This Lemon Asparagus Bowtie Pasta Salad is delicious and refreshing, packed with fresh asparagus, sweet peas, crispy bacon and parmesan in a light lemon dressing.
In these strange times, I find myself dreaming about all things summer. Hopefully by the time summer arrives things will be back to normal and we will be going to BBQs, having pool parties and celebrating being back in public! But for now I’ll just be here eating this Lemon Asparagus Bowtie Pasta Salad 🙂
This easy recipe combines bowtie pasta with asparagus and peas, marinated in a light lemon oregano dressing and finished off with bacon and parmesan cheese. It makes a great spring or summer side dish!
How to make Lemon Asparagus Bowtie Pasta Salad
The great thing about this recipe is that, other than boiling water for pasta, there is no real cooking involved (except making the bacon if you are including it)! The asparagus is “cooked” in the hot pasta water after the pasta is done and you mix the frozen peas into the hot pasta to defrost.
The dressing is so simple – olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and oregano. The pasta salad “marinates” in the dressing for at least 2 hours, so you do have to plan a little bit. But if you are prepping this pasta salad for a party, you can easily make it a day in advance!
The last step is to add the crispy bacon and parmesan cheese right before serving. The salad is best served chilled or at room temperature.
Can I substitute…
YES! This recipe is very simple and forgiving you can substitute pretty much any of the ingredients and still end up with a delicious pasta salad.
Bowtie Pasta – I love bowties for pasta salad because they are fun and easy to eat with a fork! But you can use any type of short cut pasta. Penne, rigatoni, rotini (to name a few) would all work great!
Peas – I love how peas hold up in pasta salad, they don’t get mushy and they add a pop of sweetness to every bite. An easy substitute for peas is corn!
Asparagus – To me, asparagus screams summertime, I encourage you to include it in this pasta salad because it is just so delicious. But if you don’t like it or can’t get it, you can easily substitute broccoli.
Bacon – If you want to make it vegetarian leave the bacon out entirely.
Parmesan Cheese – Can be excluded, or substitute feta, goat or fresh mozzarella cheese if you are a little more adventurous!
1 pound bowtie pasta
8–10 stalks asparagus
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
4–5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled*
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package instructions
While pasta is cooking, slice off the bottom inch of the asparagus stalks and discard
Chop the rest of the asparagus into 1 inch pieces
Place the asparagus in a heat safe bowl
When pasta is cooked, pour the boiling pasta water through a colander to catch the pasta into the bowl with the asparagus
Let the asparagus sit in the hot pasta water for 4-5 minutes, this will soften it enough for the pasta salad
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl
Add the frozen peas to the hot pasta, mix
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, salt and pepper
Pour the lemon dressing over the pasta
Drain the asparagus and add it to the pasta, toss
Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day
Just before serving, mix in the bacon and parmesan cheese
*You can pan fry, bake or air fry the bacon, just make sure it is crispy
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: pasta salad
Keywords: #pastasalad #bowtiepasta #summerpastasalad
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If you make this Lemon Asparagus Bowtie Pasta Salad let me know how you like it! Leave a star rating and comment here! If you snap a photo, I’d love to see it – share it over on Instagram and tag me @sprinklesandseasalt!