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“The Summer Pasta Salad” with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Lemon Shallot Dressing

When it comes to BBQs, those center-of-plate proteins—burgers, chicken, and hot dogs—generally get all the attention. But we’re all about the veg-forward side dishes that make cookouts great. And we aren’t talking your average coleslaw, either.

We’ve deemed this refreshing pasta salad the ultimate summer pasta salad. It’s chock-full of summery produce like squash and cherry tomatoes and topped with a lemon shallot dressing that might make its way onto your menu year-round.

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“The Summer Pasta Salad” with Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Lemon Shallot Dressing

  • Author: Misfits Market



For the dressing:

  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the pasta salad:

  • 2 summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash), cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, roughly torn
  • Kosher salt 


  1. In a small bowl, combine shallots, capers, zest and juice of 1 whole lemon, and olive oil. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss summer squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread squash out in a single layer onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until squash is tender and slightly golden.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the package instructions or until al dente. Strain pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. While pasta is still hot, pour dressing over pasta and mix to coat, allowing the shallots to wilt slightly. Let completely cool, tossing occasionally. 
  5. Add the cooked squash and tomatoes to the pasta and mix to combine. Top with crumbled feta cheese and torn mint leaves. Serve immediately, or pasta salad can be made 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated without the feta cheese and mint leaves.