love making this Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad for parties, a simple family picnic, or an easy weeknight dinner. Here’s why:
- It comes together in about 30 minutes.
- You only need one pan!
- It’s perfect for make-ahead. It can be refrigerated, then served cold or reheated and served warm!
- Real food, healthy ingredients!
- It is versatile. You can substitute ingredients like cheese or veggies.
- It’s inexpensive.
Affordable, easy, and delicious – a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
Ingredients for the Best Spring Pasta Salad
This vegetable pasta salad comes together with a few simple ingredients:
- Chicken stock/broth (here’s how to make homemade stock)
- Pasta. I like to use penne pasta but any small pasta would work.
- English peas
- Sour cream or creme fraiche
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Grated Parmesan
As mentioned before, this recipe is versatile to fit your family’s preferences or based on what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:
- Add or sub in any quick-cooking vegetable, like spinach or roasted red peppers.
- Add in fresh herbs for extra flavor.
- Swap the Parmesan for cheddar or another favorite cheese.
- Use shell, spiral, or orzo pasta in place of the penne pasta.
How to make Spring vegetable pasta salad
Making this pasta salad is simple!
- Cook the bacon, transfer to a plate, and cook garlic in the bacon grease for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- Add the frozen peas and asparagus tips. Cook until both are bright green and al dente, then season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Stir in sour cream and cooked bacon. Season with additional sea salt and pepper if needed, and top with grated Parmesan just before serving.
Can this Springtime pasta salad be vegetarian?
Yes! My version includes bacon, but you can simply omit the bacon and use oil, like olive oil, to cook the garlic. You can also add more veggies!
Is this Spring vegetable pasta salad recipe good as a make-ahead meal?
Yes! And it can be served cold or heated up and served warm. This makes it perfect for taking to picnics, potlucks, or simply making in advance for dinner if you have a busy day ahead.
Can you freeze Pasta salad with spring vegetables?
I don’t recommend freezing this salad once it’s prepared, but you can freeze the pasta ahead of time and thaw it when you’re ready to make this salad. Here’s my tutorial for how to freeze cooked pasta.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
This 30-minute recipe for Spring vegetable pasta salad is easy to make! Use veggies like asparagus & peas, make this vegan, or add bacon. Serve hot or cold!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Soup & Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 8 oz bacon, cut into 1/2–1” strips
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 3 cups chicken stock/broth (homemade if you can)
- 8 oz dry penne or other small pasta
- 1 1/2 cup frozen English peas
- Tips from 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan to serve
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to a plate, leaving drippings in the pan.
- Add the pressed garlic to the pan hot bacon drippings and cook, stirring often, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the dry pasta. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover skillet, and cook until al dente (8-10 min).
- Add the frozen peas and asparagus tips. Cook for a few minutes until both are bright green and al dente.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Gently stir in sour cream and cooked bacon. Season with additional sea salt and pepper if needed.
- Top with grated Parmesan just before serving.
This make ahead pasta salad can be served hot or cold and serves 4 as a light main dish, or 8 as a side dish.
Recipe adapted from Taste and Tell