Bowtie pasta salad with peas, lemon, and fresh basil makes the perfect potluck party item. It’s fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make!

bowtie pasta with peas on a plate

A few weeks ago I posted my grocery shopping items from Trader Joe’s on my Instagram stories. I don’t work for TJ’s but I spend a lot of time in the store mainly because I really like the products and also how often they introduce new items.

And if I can pass that info onto you guys, then the rest is gravy. One of the items I’ve noticed for a few weeks now is a lemon basil pasta salad. It’s a simple bowtie pasta salad that you can find in the refrigerated section and it tastes pretty good! So good, I thought that I should recreate it for the blog.

And here it is, just for you guys. It’s very similar to TJ’s, maybe even better because when you make it at home it’s a hundred percent fresh and hasn’t been sitting on a truck, then on a shelf for a few days.

Incidentally, bowtie pasta and farfalle pasta are one in the same.

What’s in this pasta salad?

  • green peas
  • fresh basil
  • Parmesan
  • zucchini
  • shallots

The whole thing is tossed in a slightly creamy dijon and lemon dressing. So simple, right? It’s light and fresh, and packs a good lemon punch for flavor!

Can I make the salad ahead of time?

This is totally a recipe that only gets better if you make it the night before you plan on serving it. With a regular salad, you’d never want to add the dressing until right before eating it. But because the bowtie pasta has a lot of body, it can stand up to all of the other ingredients. Plus, let’s face it; pasta on its own isn’t too flavorful. So any help we can give it is always a huge bonus. Just be sure to cover the bowtie pasta salad completely with plastic wrap or it’ll dry out. Then, store it in the fridge overnight until you need it.

overhead image of bowtie pasta salad with peas, lemon, and fresh basil

Can I use another type of pasta?

Yes, you can. I don’t know about you and your kitchen but in my cupboard, I usually have at least six different types of pasta on hand. Why…I don’t know. Maybe it’s the kids because they can eat enough pasta that would put an Olympic athlete to shame. Here are some other pasta types that would work.

  • Penne
  • Rotini
  • Orzo
  • Orecchiette
  • Cavatappi
  • Casarecce

Tips for making bowtie pasta salad at home

Once the bowtie pasta has been boiling long enough, drain it into a colander and then run cold water over it, gently moving it around with a spoon or your fingers. This gets rid of the starch that would usually make the pasta sticky and turn into one big clump as it cools.

Frozen peas are easy to find and I usually just throw some in a bowl and add some lukewarm water over them to thaw, I don’t even cook them. This way they stay nice and bright green. Don’t skimp on the fresh lemon and basil ingredients. We want the pasta salad with peas to pop like crazy when your friends put it in their mouths. In my opinion, you can’t have enough, especially the basil. I’m a huge fresh basil fan!

pasta salad on a plate with a person holding a spoon

bowtie pasta with peas on a plate

Bowtie Pasta Salad with Peas, Lemon and Basil

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: foodnessgracious
Bowtie pasta salad with peas, lemon, and fresh basil makes the perfect potluck party item. It's fresh, flavorful, and so easy to make!
Print Recipe


  • 3 cups farfalle pasta uncooked
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups peas
  • 1 cup zucchini diced
  • ¼ cup shallot diced
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 big handful of fresh basil chopped and shredded
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup Asiago cheese grated


  • Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water as per the instructions on the box.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  • Transfer the cooled pasta to a larger bowl along with the peas, diced zucchini, diced shallot, lemon zest, Dijon and grated Asiago.
  • Add the dressing and toss everything together until well combined in a salad bowl.
  • Serve at once and garnish with extra basil and grated Asiago or store covered in the refrigerator.