Lemon Capellini Salad (With Tomatoes And Capers)

5 from 3 votes

Lemon Capellini Salad (With Tomatoes And Capers) is a light pasta salad that is super easy to make using minimal ingredients. Serve it hot or cold.

You may like some more salad recipes: Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad, Thai Watermelon Salad, Cajun Potato Salad, Malaysian Mango Salad, and Thai Green Papaya Salad.

Lemon Capellini salad served in a bowl.
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About Lemon Capellini Salad

Lemon Capellini Salad is a refreshing pasta salad made using capellini pasta (or angel hair pasta), cherry tomatoes, capers, and other simple ingredients.

It is great to serve as a light meal or a side dish with meat or veggies. It is also a great dish to serve at BBQs, picnics, parties, or potlucks.

The best thing about this dish is that it can be made and refrigerated before you are ready to serve it.

Ingredients

Capellini Pasta – Good-quality pasta is the key to making a great lemon capellini salad. I like to use Capellini because it is a very thin pasta that absorbs the flavors of the dressing well. You can also use angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti noodles.

You can also use other types of pasta, such as farfalle or rotini.

Others – You will also need a few other basic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, baby capers, lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil leaves.

Replace parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or any vegan cheese to make a vegan recipe.

How To Make Lemon Capellini Salad

Cook The Pasta

Put a large pot of water on your stove to boil over high heat.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoon salt and 9 oz (250 g) capellini pasta.

Cook until Al Dente (just cooked).

Make The Sauce

While the pasta is cooking, heat ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Olive oil heating in a pan.

Add the following ingredients and saute for 8-10 seconds.

  • ⅓ cup baby capers (drained)
  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
Capers, garlic, pepper flakes and lemon zest added to the pan.

Now add the following ingredients and saute for a minute.

  • 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup of chopped basil leaves
Cherry tomatoes, spinach and basil added to the pan.

Drain the cooked pasta (reserve some water), add it to the skillet, and toss well.

Pasta added to the pot.

Add the following ingredients and toss well to coat the pasta.

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Lemon juice, salta nd pepper added to the pan.

Add ½ cup grated parmesan cheese and mix well.

Parmesan cheese added to the pan.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Add some reserved pasta water if the pasta looks dry.

Serve as hot pasta salad or refrigerate for a few hours and serve as a cold pasta salad.

Ready lemon capellini pasta.

Variations

There are several delicious variations that you can try with your Lemon Capellini Salad. Some of my favorites include:

Add nuts like pine nuts, almonds, and pecans for extra flavor and texture.

Use chopped sun-dried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes for a more intense tomato flavor.

Switch up the types of vegetables used in the salad, such as swapping fresh spinach with arugula or adding roasted red peppers for a pop of color and flavor.​

You can replace cherry tomatoes with grape tomatoes or regular tomatoes cut into bite-size pieces.

You can also replace spinach with peppery arugula.

Basil leaves can be replaced with fresh oregano or any other herb.

Pro Tips By Neha

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions. This will ensure that the pasta is properly cooked and seasoned.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this salad. The bottled lemon juice will not provide the same flavor.

If you are making this pasta dish ahead of time, wait to add the cherry tomatoes until just before serving so they do not get mushy.

You can experiment with different types of pasta and vegetables in this salad. There are many delicious possibilities!​

Reserve 2 tablespoon of the brine from the capers and add the reserved brine to the pasta recipe for a nice tangy taste.

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Lemon Capellini Salad (With Tomatoes And Capers) is a light pasta salad that is super easy to make using minimal ingredients. Serve it hot or cold.
5 from 3 votes

Lemon Capellini Salad Recipe (With Tomatoes And Capers)

Lemon Capellini Salad (With Tomatoes And Capers) is a light pasta salad that is super easy to make using minimal ingredients. Serve it hot or cold.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 9 ounces capellini pasta (250 g, or angel hair pasta, thin spaghetti noodles)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup baby capers (reserve 2 tablespoon brine (optional))
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
  • 2 cup baby spinach (packed)
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
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Instructions 

Cook The Pasta

  • Put a large pot of water on your stove to boil over high heat.
  • Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and then add capellini pasta.
  • Cook until Al Dente (just cooked).

Make The Sauce

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Added capers, red pepper flakes, garlic, and lemon zest and saute for 8-10 seconds.
  • Now add cherry tomatoes, spinach, and basil leaves, and saute for a minute.
  • Drain the cooked pasta (reserve ½ cup of the cooking water) and add it to the skillet and toss well.
  • Add lemon juice, salt, and black pepper and toss well to coat the pasta.
  • Add parmesan cheese and mix well.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Add the reserved pasta water if the pasta looks dry.
  • Serve as hot pasta salad or refrigerate for a few hours and serve as a cold pasta salad.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions. This will ensure that the pasta is properly cooked and seasoned.
Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this salad. The bottled lemon juice will not provide the same flavor.
If you are making this pasta dish ahead of time, wait to add the cherry tomatoes until just before serving so they do not get mushy.
Feel free to experiment with different types of pasta and vegetables in this salad. There are many delicious possibilities!​
Reserve 2 tablespoons of the brine from the capers and add the reserved brine to the pasta recipe for a nice tangy taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 367mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1452IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Deeelicious!! loved the addition of chili flakes and caper brine. Added some fresh chopped parsley as was kind of short on fresh basil and also a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts. Yummy

  2. 5 stars
    Been wanting to make this, but unable to because of price at Safeway! So decided to make my own. Ran across this recipe, and it hit it out of the ballpark! YUMMY!