This delicious Lemon Artichoke Pasta Salad is so fresh and delicious, super easy to make ahead of time, and tossed with a yummy lemon-basil vinaigrette. Perfect for spring!
Best group text to start a weekday morning: “Grill out tonight?”
Within minutes, most all of our Wednesday-night-hangout friends were on it. “?” said Beth. “Peter and I can bring some veggies for grilling!” said Cass. “I’ve got chicken breasts and veggie burgers!” said Rachel. “I’ve got tilapia and wine!” said Sarah. “Do we need more chicken? I have some I can bring!” said Michelle. “We’ll bring chips or something!” said Danielle. “I’ll bring an artichoke pasta salad” said Yours Truly.
And just like that, a delicious plan for the evening was hatched that I looked forward to all day long. Sure enough, it did not disappoint. By the time everyone rolled in after work, the weather was gloriously warm and sunny and un-mosquito-y. The kiddos instantly took to the grassy lawn, where they ran around and played for hours. The smell of the grill was intoxicating and made all of our food taste downright magical, especially after a long winter of food cooked inside. And best of all, we all just hung out together on the back deck for hours and hours, catching up on life together and chatting about everything under the sun until late past our bedtimes. Loved every minute of it.
Oh, and I also have to say — the night started on the most adorable note too. When I first walked in the door to Rachel’s house, her sweet little 4-year-old daughter looked up from her toys and exclaimed, “Ali! YOU get to marry BARCLAY!” I laughed and said, “Yes, yes I do! Really soon!” And she broke out into the sweetest smile, and with a twinkler in her eye, leaned in closer and said, “Are you just so excited?”
Heart = melted.
Yep. Sweet little kiddos who ask the best questions. Sunny spring nights firing back up the grill. Easy times with friends who know one another so well. An impromptu pasta salad that had everyone asking for the recipe. So simple. And so good.
Wednesday night for the win!
How To Make A Lemony Artichoke Salad | 1-Minute Video
This easy Lemony Artichoke Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make ahead, tossed with a zippy lemon basil vinaigrette, and SO delicious!
Pasta Salad Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked pasta (I used gemelli)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, chopped into bite-sized pieces (tough ends discarded)
4 cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 (14 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2/3 cup coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
Make the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, seal, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds or until emulsified.
Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until al dente. Transfer the pasta to a strainer, then rinse and drain it thoroughly with cold water until chilled.
Sauté the asparagus and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Combine. In a large mixing bowl (or you can reuse the stockpot), combine the chilled pasta, vinaigrette, asparagus mixture, artichoke hearts, Parmesan and pine nuts. Toss until evenly combined.
Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Yumm, anything with lemon instantly ups a dish!
First of all, don’t kids ask the best questions? They are so sincere – I think all of us could learn from them!
Anyway, I wish I had the opportunity for last-minute get togethers like yours, it sounds like so much fun! I’m sure that must’ve been quite memorable night.
As for this salad, YUMM! Asparagus, pasta and allllll the yummy Spring ingredients… Count me in ;)
Tanks, Vivian, we hope you enjoy this! :)
This is so pretty and colorful! I love gemelli pasta, too =)
Thanks, Sara, we hope you enjoy!
Good spring idea, it’s time to switch to greens
I don’t think I have ever used toasted pine nuts. Can you buy them already toasted, or do you have to toast them yourself? Can’t wait to try this recipe!!
Ah, good question! I toast them myself, either in a skillet on the stove, or in a toaster oven. :) Hope you enjoy the recipe!
Just love your salad recipes, and this one appears to be yet another winner! Thank you.
Thank you, Nancy, we hope you can give this one a try sometime soon!
Yum! Pasta is always a great go-to comfort food and these flavors sound so good!
Thanks, Tori, we hope you can give it a try!
Sounds like a super tasty combination – which seems a bit lighter than other traditional pasta dishes. Probably nice for spring :)
Thanks, Maja, we hope you enjoy!
Wow that looks amazing and seems easy to make as well! I will just substitute for vegan cheese but otherwise great recipe <3
Awesome, we hope you enjoy it, Kay!
So much springy love going on here! Jarred artichokes are actually my newfound obsession, and basil vinaigrette seems like the perfect pairing! Also, gemelli is one of coolest pasta shapes and I’m surprised it’s not more common…
Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome, Margaret, we hope you can make it soon!
pasta and artichoke. I think this combination speaks to my heart <3
Thank you, we hope you can give this one a try sometime soon!
wow! this was such a good recipe – I was a little nervous to make it because it isn’t a flavor profile I typically make/love but it was so delicious!
We’re so glad to hear that, Amy — thanks for giving it a try!
Hi Ali! This pasta salad sounds AMAZING and so perfect for BBQ season! But, it is near impossible to find asparagus where I’m currently living (hello from the Middle East!) – what else would work instead in this salad?
Thanks, Arden, we hope you enjoy! Instead of asparagus, we’d recommend green beans if you can find those? If not, maybe squash?
Made it yesterday–fantastic! Love your salad recipes.
We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nancy, thanks for sharing!
Are the artichokes just canned or marinated? Thank you.
Yes, that’s fine, we’d recommend marinated! We hope you enjoy!
