Summer Pasta Salad

Sooo let me start off by saying, I have no idea what to call this salad! Suggestions are most welcomed!

My younger sister (you remember my younger sister, recent college grad, from this post) had her graduation slash housewarming party this weekend, and asked that each of her guests bring a dish. She specifically asked me to bring a savory dish.

Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious

Well, after doing two shoots Saturday morning and realizing it was already an hour into her party, I began to panic. What savory dish do you make when 1. You’re short on time, 2. It needs to feed a large group of people, 3. You can’t go buy any new ingredients because you’ve used up your grocery budget, 4. Your fridge doesn’t contain any pre-made ingredients like salad dressing, and 5. It needs to satisfy you like a meal because you have a busy day and this will be your only meal until dinner!

Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious

Running circles around my kitchen (err… pacing in four foot wide circles in my apartment kitchen… mostly just spinning around in confusion) desperate not to let my sister down, this pasta salad was born. Made with crunchy veggies, fun-shaped oriecchette, and shaved parmesan, the pasta salad is drizzled with a peppery balsamic-lime dressing that tastes just like summer (minus the sunscreen). Top it with crispy bacon pieces, because we know bacon on top of anything is better, and you’ve got a quickly put together pasta salad that is simple and delicious.
Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious

Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious

My sister was thrilled with the salad, and had to be convinced to not hide it from her guests. 🙂 Family’s praise really is the best praise.

Her party was wonderful and I was so happy to be a part of it <3

Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious

Summer Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 8-10


  • 2 c. orecchiette pasta
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 c. radicchio, julienned (about 1/3 of a head)
  • 1- 1 1/2 c. tiny broccoli florets
  • 3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. shaved parmesan
  • 6 pieces bacon
  • 3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
  • juice of one lime


  1. Boil 4 c. water in a large pot. When it has reached a boil, add the pasta and cook until the pasta is done, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and run cold water over it for one minute.
  3. In another pot, bring 3 c. water to a boil. In small batches, blanch the broccoli for about 30 seconds in the boiling water. When done, rinse the broccoli under cold water.
  4. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to drain and cool on paper towels.
  5. In a large bowl, add the pasta, radicchio, broccoli, and parmesan. Crumble the bacon on top, and toss all of the ingredients with a large spoon to combine.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt, and lime juice. Pour over the pasta salad and toss again to evenly coat all ingredients. Enjoy!

Summer Pasta Salad via StrictlyDelicious


  1. says

    Lina, you should make ALL your meals at the last minute! This pasta salad looks fabulous! I’m also loving your new site!! Great job–I’m so excited for you!!

    • says

      Haha thanks Patty! I was pleased with the last-minute results. And thanks for the support! I’m excited too, and putting a lot of work in!