This is my Lemon Pepper California-inspired Pasta Salad Recipe. It’s light and zesty and infused with lemon pepper flavor. Plenty of veggies. Delicious warm or chilled. Make a lot and store it in the fridge for grab-n-go eating. Perfect side dish for your Memorial Day BBQ!..
You can get creative with this recipe by changing up the pasta variety or the veggies. So many options for summer! Fresh corn, grilled artichokes, diced zucchini, sweet tomatoes and more.
California Salad. My mom used to make this for me back when I was just a kid in Cali. She’d make it in large batches, use lemons from our backyard tree and store the pasta into small containers in the fridge for easy grab and go lunches, after-school snacking and even an easy dinner.
Lemon Peppered California Pasta Salad
vegan, serves 4-5 with plenty of leftovers
1 bag whole wheat penne pasta
2 lemons, organic – 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced (a pinch of lemon zest too)
1 large orange, any variety – 1 half diced the other juiced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh black pepper
salt to taste – add vegan cheese optional
optional: fresh herbs like basil or parsley chopped and tossed in
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced (or sub scallions)
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Boil the pasta and drain. Toss with a tsp. of oil and pinch of salt. – set aside. Prep the veggies and other ingredients.
2. In a large mixing bowl add oil, lemon juice, vinegar, chopped fruit and veggies. Mix well.
3. In a sauce pan on stove heat 1-3 Tbsp of olive oil. Add 1 bay leaf, and 1 cup of the chopped fresh ingredients from mixing bowl. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add sauteed ingredients back to large mixing bowl. Remove bay leaf. Add pasta, “cheese” strips, salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss very well, until all ingredients are equally distributed.
5. Store pasta in fridge until ready to serve. Can be served cold or warm. Top pasta with fresh pepper and a drizzle of olive oil upon serving.
For even more lemony goodness check out the “Top 30 Lemon Recipes for Summer!”