Made this for Mother’s Day, and we all LOVED it! My husband had 3 helpings and he kept saying how good it was. Next time I think I’ll add in some fresh lemon zest too! Great recipe ?
Yay, so glad that you all enjoyed it! :)
Is it meant to be a warm salad or could it be cold?
We love this best at room temp, but you could certainly have it warm or cold (totally up to you)! :)
This pasta salad looks and sounds so delicious! I love those little pasta curls, and anything with toasted pine nuts. I also wish I had a standing Wednesday night get-together like this – what a brilliant idea. :) It’s so easy to let weeks go by without seeing good friends, but this is a great example of how it doesn’t require tons of effort to make a great casual meet-up.
Thanks, Monica — we hope you enjoy it! :)
If I make this the night before I plan to serve, should I wait to toss in the dressing?
You’re welcome to go ahead and toss this one with a dressing beforehand. It should hold up well! :)
Made this tonight. Used pistachios because I don’t like pine nuts, left out basil because didn’t have any and it was excellent!
We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Judy, and we bet it was awesome with the pistachios! :)
Sounds delicious. Plan on making it next w/e. My only question is how many people does this serve?
Thanks, Nancy! The serving size is listed above the recipe title in the recipe box, and it’s 8-10. Enjoy!
I made this last night and it was soooo good. Thank you! Didn’t change anything!
We’re so glad to hear that, Liz — thanks for giving it a try! :)
First time I have been moved to post a comment but had to show my appreciation for this SO TASTY recipe! I added a few mushroom when sautéing the asparagus and then stir fried a chicken breast in the same pan after removing vegs and garlic. I could not stop ‘tasting’ this when it was all put together!! Delicious! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing with us, Pat — we’re so happy you loved this! :D
I can’t wait to try this. It sounds amazing. Can you tell me exactly how and for how long you cook the pine nuts. Thank you so for this recipe.
Thanks, Peggy, we hope you enjoy it! We just lightly dry-toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat (watch them carefully as they can burn really quickly)!
Made it twice! Love it! Very refreshing.
We’re so happy you enjoyed it, Tina!
Hi! Looks delicious. Was just wondering what I could use instead of pine nuts-or any nuts for that matter as I am highly allergic! Thanks :)
Thanks, Aubrie, we hope you enjoy! And you could just leave the pine nuts out.
Is this served hot or cold?
I usually serve it chilled, but hot works too! :)
Amazing!!! I ran out of olive oil and only used 1/8 cup and it was plenty. I also didn’t have asparagus, but used cherry tomatoes sauteed in coconut oil, garlic and s&p. Even my kids liked it! Will definitely be making this again! <3
Whole family really enjoyed salad! I made it early and we ate it at the pool for dinner. Delicious! Thanks for a summer keeper. I was surprised how “basily” it tasted with only the three tablespoons. Sometimes my plants aren’t big enough to give me a cup or two needed for pesto.
If I make this dish ahead of time and refrigerate it do I add the dressing ahead or when I bring it to room temp?
You’re welcome to add the dressing ahead of time with this recipe. It should hold up well! :)
Are you using jarred marinated artichoke hearts?
This was delicious. Thank you for sharing!
Very good. Made this for a last minute get together.
Would be better if the pasta was whole wheat!
I made this today! I added zucchini and omitted the pine nuts because I forgot to buy them! It’s very lemony :) perfect for summer! Thanks for the recipe!
My husband loved this pasta dish. This was a pretty easy recipe to follow. I added sautéed chicken breast but other then that followed the recipe as written.
I don’t usually like pasta salads; the dressings are either too creamy or too tangy. This salad and dressing is perfect. The dressing is light but not top heavy on the lemon. I served the cheese on the side because my daughter is vegan and we all loved it. This is a repeat recipe for sure!
Correction: freshly GRATED Parmesan, not freshly CRATED.
Just wanted to make sure.. do you use marinated artichokes or the regular canned kind? Thanks, can’t wait to try!
Delicious pasta salad. I have now made this three times and love it so much. My guests love this as well. I didnt have pine nuts and used slivered almonds the last time and it was delicious. thank you for this recipe.
I too am wondering what kind of artichoke hearts to use…. marinated or in brine?
I could not find gemelli, so I used ziti. Don’t know if my pasta choice was the problem, but 16oz was too much. I had to make more dressing. The salad was too, dry the pasta had totally absorbed it. The flavors were very good, and I will make this again.
This is one of my favorite salads! I have made it several times. Yum!
Used braised young fennel instead of asparagus, and substituted freshly chopped and toasted almonds and pistachios for the pine nuts. Delish!
Hi, I’m bringing this to a pot-luck tomorrow. If I make it ahead, do I put the dressing on and let it sit in the refrigerator?
This is the first recipe I’ve made from your blog, and it came out great exactly as written. It will be even better to make again in the spring, when I can get fresher asparagus than I could in January. Thanks for the great recipe.
Pleasantly surprised by how good this was! Very light and fresh. We used chickpea pasta and it turned out beautifully.
This recipe is SO GOOD!!! I made it with chickpea pasta and it was divine!
So fantastic, and I added rotisserie chicken. This has quickly become a favorite for our family!