Easy Pasta Salad – Super healthy kids

This simple pasta Packed with fresh flavors, the salad is tossed in a simple basil-citrus dressing. It’s the kind of salad that keeps you coming back for another bite. So light and delicious it’s one of our favorite weeknight meals in the warmer months and always a hit with potlucks!

simple pasta salad with tomatoes and peppers in a wooden bowl

Why we love this easy pasta salad

This pasta salad is one of my family’s favorites because it tastes delicious, is a great way to use up ripe tomatoes, and makes an ideal family dinner. Plus, one batch feeds a crowd, so it’s a great dish to share with friends.

The dressing is so light and refreshing and goes absolutely perfectly with fresh summer produce. This salad is also super adaptable. Use whatever veggies you have on hand or throw in some grilled chicken. However, I highly recommend leaving those tomatoes in. They go perfectly with fresh basil and mozzarella. I used grape tomatoes here because that’s what we prefer, but feel free to use any you like or have on hand – roma, heirloom, or other cherry tomatoes of any color.

Pasta salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil

Ingredients for Simple Pasta Salad:

  • pasta– I used farfalle (bow tie) pasta, but you can really use any pasta you have on hand.
  • Mozzarella– I love using fresh mozzarella in this salad. If you can find them, the mozzarella pearls work great.
  • feta cheese– The feta gives the salad a nice salty bite.
  • tomatoes– I like to use cherry tomatoes here, but roma, heirloom or grape tomatoes all work well.
  • paprika– I used an orange for extra color, but any color will do!
  • cucumbers– I like to use thin-skinned English cucumbers. If using a regular cucumber, peel and remove the seeds before chopping and adding to the salad.
  • basil– This salad calls for fresh and dried basil.
  • lemon– Go for fresh! Use the juice and zest for the dressing. Bottled lemon juice works in a pinch, but you’ll get a much lighter flavor with a fresh lemon.
  • olive oil– Olive oil is great, but I often use avocado oil instead.
  • Honey– Honey adds just a hint of sweetness to the dressing.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar– I’ve only made this with apple cider vinegar, but I suspect red or white wine vinegar would work well too.
  • salt pepper– For seasoning.
Ingredients for easy pasta salad

How to make easy pasta salad

  1. cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water, then place in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing Ingredients in a small bowl or shaker bottle.
  3. Chop the veggies Cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with the noodles. Add the cheese.
  4. Drizzle over the dressing Pour over the salad and toss.
Process shots for preparing a simple pasta salad

Tips & Suggestions


This pasta salad is really delicious in the basic version shown here, but here are a few variations you could do to customize it for your family:

  • Make it dairy-free by substituting white beans or chickpeas for the cheese.
  • Add shredded chicken or chunks of tuna to boost the protein content.
  • Change the vegetables! Try zucchini, fresh peas, asparagus, sliced ​​carrots or baby spinach.
  • Swap the pasta for spinach or romaine with a delicious green salad.

We love it in almost every way, so experiment and see what your family likes!


You can store this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If it gets a little dry, just toss it with some extra dressing before serving.

serving suggestions

This salad makes an easy and delicious dinner, but we also love serving it up with this Lemon Grilled Chicken, light artisanal bread, sweet spinach muffins, or a fresh smoothie.

simple pasta salad in a large wooden serving bowl with fresh cherry tomatoes

More delicious salads to try:

simple noodle salad

This simple pasta Packed with fresh flavors, the salad is tossed in a simple basil-citrus dressing. It’s the kind of salad that keeps you coming back for another bite. So light and delicious it’s one of our favorite weeknight meals in the warmer months and always a hit with potlucks!

preparation time15 minutes

cooking time10 minutes

total time25 minutes

Course: Lunch

Kitchen: American

Servings: 8th

Calories: 282kcal

  • 12 ounces Bowtie (farfalle) pasta, dry
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Middle lemon juiced and seasoned
  • 2 teaspoon Honey
  • 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Middle Cucumber
  • 1 Middle orange peppers
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup fresh basil cut thin
  • 8th ounces mozzarella balls cut in half
  • 1/3 Cup feta cheese crumbles
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water until completely cool.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper.

  • Chop the cucumbers and peppers, halve the tomatoes and thinly slice the basil.

  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, vegetables, fresh basil, mozzarella balls, and feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix.

  • Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge until ready to eat. Pasta salad tastes best after allowing the flavors to marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 38G | Protein: 13G | Fat: 9G | Saturated Fatty Acids: 4G | Polyunsaturated fat: 1G | Monounsaturated fatty acids: 3G | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 3G | Sugar: 5G | Vitamin A: 940ie | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg

keyword : simple noodle salad


Natalie Monson

I am a Registered Nutritionist, mother of 4, an avid food lover and a strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you’ll find lots of delicious fruit and veg-packed recipes, tips on how to get your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters, and plenty of resources to feed your family.

Learn more about Natalie

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