The beautiful thing about pasta salad? You can tweak and customize it to your heart’s content. In fact, you really don’t need a recipe at all, which is exactly why we’re all for picking your favorite pasta—like penne, bowtie, fusilli, or even macaroni—and turning it into a veggie-packed pasta side dish to serve at every cookout, potluck, or casual supper. Cold pasta salad is something Southerners like to bring to any big-batch event, rain or shine, especially classic renditions like creamy ham-studded macaroni salad and crunchy broccoli-and-grape pasta salad. In this not-your-Mama’s recipe, we’ve paired a lemony Dijon-honey vinaigrette with orzo pasta, chickpeas, feta cheese, roasted eggplant, and chopped Peppadew peppers for a pasta salad with major Mediterranean flair. All of the flavors come together for a zingy side dish with just enough crunch, creaminess, and richness (from tender roasted eggplant!) to send your usual pasta salad recipe to the bench, at least for the week.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic clove in a small bowl; slowly whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.

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  • Stir together pasta (cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water), eggplant, feta cheese, chickpeas, and chopped Peppadew peppers. Add vinaigrette, and gently toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, or cover and chill.