Texture, flavor, creamy and make-ahead easy, Lemon-Dijon Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Salad is packed with spring veggies and is a welcomed summer and spring pasta salad at picnics, BBQs and potlucks. This recipe is a community favorite and is vegan, vegetarian and easily gluten free. [ see VIDEO on recipe card ]
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A Perfect Picnic Asparagus Pasta Salad
Y’all know what time of year it is….
…. BBQ, beach, camping, road trip and alfresco season (plus much more!!). So much to love about spring and summer, and with fresh produce making a showing at the farms and farmers markets, it’s also time for hearty Vegetarian Salads!
If you love pasta salad with asparagus, you’re going to enjoy this macaroni salad! To create a spin on a classic I include spring and early summer veggies with plenty of fresh herbs. Add sun dried tomatoes for pops of flavor and texture and an ultra creamy lemony dressing, this macaroni salad with peas and asparagus is the best I’ve made yet! If you’ve tried my Lemon Orzo Asparagus Pasta Salad you may have two favorites (wink)!
This Recipe Is:
- Easy to Make
- Tangy, with a Lemon Dijon Dressing
- Vegetarian or Vegan easily Gluten Free
- Veggie Packed
Quick Guide: How to Make Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Salad
This spring pasta salad comes together in about 30 minutes, with the pasta cooking water serving double duty to cook the asparagus and peas too! Be sure to check out the video on the recipe card to see how easy this recipe is to make. In summary, here’s how to make this easy pasta salad recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First, put the pasta on to boil. When the pasta is almost done, plunge the asparagus in with the pasta, then the peas so they can gently blanch. Drain and rinse under cool running water. Toss into a large mixing bowl and chill.
- Next, in a small bowl whisk the mayo, lemon, dijon mustard, garlic salt and pepper.
- Last, to the large mixing bowl, add the sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and pour on the dressing. Mix and chill until ready to enjoy!
This peas and asparagus pasta salad is a lip smackin’, texture rich and creamy macaroni salad that’s fabulous for sharing. It’s easy (something I rarely say when it comes to cooking) to pull together too, requiring only one pot to cook the pasta, asparagus and peas. Whip the dressing up while the pasta chills in the fridge and it’s ready.
What to Serve with this Spring Pasta Salad
Peas and asparagus pasta salad can be shared along side just about any recipe you’d grill or share with BBQ sauce. Also, it makes a delicious pairing with sandwiches and lettuce wraps. Here are some recipes I love to share this easy pasta salad with:
Related: Do you love Meal Prep Ready Salads? Find more like this salad on my 10 Salad Recipes to Try This Summer round up!
- Make it Gluten Free or Gluten Full: Use your favorite pasta in this creamy macaroni salad recipe, gluten free or not. My favorite gluten free pasta is Jovial brand. My favorite gluten full elbows is Field Day.
- Make it Vegan or Vegetarian: To keep this pasta salad with peas egg free, I like Vegenaise brand mayonnaise. However, feel free to use your favorite mayo!
- When cooking pasta, I find I almost always cook pasta longer than package directions indicate. See recipe notes about cooking the pasta in this recipe.
- Make ahead: this creamy macaroni and pea salad looks best on the day it’s made. Make it a day ahead if desired, however, it still tastes great. I find the vibrant green colors diminish on day two.
- Lemon: I absolutely love the vibrant lip-pucker taste of lemon and this recipe reflects that. If concerned about too much lemon, back off a bit in the dressing by omitting the zest and perhaps the additional 1/2 lemon juiced. It can be adjusted to taste after the dressing is mixed in with the salad.
More Salad Recipes to Love
- Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta
- Broccoli Slaw with Golden Raisins and Walnuts
- Summer Pesto Tortellini Salad
- Shaved Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dijon Poppyseed Dressing
- Texas Potato Salad
Lemon-Dijon Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Salad Recipe
- 2 C (9.5oz / 265g) Elbow Macaroni Pasta* gluten free if needed (see note)
- 1 lb (480g) Fresh Asparagus , tough ends removed and sliced on the bias into bite size pieces
- 1 1/2 C (200g) Frozen Peas
- 2/3 C (120g) Sun-dried Tomatoes marinated, drained and chopped
- 1/3 C (15g) Curly Parsley finely chopped
- 1/3 C (10g) Chives finely chopped, add chive flowers too for garnish if available.
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 C + 1 Tbs (100g) Mayo I like Vegenase
- 1 1/2 Lemons – juiced + zest from one** (see note)
- 2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Garlic minced or grated, about 2 large cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- Plenty of Fresh Ground Pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions (see note)*. During the last four minutes of cooking, drop the asparagus in with the pasta. During the last minute of cooking, add the peas.
- Carefully drain and rinse the pasta and veggies in a colander under cool running water, tossing as needed to completely cool.
- Transfer to pasta and veggies to a large mixing bowl, stir in the sun dried tomatoes and place in the refrigerator while mixing the dressing (see below).
- Once chilled, sprinkle with parsley, and chives then pour the dressing over the pasta salad, gently toss. Adjust lemon, salt and ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chive flowers if using and serve right away or store in a lidded container for up to four days. The vibrant green color of the veggies is best on the day the salad is made.
For the Dressing:
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon zest (if using) and juice** (see notes), mustard, garlic, salt and fresh ground pepper.