Confetti Pasta Salad

I’ve partnered with SocialStars and French’s to create this
Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
It’s the perfect side dish for summer entertaining! #FrenchsCrowd #FrenchsMustard

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!Food is such a universal language.  Think about it.  No matter the language, we all speak food.  (And if the food is delicious, we might yell!)  Sure, the flavors and seasonings vary from culture to culture, but food is usually involved at all celebrations or large family gatherings.  You might look forward to the family picnic each year so you can see everyone…and also get some of Mom’s famous Italian pasta salad.  Or you might look forward to hanging out with friends on the weekend since that usually involves firing up the grill.  Food is a universal language.

And to take that thought one step further, recipes are a shared experience.  I’ve got all sorts of recipes around here.  In fact, I’ve got more recipes than I could probably make in a lifetime.  There are cookbooks with dogeared pages and sticky notes stuck to every other page.  There’s a printed out stack of recipes in a file organizer on the corner of my desk.  There are hand-written, scribbled recipes that I’ve gotten from friends over the years.  I like to think all of these recipes are neatly organized for whenever I need a new one…but let’s be honest.  Whenever I remember a recipe, I have to go hunting all over the place for it.  But when that hunting yields tasty summer side dishes like this Confetti Pasta Salad, then the effort was worth it!

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!This Confetti Pasta Salad recipe came from one of my good friends in Atlanta.  We’d gone over to her apartment to watch some college football, and she served this absolutely delicious pasta salad.  (Her husband was in the kitchen frying up endless batches of chicken nuggets with a honey-mustard dipping sauce.  Yum!)  Laura and I both found ourselves going back to this pasta salad, though, so I asked her for the recipe.  She said it originally came from her sister, but she’d made a few changes.  She was kind enough to share, and I filed this recipe away in my “archives,” aka pile of stuff.

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!So when I stumbled across this pile in a box a few weeks ago, I immediately wanted to make this Confetti Pasta Salad again.  Not only is it colorful and bright, but the flavors are perfect for summer!  There’s fresh tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers…and then the Lemon Dijon Dressing takes it to a whole new level.  (I don’t know about you, but lemon is just such a perfect flavor for hot summer days, right?)

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!I used French’s Dijon Mustard for this Lemon Dijon Dressing, and it was perfect!  Although French’s is known for it’s Classic Yellow Mustard, they also have this creamy Dijon Mustard and a Spicy Brown Mustard, too.  True story: whenever we go out to our favorite burger place, I always ask for a side of Dijon mustard.  Always.  For me, Dijon mustard takes a classic burger to a whole new level.  Give it a try sometime!

Not only is French’s Dijon made with real chardonnay, but it doesn’t include any fillers or thickeners.  Just mustard seeds, vinegar, chardonnay and spices.  But don’t let the short ingredient list fool you!  This mustard adds to a touch of gourmet and class to your cooking.  That Dijon flavor is predominant in the Lemon Dijon Dressing, and I suspect this pasta salad will be a summer staple around our house this year.  (Thank goodness I stumbled across that handwritten recipe again!)

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!
Your turn!  What are your favorite ways to use Dijon mustard?

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!

Confetti Pasta Salad

This Confetti Pasta Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 354kcal

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 8 oz. fusilli pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 bell peppers diced (I used 1 yellow and 1 orange)
  • cup red onion diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach chopped
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill minced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbled

For the Lemon Dijon Dressing

  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

For the Salad

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse and drain the pasta in cold water.
  • Transfer pasta into a large bowl and add all remaining salad ingredients except for feta cheese. Stir until well combined.

For the Lemon Dijon Dressing

  • Using a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Pour dressing over salad and toss until salad is well coated. Keep salad refrigerated; serve cold.
  • Prior to serving, top salad with crumbled feta cheese.

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36 Comments

  1. How could you not love a recipe with the word ‘confetti’ in the title?? Food is definitely a universal language and that is totally apparent when watching food shows. Perhaps the people in the show don’t all speak the same language, but as long as there’s food involved, they can teach each other things about cooking and then sit around a table and eat. Wonderful thing.

    And cookbooks? I totally know what you mean. I will never get through them all, but they certainly are nice to have. I definitely have an obsession with them 🙂

    This salad is gorgeous, David, and the perfect addition to all those summer bbq I’m going to have. I would even love to make a big batch of this and have for lunch throughout the week!

    Favourite way to use Dijon? I love it for a pan sauce or even to use to dunk cold leftover turkey or ham – SO good!! Happy Monday to ya!

    1. You know, that’s a really good point about food shows. Food really is a universal language regardless of language. (Of course, most of our shows these days involve Micky Mouse and his Clubhouse…but one day I might get back to watching food shows again! Haha!) This pasta salad definitely makes a good option for lunch. I know because that’s how we ate it! But it would be an excellent side dish for summer grilling, too. Thanks so much, my friend! I hope your week is off to an excellent start!

  2. You easily make the case that food is universal, but not that it is a languge. But if it were, it’d be so cool, because you could hold conversations in loud restaurants much easier. That said, I love my cookbooks, too. I’ve tried twice to cook my way from cover to cover of some of my favorites. Once, successfully. But another time – with The Cake Bible – I had to stop and admit – as much as it pains me to admit it – that I cannot eat cake every day.

