Basil Vinaigrette Pasta (The ONLY summer pasta you need)!

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I bought 2 lbs of basil last weekend at the farm. Who am I? And am I planning to cook for an army of humans? Obviously Basil Vinaigrette Pasta was the natural way to put all of it to use!

Basil Vinaigrette Pasta from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

If you’ve never made basil vinaigrette before, you need to drop whatever you’re doing right this very minute, go to the store, buy all the ingredients, and then go find yourself a blender. It’s the best multi-use sauce you could possibly make this summer, and it goes on EVERYTHING. You can put it on pasta, you can put it on chicken, you can put it on toast, and even on eggs! Like literally – case in point right here. But today, it’s on this Basil Vinaigrette Pasta.

Basil Vinaigrette Pasta from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

This time around the basil vinaigrette is getting tossed with some fresh short pasta and some summer veggies. It’s perfection. The zucchini gives it some bite, the basil infuses everything it touches and the pasta is al dente just the way I like it. It’s truly one of the easiest summer pasta dishes you could make! Serve it hot, cold or at room temperature and you’re in business! And it will double as an incredible leftover lunch the next day!

And if you want to make a double batch of basil vinaigrette – be my guest! I made a triple batch and then froze it in ice cube trays so I could pop a few out whenever needed and use it on basically every summer recipe from now until October! It’s also the best hack for winter when all the amazing fresh produce isn’t as abundant everywhere. So if you need to add a little pizazz to any dish at a moment’s notice, you can just pop a frozen cube of basil vinaigrette out of your freezer and voila, you have a little touch of summer in the dead of winter!

Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas?  Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.

Basil Vinaigrette Pasta

5 from 14 votes
My famous Basil Vinaigrette tossed into a summer pasta is the recipe of the summer!! You'll be obsessed!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 zucchini cut into coins and quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Fresh basil and parmesan to garnish

For the Basil Vinaigrette:

  • 1 shallot roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves stems removed (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant. Add the zucchini and saute until just soft. Add the pasta and ½ cup of basil vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add more basil vinaigrette as needed. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice and serve.

For the Basil Vinaigrette:

  • Combine all the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

51 Comments

  1. O M G! The basil Vinaigrette is da bomb! Thanks for the recipe!
    -Gabby (yes! 2 b’s) best name ever right?

  2. This was our dinner tonight and it was super delish!!! My basil was going crazy so I was happy to find a good use for it. Grilled up some salmon to go with – perfect Summer din din 🙂

  3. This pasta is amazing. Fresh, simple, clean, and delicious. My kids tore it apart tonight, even my picky eater who normally won’t even let me put butter on her pasta! This is going on the weekly recipe list for sure!
    I didn’t have any peas or asparagus so I used steam in a bag green beans, I just took a minute off the cook time. I also used the Barilla veggie rotini bc it’s what I had. It was SO GOOD. I planned on making chicken with it but ran out of time, and I’m glad because it would’ve been too much food.

  4. I recently went dairy-free and I missed pesto. This was a nice option. The sauce by itself is a little bitter due to the vinegar, but it was super yummy mixed together. I think the sweetness of the veggies really stood out. Yum!

  5. This is so delicious! Tried it for the first time several days ago and today made a double batch of the vinaigrette so we can have it on hand always! Trader Joes has 4oz containers of basil for $2.79 currently! So easy to make. For the pasta part of this dish I recommend using multiple zucchinis, I felt like 1 (even though we used a huge one) wasn’t enough for a pound of pasta.

  6. This was seriously the best pasta ever. My son ate 2 bowls and asked me to please make it again! Thank you!!

  7. I made this pasta tonight for the second time! Tonight I used whole wheat penne pasta, and added cooked shrimp after the zucchini just started to soften. It was incredible. I have leftovers, but can’t wait to make it again!

  8. 5 stars
    Gaby, I used to be scared of cooking until I read about you in the Daily News. I immediately ordered your new cookbook. I’ve been trying your recipes and guess what? You have made me cook the scared right out of me. Thank you for making recipes that are a delicious delight!

  9. Hi Gaby,
    Thank you for this Basil Vinaigrette recipe. It looks delicious and easy.
    Have a great weekend.
    Lucy

  10. 5 stars
    Wellllllll that was delicious. And simple. And bright. And satisfying. And comforting. And delicious… Bye. I’ll be making this every night for the rest of summer. Thanks! Topped ours with mozzarella balls and it was luscious.

  11. If I am using the basil vinaigrette on your pizza recipe could I sub the red wine vinegar for balsamic vinegar or apple cider? With COVID I can’t find red wine in my small neighborhood San Fran speciality shops and don’t want to go to Whole Foods.

  12. 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe was a big hit here tonight. Neither my husband nor my ten year old daughter care for zucchini but they devoured this pasta. Such a light and fresh summer dinner! This is going on rotation all summer long.

  13. 5 stars
    Oh Em Gee. Wasn’t so sure about this recipe but it came together beautifully. Unfortunately, everyone loved it so much that there are no leftovers. I did kick up the red pepper flakes because we like a kick to everything. Almost put in some bell peppers but decided to make as written.
    Do you think that either yellow or orange bell peppers would work?

  14. 5 stars
    This vinaigrette and the cilantro vinaigrette are SO amazing!! And versatile!! Just today I was improvising a minestrone and it needed some oomph. Thank you very much Basil Vinaigrette!! I had frozen it in ice cube trays……so convenient! It added that extra something something that made the soup over the top delicious! If you haven’t tried either of these you are missing out!!

  15. 5 stars
    Amazing! This will be my new standard. I also added a little mustard to brush on chicken .
    Thank you!!!

  16. Can this be made and eaten room temperature? I am doing a lunch with a garlic honey mustard chicken as main course and was looking for a pasta salad type dish that I could make before guests arrive.
    Thank you and thank you for being cute as a button always making me laugh when doing a video.
    Laura

  17. I’m not sure what I did wrong but I tried this and it didn’t taste very good. It just didn’t taste like much of anything, not really a strong basil flavor. I’m thinking maybe my basil wasn’t fresh enough?

  18. 5 stars
    This is truly the only pasta salad you need in your life. My boyfriend’s sister and I make it every family vacation/holiday weekend. Everyone LOVES it. We have to save some on the side for ourselves since they run to eat it. Cant wait to make this again for Memorial Day.

  19. 5 stars
    Made it tonight on a whim based on what ingredients I had on hand (thank you Google) and already dreaming about having it again. This sauce! It’s like pesto and chimichurri had a baby!

    Gaby, does this work well served cold or room temperature? Seems like it would be the perfect dish to bring to a BBQ.

  20. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delish! I didn’t end up using zucchini and used more pepper flakes, but I highly recommend this recipe. The flavor is very Punchy! yet well rounded. If you have the ingredients on hand it only took me 15 mins to make (the pasta cooking is the most time consuming part tbh).

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