Recipe By Chef John
Published Jun 3rd
Prep 15m Cook 10m Additional 3h 20m Ready In 3h 45m
Servings 8 servings Calories 491.9

Pasta salad is almost always the most disappointing side dish at the picnic or cookout, but this recipe shows you how to transform what is normally an “afterthought” to a dish that’s good enough to enjoy on its own, or as the perfect complement to grilled meat. Top this with extra fresh chopped herbs if you like.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 pound rotini (corkscrew) pasta
  • 1 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • ½ cup shelled English peas
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • ½ cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Whisk Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, sugar, and cayenne together in a large bowl for about 30 seconds. Whisk in olive oil in 1-teaspoon increments until emulsified. Whisk in tarragon, dill, parsley, chives, and thyme. Remove and reserve 1/2 of the dressing in a separate small bowl.
  2. 2 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook rotini at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Add snow peas, carrots, peas, and broccoli about 2 minutes before the pasta is done. Drain pasta and veggies well, but do not rinse.
  3. 3 Transfer hot pasta mixture to the vinaigrette in the large mixing bowl and toss well to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes and toss again. Toss occasionally until the mixture is almost room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. 4 Add bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, green onions, salt, and the reserved dressing and toss well.
  5. 5 Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Toss and adjust seasoning before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 491.9
  • Carbohydrate 50.9 g
  • Fat 28.1 g
  • Fiber 3.9 g
  • Protein 9.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 3.9 g
  • Sodium 641.6 mg
  • Sugar 5.3 g

Chef's Notes

Use a mild-flavored olive oil, or an olive and vegetable oil blend. You can use sugar snap peas instead of snow peas; You can serve this right away, but for best results, chill for a few hours before serving.


  1. Made recipe exactly as written - delicious and made a ton for everybody. Vegan too. Loved.
  2. Prettiest, most delicious pasta salad, ev”ah!!
  3. I'm not typically a fan of pasta salad, but when I saw this recipe come out I knew I had to try it! Very impressed! The recipe is great as-is and we added lemon zest and fresh parm to it just before serving and really liked that addition as well. It is on the menu - Read more ...
  4. Crave-worthy pasta salad, can’t get enough! We altered the veggies to our liking and left our cayenne pepper, but STILL incredible! Thank you Chef John
  5. I made this for the first time last night. Followed the recipe exactly, but used snap peas from the garden instead. Made the vinaigrette exactly but - for me and my wife - it was too much oil. Next time I’ll make half instead. It had a wonderful flavor and so yes I will make - Read more ...
  6. I made this pretty much exactly as per the published recipe, and it was fantastic. My variations were to used shallot & garlic seasoned oil for the dressing, and a little bit of garlic powder too, and Korean pepper flakes instead of cayenne. Overall however it was basically the same and it is probably the - Read more ...
  7. Like anything else CJ steals, it's a Grand Slam!
  8. Beautiful and flavorful! Vinaigrette is delicious and versatile. Make the day before for flavors to develop and it was devoured!
  9. It was really nice and I like the fact there are so many veggies.

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