    1. Ok, fair enough, Jeff. But I challenge you to a debate. The language is food. (In essence, that means let’s get together and eat yummy food.) I am mighty impressed that you tried to bake your way through the Cake Bible. I don’t think I’ve ever tried eating cake daily, but I imagine that would be quite a feat. I believe in you, though. You know they say the 3rd time is a charm, right?

  3. MMMMM. You always seem to know exactly what Im craving David! Im loving the mustard dressing here! Although its currently raining here in the UK (darned British summer!), this would be so good on our dinner table right now!

    1. Yeah, we’ve had our fair share of rain here this past week, but it’s finally clearing out and turning warm! Now we can finally get outside and get the summer entertaining started. 🙂 This pasta salad really is quite tasty, Lucie. Give it a shot sometime (if it ever stops raining over there!). Thanks so much, my friend!

  4. Dude – I so LURRVE this! Yes! Yes! Yes! I couldn’t agree more about food being the universal language – and sometimes it says more than words can – show up with food no matter what the circumstance and somehow that fills the silence and is more comforting than words can be – at least IMO…

    And – speaking of comforting – Lil Shashi lurrves lurrves lurrves herself a pasta salad – it’s usually what her plate is full of at summer gatherings – but, don’t think we’ve had one with a Lemon Dijon Dressing, David, that’s pretty darn epic!
    Lately, most of the time, we’ve been having Dijon with avocado toast – I know it sounds odd – but it’s soo good! Happy Monday to ya and Laura and Robbie!

    1. That’s a really good point, Shashi! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think food is worth a thousand words, too! Plus, no one can ever be sad when you’re sitting around with friends and delicious food. That’s a proven scientific fact. 🙂 Give this Lemon Dijon dressing a shot sometime this summer. It’s bright and cheery, and I bet Lil Shashi loads her plate up with it! Hope your week is off to an excellent start so far, my friend!

  5. Your recipe collection sounds exactly like mine! And despite the fact that it would take several lifetimes to bake and cook my way through every recipe, I keep collecting. . .Because you’re right! Food is totally a universal language. Good food makes people happy and brings them together and creates memories and it’s just the best :). This salad sounds soooo good. I love a good pasta salad and mustard is one of my favorites! I like to mix a little Dijon into potato salad for an extra flavor kick. Have a great week, David!

    1. Oh man, my recipe collection. It’s such a hodge podge of mess! I like to keep things electronically to reduce the clutter, but sometimes you find recipes in magazines and whatnot…and you’ve just gotta put ’em somewhere. I assume the recent move helped clean up some of your clutter? Oooo…I love putting Dijon into potato salad, too, Kelsie! Give it a shot in pasta salad sometime. It’s perfect for summer get-togethers!

  6. Hehehe David!! I hoard cookbooks, it is a frightening, I have used some of my cookbooks for recipe inspiration and changing the things I don’t like. I love this salad so colorful and cheerful! it’s perfect for the summer grilling days ahead us! Happy Monday my friend!

    1. Yup, I’m the same way as you with cookbooks, Gaila! Well, sorta. Most of my recipes are actually torn-out pages or printed off notes that are in a huge file folder. It’s kinda scary! I’ll occasionally go through and pull out recipes to make and also toss recipes that I shouldn’t have kept in the first place. But I’ll tell ya. This pasta salad is a keeper! That lemon Dijon dressing on top is so fun for a warm summer day! 🙂

  7. You’re right, David. Food is an absolutely universal language. Let’s say, we might not understand/know the languages or specific local terms/ingredients, but I believe almost every culture has their own bread or flat bread we would recognize. Or let’s say an apple pie or Christmas cookies (especially gingerbread). Basically, they all are pretty much similar or even identical things, but look how many countries proudly have their own kind of pie or cookie. Isn’t it great? Pasta salad is an absolutely summer dish for me (not even a side dish – main course). And I totally love you’ve used a delightful and light lemon mustard dressing – I’m not a fan of a mayo dressing in pasta salads at all. Normally, I go with the similar mustard dressing or just balsamic and olive oil. Deliciousness is in simplicity, isn’t it? And what a pretty name too! Confetti. Now you need to make another pasta salad, in a trendy “unicorn” style haha:)

    1. Oh, you are absolutely right! Every culture has some sort of flatbread. Every culture has some sort of cookie. Every culture even has some sort of gnocchi/dumpling. I don’t know if pasta salad is universal, but I do know that I love making all sorts of pasta salads in the summer. This one is particularly fun thanks to the lemon Dijon dressing. I totally agree with you about mayo. I don’t mind mayo in my pasta salad, but it must be used lightly. Very lightly! And store-bought versions are often WAY too mayo-y for me. Oh man, how did I miss the unicorn angle to this pasta salad?? Haha! Good name, my friend, good name!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Heather! I’m big on texture, so I always love my pasta salads to have a bit of crunch from peppers, onions, carrots, etc. And Dijon really is one of my favorite flavors! I like to just put it on crackers with a slice of sharp cheddar. Mmmm… 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    1. Haha! I bet our houses are pretty similar indeed, Rachelle. Piles of recipes and cookbooks next to boxes of delicious beer. 🙂 That’s all we need, right? Good food and good beer! This pasta salad really is quite fun. The Lemon Dijon dressing is so bright and friendly…perfect for summer entertaining! Thanks so much, my friend!

