Lemon and Parmesan cheese are one of my favorite flavor combinations. A healthy dose of both makes this pasta salad a total crowd pleaser.
I am getting good at cooking for a crowd. Since my kids have started playing sports, we have done more all day tournaments with more food tables than I can count!
That’s how I know this Lemony Pasta Salad for a crowd is a hit with kids and parents alike.
I think one of the reasons this salad is so popular is the dressing is made with half mayo and half olive oil. It’s a dressing that pleases both types of pasta salad lovers – those that go for the creaminess or mayo and those that prefer the non-creaminess of an oil based dressing.
Using whole wheat pasta will up the nutritional value of this recipe. You may need to order it since farfelle in whole wheat is hard to find at your local grocers.
When making this recipe up several hours in advance, I’d recommend throwing the basil in at the last minute. That way it won’t turn brown before you get a chance to serve it.
If you are looking for a recipe to bring to your next potluck, picnic or team table, I hope you’ll give this one a go.
Lemony Pasta Salad Recipe For a Crowd
- 1 and 1/2 boxes farfalle pasta whole wheat if you can find it!
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 package frozen green peas
- 2 zucchini shredded
- 2 carrots shredded
- 2 cups grated Parmesan
- 2 pints grape tomatoes halved (I like one red and one yellow)
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
Cook farfalle in a large pot until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, stir together the lemon juice, lemon zest, mayonnaise, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
Add frozen peas, shredded carrot and shredded zucchini to a colander. Pour the cooking water with the farfalle over the vegetables to drain. Pouring the cooking water over the vegetables will quickly defrost the peas and will just blanch the carrots and zucchini.
Immediately add the pasta and vegetables to the serving bowl and stir well to evenly distribute the dressing. Stir in the grated Parmesan, tomato halves and basil.
Chill for 4 hours or up to 8 hours before serving.
One last note! The quantities of veggies are just a suggestion. I’ve been known to throw in more, much more. It’s a great way to make sure everyone is getting a healthy dose of their daily veggies!