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spring pasta salad with olives, lemon, and artichokes, casa zuma canyon ceramic plate

Lemony Spring Pasta Salad with Olives, Artichokes, and Bacon

  • Author: Camille Styles
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Pack this bright and zesty spring pasta salad for every picnic all season. Super easy to toss together, it’s bursting with vegetables and so much flavor.


Units Scale
  • 1 pound cavatappi or other curly short pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup green olives, halved (I buy pitted Castelvetrano or Cerignola)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
  • 23 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Spring Green Dressing (below)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • lots of freshly grated parmesan, to taste

For the green dressing:

  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender. Store in a mason jar in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Add the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the olives, pistachios, bacon, artichoke hearts, and a big drizzle of the dressing. 
  4. Toss well to combine—add more dressing if needed.
  5. Add the arugula, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. Give it a light toss, taste for seasoning.
  6. Serve, passing more red pepper flakes and parmesan at the table.


  • You can make this pasta salad ahead—combine all ingredients and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Use any short pasta you like: gemelli, fusilli, cavatappi, or penne all work great.
  • Feel free to make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
  • Double or triple the recipe to serve a crowd.
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: pasta, side dish

Keywords: spring pasta salad, easy side dish, potluck side