As summer progresses, different vegetables take center stage. However, there are a couple of standouts that define summer and the abundance of seasonal vegetables we have on hand: corn and tomatoes.

With summer in full swing, today’s recipes show you three ways to take basically the same ingredients and create three different pasta salads. Or, serve them warm. Either way, these will fill you up with summer goodness.

To start:

  • Each recipe has one pint of cherry tomatoes. I like the heirloom varieties because each tomato has a different flavor, and they look pretty (I like pretty food).
  • Two ears of corn
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • Pesto
cherry tomatoes, corn, basil and green onions

The base of each of these pasta recipes is cherry tomatoes, corn, basil and green onions.

From here, each recipe uses a different type of pasta, a different cheese, and one recipe adds in avocado and another shrimp. These are versatile. Make each your own.

If you have extra zucchini, add it! Extra jalapeños, bell peppers … peaches? Add them! This is your basic recipe to expand from. Don’t like pesto? Leave it out.

Want to sub cilantro for basil? Go for it. Toss in mint with the basil? Yes! Add butter beans or black beans? Cheddar cheese? You get the picture.

And, for my favorite pesto recipe, see this one here. That said, jarred pesto, in my opinion, is better than no pesto. Sometimes life is too busy to make homemade, and that is okay.

Gluten free Summer vegetable pasta salad

This recipe is made with the basic ingredients + goat cheese with some added balsamic vinegar. The pasta is gluten-free red lentil pasta (Simple Truth Organic from Kroger) — which is why it’s orange! I’m not a huge fan of these vegetable-infused pastas, but in this category, this one is pretty good. Plus, it doesn’t get mushy, when cooked properly, which is a big plus in the gluten-free variety of pasta.

gnocchi summer vegetable salad

Gnocchi summer vegetable salad. I added extra parmesan cheese to this one. Private Selection™ Italian Gnocchi with Potato was the brand used here (from Kroger).

Shrimp summer pasta salad

This pasta salad is made with jumbo shrimp, which I found already cooked and peeled. This is the family favorites. I did pull off the tails to make eating the pasta salad easier. Then, I tossed the shrimp in pesto, and the pasta in pesto, separately. Then, I piled the pasta into the bowl, layered on the corn/tomato/basil mixture and topped with the shrimp. The pasta is from Kroger — HemisFares™ Fusilli Long Spirals Pasta.

Summer Pasta Salad, 3 Ways

Liza Graves
These three different pasta salads will fill you up with summer goodness.
4 from 2 votes
Course Entrée
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • One pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes regular cherry tomatoes are fine if you can't find the multi-color heirloom ones
  • Two ears of corn
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pasta of choice
  • Optional: avocado shrimp, pesto, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic ... endless possibilities

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to instructions.
  • For corn: Microwave two ears of corn for 3-4 minutes in the husk. Chop off the sealed end and then push the corn out. The corn will emerge without any cornsilks attached (be careful as the corn will be hot; use gloves/hot mitts).
  • Cut corn off of ears.
  • Cut up one pint of cherry tomatoes. Cut them at least in half. Some may be large enough to cut into quarters.
  • Cut basil leaves. I typically roll the leaves and then cut them, making thin strips.
  • Chop green onions.
  • Drain pasta and run with cold water. Then, toss with half the olive oil and pesto.
  • Toss the rest of the ingredients into the pasta and add the remaining olive oil.
  • You will likely need to add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the remaining ingredients of your choosing.
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

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See this recipe below, and toss it with pasta, for another tomato, basil, corn and pasta win. (This one has peaches, too!)

Peach Tomato Corn Salad

This salad always delights. See the recipe here.

Find more amazing and flavorful recipes in our archives. Click HERE!