  8. So true, food is universal! Food is love all over the world.

    Ha, the best way I have recipes organized is on my blog! My cookbooks, scribbled recipes, and ripped out pages of magazine recipes are all over my kitchen – in a number of drawers, on a book shelf, and who knows where else!

    I love this kind of pasta salad! I’m not a mayo fan, so I always use olive oil dressings instead. And yes, fresh lemon & mustard are favorites of mine in dressings too! Have you ever put mustard on grilled cheese? So good! I usually use horseradish mustard for that.

    1. That is such a good phrase, Nicole! “Food is love.” 🙂

      You know, I totally agree with you about the blog being used to organize recipes. I often go pull up recipes on my site when I’m in the kitchen making one of our old favorites. Who knows where the actual recipe ended up! But I know where my blog is!

      Mustard on grilled cheese, eh? I don’t think I’ve tried that. I have some horseradish cheddar in the fridge right now, so I might have to try that out with some of this dijon mustard. I bet it would make one killer sammich! Thanks for the idea!

  9. I love pasta salad, thinking about it I’ve never made it myself but I’m totally down now that you’ve posted this recipe, David. I always said Music was the universal language but I’m changing that to food. No matter what language we speak we all speak the language of food, especially yummy delicious food. I love planning and enjoying picnics but I hardly ever bring Pasta Salad, that needs to change this year. I love the additions of all the healthy crisp vegetables and that Lemon Dijon Dressing sounds delicious! I have to try this ASAP! !

    1. You could totally make this pasta salad, Mary! It’s an easy one. And the lemon Dijon dressing is so tasty for hot summer days. 🙂 Music still is a universal language, but I’d argue that food is right up there with it. That means music + food together is pretty much the answer to all of life’s questions! Haha! I hope your week is off to an awesome start so far, my friend!

    1. Yes! Pasta salad is a staple around our house in the summer, and I always love playing around with flavors and add-ins. This lemon Dijon dressing is so bright and fun for warm summer days! Do give it a shot sometime. Thanks so much, Dawn!

  10. I feel much relieved David that I’m not the only bloke with recipes all over the place. There’s a bookcase in the kitchen. There’s a folder in the cupboard. There’s magazine recipes in a pile on my desk. And of course there is the “OneNote” recipe archive online…….

    Now to this recipe. I love Pasta Salads and this is no exception. A bowl with a rainbow of colours as well as tasty goodness. Delicious!

    My favourite way to use Dijon Mustard is in a delicious Honey Mustard Dressing that I make frequently. I will have to try this Lemon Dijon Dressing for a change though. Pinning!

    1. Oh man, I think you just described my recipe collection perfectly, Neil! It’s a hodge podge of mess! But as I slowly grow my recipe collection here on the blog, I’ve found myself going back to my site when I’m in the kitchen. I can’t always put my hand on the recipe, but I always know where my phone is so I can pull up the recipe online! 🙂

      I do love a good honey Dijon dressing…that’s a great one for grilling season! I’ve used similar flavors with grilled chicken, and that turned out well. Do give the lemon Dijon a try sometime though. It tastes best on a hot summer day! Thanks, my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Manali! This pasta salad is ideal for summer picnics. A nice hot day is the perfect setting for a light and fun pasta salad! 🙂

  11. Indeed, food connects people, cultures, countries and minds. We are actually going for picnic next Sunday and I was thinking to take vegetable pasta salad. They are perfect for picnics and yours looks great with all sorts of things I love.

    1. Pasta salads really are perfect for summer picnics! In fact, I sometimes look forward to the pasta salad more than anything else. 🙂 Thanks so much, Neetu!

  12. I hear you on the piles of clipped recipes and stacks of cookbooks – it’s an obsession! You’re more likely to find me in front of the fire reading a cookbook than a novel. Sounds like you have the same affliction… 😉

    We all need some go-to pasta salads as we head into warm weather and outdoor get-togethers. This one is going on my list of salads to try this summer.

    1. Haha…yes, I do indeed have that same cookbook affliction. But the problem is I always want to make the recipes! And there’s only so much time in the day. 🙂 I guess you could say I just like food! This pasta salad is super tasty, and the lemon Dijon dressing is the perfect flavor for a hot summer day. Do give it a shot, Marissa! Thank you!

  13. This recipe sounds great – the vinaigrette you’ve created is very similar to one I often use for green salads (ones with lots of arugula or radicchio as well as lettuces). Dijon mustard is a wonderful addition to salad dressing because its sharpness really adds flavor and body to them.

    I will be trying this pasta salad soon – thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hey there, Sandy! This vinaigrette is indeed quite tasty…I love the combination of Dijon and lemon. I’ve never thought about using this on a green salad, but I will totally try that now. Thanks for the idea, and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Hope you have a great week ahead!

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