Lemon Herb Pasta Salad with Green Beans

updated Jul 28, 2020
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Lemon Herb Pasta Salad with Green Beans

Light and fresh pasta salad packed with fresh herbs, snappy green beans, and a sunny lemon vinaigrette.

Serves8 to 12

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 12 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Despite having a dicey relationship with houseplants, the first thing I do come summertime is plant a patio herb garden. And now that my tiny victory garden is overflowing, I’m adding the fresh, fragrant herbs to everything I’m cooking — including this lemony pasta salad that bursts with freshness and flavor.

Whether you, too, have a bounty of fresh herbs to use or you’re simply looking for a lighter, fresher spin on pasta salad, you’ve come to the right place. Toss snappy green beans, a citrusy vinaigrette, and handfuls of fresh herbs (oregano, mint, basil, parsley, or thyme — chef’s choice!) with al dente pasta, then shower the salad with nutty grated Pecorino Romano cheese and wisps of lemon zest to finish. It’s an all-in-one complement to any main dish coming off of the grill.

A Versatile Lemon Vinaigrette to Use All Summer Long

This salad’s lemon vinaigrette is a simple mix of freshly squeezed juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper, but it’s exactly what’s needed to pull all the ingredients together and add a kick of tart lemon flavor. Toss 1/4 cup with the pasta and herbs as you assemble, then add the rest just before serving.

Memorize the simple formula and you’ve got a citrusy dressing to use all summer long. Toss it with salad greens, drizzle over roasted fish, or pour over grain bowls for fresh, punchy flavor.

Lemon Herb Pasta Salad with Green Beans

Light and fresh pasta salad packed with fresh herbs, snappy green beans, and a sunny lemon vinaigrette.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info


  • 12 ounces

    green beans

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1/2 cup

    coarsely chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as oregano, mint, basil, parsley, and thyme

  • 1 pound

    dried, short pasta

  • 5 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for the pasta

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 cup

    finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, trim and halve 12 ounces green beans. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon (1 tablespoon) and refrigerate. Juice the lemon and add 3 tablespoons of juice to a small jar (reserve any remaining lemon juice for another use). Coarsely chop 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs and place in a large bowl.

  2. Add 1 pound pasta to the water and cook according to package directions until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the green beans during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.

  3. Add 5 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the lemon juice. Seal the jar and shake until emulsified.

  4. Add the dressing, pasta, and green beans to the bowl of herbs, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the reserved lemon zest and 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: To make the salad in advance, dress with 1/4 cup dressing during assembly. Toss with the remaining dressing just before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.