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 to picnics, BBQs and potlucks. This recipe is vegan, vegetarian and easily gluten free.
A Perfect Picnic Macaroni Salad
Y’all know what time of year it is….
…. BBQ, beach, camping, road trip and alfresco season (plus so much more!!). So much to love about spring and summer, and with fresh produce making a showing at the farms and farmers markets, inspiration is endless!
Macaroni salad with peas is always a favorite. But to create a spin on the classic I also include spring and early summer veggies with plenty of fresh herbs from my tiny herb plot. Macaroni pasta pairs perfectly with peas and asparagus. Add sun dried tomatoes for pops of flavor and texture and a ultra creamy lemony dressing, this macaroni salad with peas and asparagus is the best I’ve made yet!
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! 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 pasta salad with peas and asparagus 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 this Pasta Salad Recipe With
Macaroni salad with peas and asparagus 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:
- BBQ Tofu Veggie Kebabs
- Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwiches
- Vegetarian BBQ Baked Beans
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
- Black Bean Walnut Burgers
- Italian Pressed Sandwich
RELATED: Do you Love Meal Prep Ready Salads? Find more like this salad on my 10 Salad Recipes to Try this Summer roundup!
A Few Recipe Notes
- 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 Salads to Love
- Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta
- Broccoli Slaw with Golden Raisins and Walnuts
- Mango Quinoa Salad with Black Beans
- Shaved Asparagus Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dijon Poppyseed Dressing
- Texas Potato Salad
Lemon-Dijon Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Salad
- 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 a large mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator while mixing the dressing (see below).
- Once chilled, pour the dressing over the pasta salad, 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.