This lemon basil pasta salad makes use of the Instant Pot to create a delicious side dish in minutes!
You’ll love this Instant Pot lemon basil pasta salad–it’s the perfect refreshing side dish for summer!
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Pasta salad is one of the easiest side dishes to make, and is perfect for taking along to a gathering, especially in the warm months of spring and summer!
I absolutely love fresh basil in the summer, and it practically begs to be paired with tomatoes. Another flavor it pairs wonderfully with is lemon!
Lemon is one of those fruits (did you know that lemons are technically berries?) that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, and this is one of my favorite non-dessert options for the bright flavor.
In fact, that perfect combination is the inspiration behind this easy lemon basil pasta salad.
Quick & Easy Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
Once I learned how to cook pasta in the Instant Pot, I started making my pasta salad that way. It’s a great hands-free way to cook the pasta, and I can multitask and easily chop the mix-ins while the pasta cooks.
I also use my pressure cooker when I make my Instant Pot lemon parmesan orzo, Instant Pot macaroni salad, Instant Pot potato salad, Instant Pot Italian pasta salad, or my Instant Pot sweet corn and tomato salad–I don’t even have to heat up my kitchen!
But if you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, you can certainly boil the pasta on the stove.
Either way, this is a great side dish to bring to a BBQ!
Need a gluten-free salad idea? Try this chickpea and edamame salad!
How to Make Pasta Salad with the Instant Pot
It’s really easy to make this recipe with your Instant Pot!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice and Zest
- Dijon Mustard
- Garlic Powder
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Feta Cheese
- Fresh Basil
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Cook the pasta. First, you’ll combine the pasta with water in the insert pot of the Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then a quick release of remaining pressure.
After cooking, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water.
Combine dressing ingredients. Next, in a small bowl of measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic powder.
Toss ingredients with the dressing. Last, you’ll toss together the pasta, dressing, cherry tomatoes, feta, and basil.
You can either eat this right away, but I find the flavor is much better after letting it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving!
Notes and Adaptations:
- This is easily adaptable based on your preference. Feel free to add more salt or other seasonings to taste.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can simply cook the pasta on the stove top, following the instructions on the box.
- Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
- 8-oz dry pasta (I used cellentani--aka cavatappi--pasta, but you can use whatever shape you prefer)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into strips
- In the insert pot of the Instant Pot, combine pasta and water. Make sure water completely covers the pasta--add a bit more if needed.
- Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a cook time of 4 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cook time is complete, allow a 5 minute natural release of pressure, then carefully perform a quick release of remaining pressure.
- After the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid and transfer the pasta to a collander to drain. Run cold water over the pasta.
- In a small mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic powder until combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pasta, prepared dressing, tomatoes, feta, and basil, tossing to coat.
- Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least a couple of hours before serving.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, simply cook the pasta on the stove top according to the package directions.