SUMMER PASTA SALAD

with herb infused sweet tea dressing

This SUMMER PASTA SALAD is loaded with fresh garden vegetables of the season and tossed in a flavorful herb infused sweet tea vinaigrette dressing. Great for potlucks, BBQs, or summer gatherings. Serve it as a side dish, or add protein for a main dish.

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overhead shot of summer pasta salad

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This post is in partnership with Milo’s Tea Company All views, opinions, and love of good high-quality tea made with natural ingredients are all my own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love.

Summer Pasta Salad 

As summer gets into full swing,  I love serving up easy recipes that can still serve my family without taking too much quality time away from enjoying each other.

This easy summer pasta salad with Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea vinaigrette is one of my favorites that gives me the opportunity to throw in all of my favorite in-season vegetables and herbs for a quick and simple recipe everyone will love.

The juicy and flavorful veggies mixed with perfectly cooked pasta noodles come together seamlessly when topped with a homemade sweet tea vinaigrette made with my family’s favorite Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea. With simple ingredients and incredible flavors, Milo’s is the ideal beverage for summer, creating shared Milo’s Moments among family.

summer pasta salad next to a jug of sweet tea

How To Make A Perfect Summer Pasta Salad

To easily make this summer pasta salad, cook pasta al dente according to package directions.  Drain the cooked pasta and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. While pasta is cooking chop veggies and make the dressing.

To make the sweet tea vinaigrette, you will combine Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth and set aside. 

Once the dressing is complete, return to the cooked pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl, add veggies, cheese, and 1/2 of the dressing. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Lastly, serve pasta salad room temperature or chilled with remaining dressing and enjoy!

sweet tea dressing photo collage

The Secret to Making an Amazing Sweet Tea Vinaigrette 

I always love making my own dressings at home so I can know exactly what’s going into them instead of buying the premade bottles full of stage ingredients I can ‘t even pronounce. 

So when I’m picking out the ingredients for my homemade dressings I want to know each ingredient is equally as wholesome and clean that won’t take away from the flavor profile. 

For this sweet tea vinaigrette, I knew Milo’s Tea would be perfect with their line of all-natural beverages that contain no preservatives or added colors, and a simple ingredient list. But best of all the tea brewed from real tea leaves gives a true iced tea flavor like no other. I love using the sweet tea that’s sweetened with pure cane sugar, but you can also find zero-calorie sweetened with sucralose or unsweet options.  

You can find Milo’s in the refrigerated juice section of your local supermarket, use their product locator to find a retailer near you. 

How Long Does Homemade Vinaigrette Last?

When stored in a properly sealed container, such as a mason jar, swing-top bottle, or airtight container this homemade sweet tea vinaigrette will last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. 

Due to the nature of this dressing, I do not suggest trying to freeze it. 

summer pasta salad photo collage

Summer Pasta Salad Serving Suggestions

The beauty of summer pasta salad recipes is that you can always modify them any way you like. There are many ways to serve up this summer party recipe to fit your preferences. 

  • Add a protein source such as chicken, grilled fish, or tofu 
  • Grill some of the vegetables, like the zucchini, broccoli, corn, asparagus, and bell peppers to add some diversity to the flavor and texture combo
  • Swap out the rotini noodles for your favorite pasta noodles 
  • Swap grape tomatoes for sun-dried tomatoes
  • Don’t like feta? Use mozzarella
  • Pasta salad gets better over time, so for the best pasta salad, all you have to do is mix and let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes (chill if not serving right away). It’s why pasta salad is even better the next day.

 

overhead shot of summer pasta salad on a spoon

How Long will Pasta Salad Last?

At room temperature: If serving as part of the food station for an event or backyard party, this summer pasta salad will keep at room temperature for about three hours. If serving outside, keep it out of direct sunlight for best results. 

In the refrigerator: If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 5 days. I love to make a batch early in the week for no-cook lunches throughout the week!

For a heartier meal, add in grilled chicken or salmon.

 

Summer pasta salad on a plate with fried chicken

Host the BBQ of the Summer with These Amazing Recipes

Grilled Chicken Caprese – Grilled chicken breasts are topped with, melted mozzarella cheese, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze! 

Favorite Broccoli Cauliflower Salad – With crunchy veggies and a creamy zippy sauce, this tasty salad stays crisp and fresh and can be made ahead of time. It pairs wonderfully with almost any dish

Pineapple Mango Salad – A tropical fruit salsa with a kick of jalapeno that will knock your socks off! This salsa recipe is the perfect addition to chicken, pork, fish, tacos or tortilla chips.

Easy Peach Cobbler – This tried-and-true Peach Cobbler recipe is easier than pie! Use fresh or frozen peaches so you can enjoy peach cobbler year-round. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream for the perfect dessert.

Raspberry Hard Iced Tea Cocktail – Mix in iced tea classics like raspberries, lemon, and mint along with a spike whiskey and you have the perfect porch sipping summer cocktail.

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summer pasta salad with sweet tea dressing

Tools Used to Make this Summer Pasta Salad

Food Processor

A food processor was one of those kitchen items I never knew I needed so much until I had one. Trust me if you don’t have one yet, get one and watch how it makes your life in the kitchen easier!

Snap n Strain Strainer 

Once I tried this strainer that clips to the side of any pot, I could never go back to the messy and inefficient regular colander again. 

Swing Top Bottles 

These swing top bottles are great for presenting any homemade dressings and oils perfectly. I love that they are so much slimmer than a large mason jar, and still seal just as well. 

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overhead shot of summer pasta salad

SUMMER PASTA SALAD

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This SUMMER PASTA SALAD is loaded with fresh garden vegetables of the season and tossed in a flavorful herb infused sweet tea vinaigrette dressing. Great for potlucks, BBQs, or summer gatherings.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce box rotini pasta
  • 3 small bell peppers, diced (I use 1 each: yellow, orange and red)
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (I like to use rainbow tomatoes)
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 ear corn on the cob, cooked* and cut off the cob
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR DRESSING:
  • 1/3 cup Milo's Famous Sweet Tea
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  2. While pasta is cooking chop veggies and make the dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients In a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl, add veggies, cheese, and 1/2 of the dressing. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
  4. Serve pasta salad room temperature or chilled with remaining dressing.

Notes

  • This pasta salad is delicious the day it's made, and even better after it sits a day or two. To make in advance, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To cook an ear of corn, you can either throw the corn on the grill, or with the husk still on microwave for 2 minutes on high, and let it rest in the microwave to 2 minutes before shucking and cutting the corn off the cob.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 338mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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overhead shot of summer pasta salad in a white bowl