Green Goddess Pasta Salad

This vibrant and fresh pasta salad is inspired by the TikTok-famous green goddess salad. I’m bringing it to every picnic or barbecue from now until forever.

Bowl of Green Goddess Pasta Salad with a Bigger Bowl in the Background

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

If you’re looking for food inspiration, you already know social media is a great place to find it. 

Early 2022, green goddess salad created by the blog Baked by Melissa, became the recipe everyone was making and recreating across social media. While I try not to give into trends, this recipe was hard to resist. 

Why? The green was vibrant and eye-catching, the sauce tangy and herbaceous, and when served as a dip with salted tortilla chips, the crunch was so satisfying. However, there was one thing I didn’t love: all that chopping! The recipe requires a ton of cabbage chopped into very small pieces and cabbage, as we all know, can be a terror to chop. 

So, I took the key flavors and textures of this viral recipe and made it easier. Here’s my take: the TikTok-famous green goddess salad meets your friendly neighborhood pasta salad. 

Bowl of Green Goddess Pasta Salad

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

It’s All in the Dressing

The dressing is what makes this pasta salad special. It’s not your traditional green goddess dressing, which typically has mayo and sour cream. Instead, it’s a more vibrant—both in color and flavor—vegan dressing that has loads of greens and relies on blended cashews for its creaminess and nutritional yeast for a savory, umami depth. 

Plan ahead and make the dressing up to 2 days before you plan to serve it. Keep it refrigerated and stir it really well before using. You can stir in a little olive oil to thin it out a little, if needed.

Take My Lead and Customize It! 

Here are some ways you can customize this versatile pasta salad recipe to your liking: 

  • Instead of the asparagus, frozen peas, and fennel, use green beans, broccoli, fresh peas, sugar snap peas, celery, or endive. The theme is green and fresh! 
  • Use Parmesan instead of nutritional yeast to up the umami and creaminess of the dressing. 
  • Add a can or two of drained canned white beans for more protein—perfect for when you’re serving it as a vegan main meal. 
  • Toss in homemade croutons—it’ll remind you of panzanella
  • Any short pasta will work. I prefer medium shells because I love how the peas and olives get stuck inside, making for a nice, full bite. You could use gemelli, farfalle, penne, orecchiette, rigatoni, or fusilli.
Spoonful of Green Goddess Pasta Salad with More in the Background

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Every Day is Pasta Salad Season

Green Goddess Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

This recipe calls for medium shells, but you can use any type of short pasta shape you have available, like gemelli, farfalle, penne, orecchiette, rigatoni, or fusilli.

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2 lemons

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 1/4 cups basil leaves, tightly packed

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, tightly packed

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta:

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 pound dry medium pasta shells

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

  • 12 spears thin green asparagus, tough stems trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced

  • 6 ounces drained, jarred pitted green olives drained, jarred pitted 

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Get the water boiling:

    Set a large pot of water (about 3 quarts) with 1 tablespoon salt over high heat and bring it to a boil.

    Pot of Boiling Water on Stove Next to a Cutting Board with Asparagus and Bowl of Peas for Green Goddess Pasta Salad

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing:

    Zest the lemons and set it aside. You will add it to the pasta salad later. Juice the lemons—you’ll need about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

    In a blender, add the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, spinach, garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and black pepper, and blend until very smooth.

    Cutting Board with Halved Lemons, Lemon Zest, and Measuring Cup of Lemon Juice for Green Goddess Pasta Salad

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

    Green Goddess Pasta Sauce in Blender

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

  3. Cook the pasta and vegetables:

    When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta. About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked—follow the cook time suggested on the packaging—add the frozen peas and asparagus to the pot. Cook for the remaining 2 minutes, then drain everything into a colander set in the sink.

    Rinse with cold tap water to stop the pasta, peas, and asparagus from cooking further in the residual heat. Leave the colander in the sink to drain thoroughly.

    Boil Pasta and Vegetables in Pot over Stove for Green Goddess Pasta Salad

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

    Rinse Colander with Pasta and Vegetables for Green Goddess Salad

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

  4. Toss the pasta salad:

    In a large bowl, add the cooled pasta, peas, and asparagus, plus the fennel, olives, chives, scallions, and lemon zest. Pour in the dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated. Season to taste with more salt and black pepper.

    Bowl of Green Goddess Pasta Salad

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

  5. Serve:

    Enjoy the pasta salad chilled—pop it in the fridge for up to a day—or right away at room temperature.

    Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Bowl of Green Goddess Pasta Salad with a Bigger Bowl in the Background

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
497 Calories
27g Fat
58g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 497
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1926mg 84%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 100mg 501%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 814mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.