Shake up your summer meals with a burst of freshness and flavor in the form of our Easy Summer Pasta Salad with Fruit! It’s a fun twist on the classic savory dish that’s sure to be as big of a hit at parties as it is on your weeknight dinner table.

For this salad, tender pasta is tossed with a colorful array of fresh fruits, creating a vibrant medley of flavors and textures. But wait – we’re not finished yet! The pasta and fruit are then dressed to impress with a zesty Dijon citrus dressing, adding a tangy kick that’ll leave you craving more.

And it’s not just delicious—it’s nutritious too! Packed with a variety of fruits, this salad is bursting with vitamins and antioxidants to keep you feeling refreshed and energized all summer long.

This easy salad comes together in a flash, ready to serve in less than 15 minutes! It’s the perfect side dish for all your favorite summer meals, whether you’re firing up the grill or packing a picnic for the beach.

A bowl of summer pasta salad with fruit.
Sweet and citrusy, this summer pasta salad with fruit makes for the perfect side dish!

Why You’ll Love This Summer Pasta Salad 

Nothing says summer quite like a cold pasta salad recipe, and this pasta fruit salad is one of our faves! Here’s why we love it and know you will, too: 

  • Preparing the pasta is the only cooking you need to do. 
  • It’s vibrant, refreshing, and full of nutrients
  • You can make it in bulk to serve as a side at summer BBQs, pool parties, and more. 
  • It’s sweet, tangy, and easy to customize with all your favorite ingredients. 

What You’ll Need 

Featuring fresh fruit, veggies, and a Dijon citrus dressing, this summer pasta salad is truly unique! Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the Pasta Fruit Salad: 

  • Pasta – We use Vesuvio pasta, but any shape you like best or have on hand will do.
  • Strawberries – Use fresh strawberries, and slice them thin. 
  • Spinach – Baby spinach adds a pop of color and extra nutrients. 
  • Dried Cranberries – Used for extra sweetness and a satisfyingly chewy texture. 
  • Feta – This adds an irresistible creaminess and a slightly salty tangy taste. For the best results, we recommend using full-fat crumbles. 
  • Almonds – A great source of healthy fats, almonds provide an irresistible crunch. 

For the Dressing: 

  • Citrus – Fresh orange juice, orange zest, and lemon juice form the base of the dressing, creating a sweet, tangy taste. 
  • Honey – Used to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit. 
  • Dijon Mustard – It might sound strange, but this creates a creamy texture and acts as a binder, holding all the ingredients together. 
  • Salt – Just a pinch enhances the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Poppy Seeds – Slightly nutty in taste, these add an extra bit of crunch. 
  • Olive Oil – Used to combine all the ingredients, adding healthy fats and a rich flavor while making the dressing pourable. 

How to Make a Summer Pasta Fruit Salad 

Get ready for a game-changer in the kitchen because this pasta fruit salad is about to become your new go-to recipe, and guess what? It’s hands down the easiest thing you’ll ever whip up!

  1. Prepare the Pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. 
  2. Make the Dressing. In a measuring cup, add the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until they are well combined and smooth. 
  3. Toss the Pasta Salad. Add all of the ingredients for the summer pasta salad to a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top, and gently toss to combine, making sure all of the ingredients are coated. 

Tips and Tricks 

While this summer pasta salad is already pretty foolproof, we’ve got a few extra tips up our sleeves to ensure it’s absolutely fantastic. Here they are:

  • Cook Past Al Dente. Okay, you don’t want your pasta to be mushy. However, cooking it just slightly past al dente will help the pasta stay soft even after it cools. After all, nobody likes crunchy pasta salad! 
  • Cool Completely. Let your pasta cool completely before combining it with the rest of your ingredients. Put it in the fridge if you want! Otherwise, it’s likely to cause the rest of the ingredients to become a bit soggy. 
  • Adjust the Dressing. We like our pasta salad with fruit a little saucy, but feel free to use as little or as much dressing as you’d like! 

Variations 

Feel free to unleash your creativity and customize your summer pasta fruit salad to your heart’s content. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make It Vegan. Omit the cheese. Or, use your favorite dairy-free alternative, and use maple syrup instead of honey! 
  • Add Protein. Transform this side dish into a complete meal with the addition of lean protein like chicken or shrimp. 
  • Use Veggies. We include spinach in this pasta salad, but feel free to use all the veggies you want! For example, broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers would all taste great. 
  • Make It Gluten-Free. Swap out the pasta with your favorite gluten-free alternative. 

Make Ahead and Storage Options

If you want to prepare your summer pasta salad ahead of time, it can be tossed together, and placed in an airtight container. Then, store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days

More Pasta Salad Recipes 

Looking for more variations on pasta salad? Get ready to explore a world of pasta salad variations with these delicious recipes:

A bowl of summer pasta salad with fruit.

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Refreshing, vibrant, and tangy, this sweet Summer Pasta Salad with Fruit is a fun take on a classically savory dish!

Ingredients  

For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
  • Zest of ½ an orange
  • ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 16 ounces Vesuvio pasta or any shape you prefer, uncooked
  • 12 ounces strawberries sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions 

  • Using salted water, prepare the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside to cool.
    16 ounces Vesuvio pasta
  • In a measuring cup, add the orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, honey, Dijon, salt, poppy seeds, and olive oil. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
    ½ cup orange juice, Zest of ½ an orange, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup honey, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds, 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients. Pour the prepared dressing on top using as little or as much as desired, and toss to combine.
    12 ounces strawberries, 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, 8 ounces fresh spinach, 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles, 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

Video

Equipment

1 Measuring Cup

Notes

*The dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until the pasta salad is ready to be assembled. 
For a lower-carb recipe: omit the pasta and add more spinach or mixed greens! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 845mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 3675IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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