Summer Macaroni Salad In Lemon-Thyme Dressing

sps2I must say…lemon has a very interesting flavor. Especially when paired with mayonnaise,thyme, peas, and spinach. Creamy lemon noodles? I know you think I’m crazy. I’m not. I promise. I was honestly resistant once I dipped my finger in the dressing. I was really thinking it was going to be gross but it wasn’t.

If the summertime had a flavor that I could actually taste, I have a small hunch that the flavor would be of lemons. Those juicy, colorful and tangy little glowing orbs that offer a sharpness and zing to all they come in contact with make the taste of this season come alive with vibrancy. A cool and creamy summer macaroni salad kissed with a hint of fresh lemon and herbs will liven up your get-together and wake up everybody’s taste buds, making everyone glad that it’s summertime. 

spsThis is how mine turned out. I must say it was absolutely delicious with a clean lemon flavor and perfectly cooked pasta. If you don’t like spinach, don’t be afraid to add it. I am not the biggest fan of spinach and I hardly minded it at all. Also, when mixing iron-rich foods with lemon or any citrus, the iron is easier for your body to absorb. This is good news for my mom who is iron-deficient.

Here’s the recipe:

Summer Macaroni Salad In Lemon-Thyme Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Serves 8
  • 18 oz ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ⅓ cup fresh spinach
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Add the cooked and cooled macaroni to a large bowl, and add in the thawed peas and the spinach.
  2. To make the dressing, Add all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process the mixture until thick and completely creamy; store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the salad, at which point you can toss the dressing with the pasta.
  3. If serving immediately, toss with the dressing, and garnish with the thyme leaves; if making ahead, prepare all components and keep them separate, then toss the dressing with the pasta/peas/spinach when ready to serve, to keep the pasta salad moist and fresh; keep cold.

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