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Green Goddess Pasta Salad

Making up this green goddess pasta salad is an herbaceous homemade green goddess dressing, fresh Spring vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes, and of course, pasta! It’s simple to prepare, takes just 20-minutes, and is gluten-free and vegetarian adaptable.

Top down close up shot of green goddess pasta salad.

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What’s to love about this recipe?

  • It’s packed full of fresh vegetables and herbs! April marks the beginning of asparagus is in season making it the perfect addition to this green pasta salad. And although it’s accessible year-round, broccoli season comes to an end at the beginning of May so it’s another great addition. Additionally, the dressing contains several fresh herbs.
  • It’s simple! While it does require a little bit of knife work to prepare the veggies and herbs this Spring pasta salad takes just 20-minutes to prepare and is very simple to throw together.
  • It’s both vegetarian and gluten-free adaptable! With the omittance of the Parmesan cheese, this dish is vegetarian-friendly. And for gluten-free, all you have to do is use gluten-free pasta.
Top down shot of spring salad in a bowl with a spoon.

What is green goddess dressing?

Believed to have originated in San Fransisco, California in the 1920’s this popular salad dressing is typically made up of mayonnaise, sour cream, a variety of fresh herbs, anchovy, black pepper, and lemon juice.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions

Ingredients for green pasta (see recipe card).
  • Mayonnaise and sour cream: In combination, these two ingredients make up the base of the green goddess dressing.
  • Fresh parsley: One of the key ingredients in the dressing.
  • Chives: Another key ingredient in the dressing, chives add an oniony note.
  • Fresh tarragon: Be forewarned Tarragon tastes similar to licorice. Its flavor profile is closely related to anise and fennel. Personally, I’m not very fond of licorice but since tarragon is traditionally an ingredient in green goddess dressing I did want to include it. That being said, I did keep it to a minimum – in fact, it’s nearly undetectable. If you are averse to licorice or just don’t feel like messing with it, then skip it!
  • Lemon juice: To brighten and freshen the dressing. Fresh or bottled will work.
  • Garlic: Because every dish needs some garlic!
  • Salt: To salt the pasta water and the blanching liquid.
  • Black pepper: If you have it, I highly recommend freshly ground black pepper – it’s just so much more flavorful!
  • Pasta: While you are free to use whichever variety of pasta you choose, when it comes to pasta salad some types are better than others. Ideal options include farfalle, fusilli, rotini, orecchiette, macaroni, and penne. Although this probably goes without saying, if it is your desire for this dish to be gluten-free make sure you opt for gluten-free pasta.
  • Broccoli florets
  • Asparagus: It will need to be trimmed then cut into pieces about one inch long.
  • Artichoke hearts: For this recipe, the non-marinated variety is preferable.
  • Green olives: Make sure they are pitted and not stuffed.
  • Parmesan cheese: Believe it or not, parmesan cheese is not actually vegetarian so make sure you skip it if you wish for this salad to remain vegetarian.
  • Capers: These small green flower buds come pickled, adding a nice little pop of salt and acid to the dish. If you’re not a big fan of capers or don’t have any feel free to leave them out.

How do you make green goddess pasta salad? ( + tips)

  1. Use a food processor or immersion blender to process the ingredients for the green goddess dressing until smooth. Set aside.
Green goddess dressing in a jar.

2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and don’t forget to add some salt to the pasta water so your pasta is nice and flavorful- two to three tablespoons is ideal. I recommended cooking the pasta al dente but if you prefer your pasta on the softer side feel free to cook it a little longer. Be careful not to overcook it, however, as nobody likes mushy pasta. Once the pasta is done, immediately transfer it to a strainer and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Cooked farfalle noodles.

3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.

4. Once boiling, add the salt. Once dissolved, it’s time to blanch the veggies. Add the asparagus and cook for two minutes then add the broccoli and cook for another two minutes.

5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus and broccoli to a bowl of ice-cold water. Let sit for five minutes then drain the water. Doing so stops the cooking process locking in the slightly crunchy texture as well as the bright color of the vegetables.

Broccoli and asparagus in a bowl of ice water.

6. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, green olives, Parmesan cheese, capers, and green goddess dressing. Serve immediately or for best results refrigerate for at least 30-minutes prior to serving to allow time for the flavors to meld.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Freezing not recommended.

Large bowl of pasta salad with spoon and towel.
Close up of pasta salad in a bowl with a spoon.

More pasta salad recipes you may like:

  • Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad w/ Asparagus, Arugula, & Feta: This herbaceous lemon orzo salad is a wonderful Spring side dish incorporating fresh seasonal produce like asparagus and arugula, garlic, and feta. Naturally vegetarian.
  • Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad: This crowd-pleasing creamy pesto pasta salad with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, and red onion is super easy and can be thrown together in just 20 minutes. Naturally vegetarian.

If you make this green goddess pasta salad I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Top down close up shot of green goddess pasta salad.

Green Goddess Pasta Salad

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Making up this green goddess pasta salad is an herbaceous homemade green goddess dressing, fresh Spring vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes, and of course, pasta! It's simple to prepare, takes just 20-minutes, and is gluten-free and vegetarian adaptable.

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 16 ounces pasta like farfalle, orecchiette, or fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 cups broccoli florets 
  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces 
  • 1 14 oz can artichoke heart, drained and roughly chopped 
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, about 4 ounces, sliced 
  • 1 cup shaved or shredded parmesan 
  •  3 tablespoons capers, about 2 ounces 

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 5/8 mayonnaise 
  • 5/8 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, packed
  • 1/2 ounce chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor or immersion blender to process the ingredients for the green goddess dressing until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Cooking the pasta al dente works best and don't forget to salt the water. Immediately transfer to a strainer and rinse with cold water.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the salt. Once dissolved, add the asparagus and cook for two minutes then add the broccoli and cook another two minutes.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus and broccoli to a bowl of ice-cold water. Let sit for five minutes then drain the water.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, green olives, Parmesan cheese, capers, and green goddess dressing. Serve immediately or for best results refrigerate for at least 30-minutes prior to serving.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Freezing not recommended.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1873mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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