Angel Hair Pasta Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

This angel hair pasta salad is light, refreshing and packed with plenty of veggies too. If you’re looking for a lightened up summer side, you’ll love this flavorful pasta salad and homemade lemon parmesan vinaigrette.

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Angel hair pasta salad in a large glass bowl garnished with fresh basil.

Why you’ll love this

Cold pasta salads are one of my favorite recipes to make year-round, but I especially love a summer pasta salad like this one!

This easy pasta salad recipe is quick, so flavorful, and great for throwing veggies into! It’s flexible too, so you can throw your favorite vegetable or pasta salad ingredient in and it will still be delish!

The best part of this angel hair pasta salad recipe is that the angel hair is so thin that it truly grabs on to every drop of vinaigrette- yum!!

It’s made with simple, nourishing ingredients and tossed in a light and refreshing homemade vinaigrette.

Whether you’re making it for a dinner sider, a party, or making it for meal prep, you can’t go wrong with this one.

You can even use a higher protein angel hair pasta to make a high protein version!

Let’s get into what you’ll need for this simple pasta dish.

Ingredients for angel hair pasta salad on a countertop with labels.

Ingredients

  1. Angel hair pasta: You can use regular angel hair pasta salad, or if you want a higher protein version you can use chickpea angel hair pasta or Barilla’s protein plus angel hair pasta. Angel hair pasta is a surprisingly delicious option for pasta salad because each delicate noodle grabs onto the dressing!
  2. Cherry tomatoes: You can use any type of tomato but I love cherry tomatoes for their flavor and sweetness! My next favorite to use are grape tomatoes.
  3. Cucumber: My favorite cucumbers to use in pasta salad are mini cucumbers or English cucumbers because you don’t need to peel them and they tend to be sweeter.
  4. Sweet onion: Sweet onion is the perfect addition to this light and refreshing dish.
  5. Sharp cheddar cheese: I love using sharp white cheddar cheese, but you could also use cubed swiss cheese, monterey jack, or even mozzarella balls.

Dressing ingredients

  1. White wine vinegar: White wine vinegar is one of my favorite pairings with lemon juice, but you can also use red wine vinegar, regular balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
  2. Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice is the perfect amount of bright citrus flavor to bring out the fresh flavors of the veggies.
  3. Olive oil: I like to use extra virgin olive oil but you can use whatever oil you typically like for salad dressings. I also like to use avocado oil!
  4. Honey: You can use honey, maple syrup or omit if you’re looking to keep things sugar-free.
  5. Fresh basil: I love using just a little bit of basil for some fresh herby flavor!
  6. Parmesan cheese: Grated parmesan cheese adds a little bit of salty cheesiness to this homemade vinaigrette.
  7. Spices: You’ll need a few simple spices like Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper.
Angel hair pasta salad in a large glass bowl.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. First, boil your angel hair pasta in a large pot of salted cold water for about 4-5 minutes or until cooked al dente (follow package directions). Drain and set aside. Note: I like to drain the pasta in the sink and then toss in cold running water, then toss with a little bit of olive oil to keep the pasta from skipping. This is an extra step, but helps!
Ingredients for angel hair pasta salad dressing in a glass bowl.
  1. In a small bowl, make the pasta salad dressing. Add white wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Whisk until fully combined.
Dressing for angel hair pasta salad in a bowl.
  1. In a large bowl add cooked angel hair pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet onion and cubed cheddar.
Ingredients for angel hair pasta salad in a bowl, not yet mixed.
  1. Pour dressing over the pasta salad ingredients and toss until combined.
Angel hair pasta salad in a large glass bowl garnished with fresh basil.

Recipe FAQ

How should I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

If you plan to make this ahead of time, I recommend doubling the dressing recipe to add prior to serving. The pasta and veggies tends to “soak up” the dressing when refrigerated and tastes better with a fresh splash of dressing.

What other pasta works for this pasta salad?

You can use any variety of pasta that you like for pasta salad if you don’t want to use angel hair pasta! My other favorites are elbow, ziti and cavatappi pasta.

How can I make this a balanced meal?

To make this a fully balanced meal, I recommend adding a protein source since the carbs, veggies and healthy fats are already covered.

Some of my favorite proteins to add:

A serving spoon picking up a scoop of angel hair pasta salad.

Variations + substitutions

  • Add more veggies like sliced red pepper and green pepper.
  • Add black olives or kalamata olives for some salty olive flavor.
  • Swap the sweet onion for sliced red onions or green onion instead.
  • Don’t have angel hair? Thin spaghetti or classic elbows or ziti pasta will work too!
  • Save time by using your favorite bottled Italian dressing.
  • Add 1-2 cloves garlic (very finely minced) to the dressing for a zesty pasta salad.

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Angel hair pasta salad in a large glass bowl garnished with fresh basil.

Angel Hair Pasta Salad

Light and refreshing angel hair pasta salad made with fresh veggies and a homemade vinaigrette.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 oz angel hair pasta
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 cup cucumber diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese cubed

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • First, boil your angel hair pasta in a large pot of salted cold water for about 4-5 minutes or until cooked al dente (follow package directions). Drain and set aside. Note: I like to drain the pasta in the sink and then toss in cold running water, then toss with a little bit of olive oil to keep the pasta from skipping. This is an extra step, but helps!
  • In a small bowl, make the pasta salad dressing. Add white wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Whisk until fully combined.
  • In a large bowl add cooked angel hair pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet onion and cubed cheddar.
  • Pour dressing over the pasta salad ingredients and toss until combined.

Notes

If you plan to make this ahead of time, I recommend doubling the dressing recipe to add prior to serving. The pasta and veggies tends to “soak up” the dressing when refrigerated and tastes better with a fresh splash of dressing.
Course: dinner, lunch, Salad, Side Dish

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 1mg

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?