Lemon Caper Capellini Salad Obsession!

Too all my my Lemon Caper Capellini Salad Obsession followers and lovers, check out my first cook book “For The Love of Lemons“, available on Amazon ๐Ÿ™‚

Just got back from yet another fantastic trip to the wonderful state of Arizona!

Whilst staying with my BFF, she introduced me to this delightful, refreshing Lemon Caper Capellini salad from her local supermarket “Safeway‘” which I immediately became obsessed about! So now that I am back in swampy Florida, I decided it was time to replicate such delicacy!

Here is how I did it:

  • 1lb angel hair pasta
  • juice and zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of rinsed and chopped capers
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • as many chopped tomatoes as you want

Warm up the oil and cook the garlic till nicely blonde (do not over cook). Let it cool.


In the meantime cook the angel hair (al dente, do not overcook!) and reserve some of the pasta water.


In a large salad bowl, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, oil and garlic, chopped capers and chopped parsley,parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes.


Add the pasta and toss till it’s nicely coated (add some pasta water if you need to loosen up the pasta a bit), add more chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste!


I of course had to go a bit more lemony so I drizzled some wonderful Meyer Lemon Sedona Vinegar.

Now every bite I take of this refreshing salad, not only transports me to the magical state of Arizona, but it also reminds me of my good friend Mo <3!


To make this a complete meal, add some shrimp or serve with some poached salmon or protein of choice ๐Ÿ™‚

89 thoughts

  1. I am going to try to make this recipe today, as I have become addicted to it as well, and Safeway just discontinued selling it as of yesterday! Thanks for the research!

      1. We still have it here in Southern California…I sure hope they don’t take it away!!! I too am obsessed and want to be able to make it myself. As it is a cold salad though do you cool the noodles and the garlic first before mixing it together?

      2. Hi Lynnette, no need to cool anything, I cook the noodles first, set them aside, then cook the oil and the garlic, add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together. Remember to reserve some of the pasta water to add afterwards to keep it nice and moist!

      3. Hi, I live in Washington DC. – Bought Angle Hair spaghetti and made the Salad. I did not add Garlic – but it was very good also. lots of lemon and Olive Oil, cut up ripe tomatoes and Arugula. It was delicious.
        Safeway on Wisconsin Ave. -Georgetown- sells it. I, as others, fell in love with it and went home to cook it. Next lot I will try with garlic in and parsley on top, also will try with grated Parmesan cheese.
        Very good with whole chicken, or also Bratwurst. Love it! Easy to make and do ahead, buy the chicken and dinner is ready!

      4. Do you know the mg or grams for carbs, sodium, fats, etc since I am on a special diet and have to count all of the above plus calories

      5. Actually never looked into it, I would say its not good for a special diet, you have carbs from the pasta, olive oil, parmesan cheese as the main culprits, the salt you can control yourself but the cheese is quite salty already. You can try a leaner version by using whole wheat pasta and less olive oil and cheese, the real star here is the lemon juice
        . Hope this helps

    1. Lucky’s markets (at least in California) sell lemon capelinni salad in their deli. $6.99lb. Delish !!!

    2. I LOVE this..i can taste it in my mouth even after not having it for a few days. I also buy at Safeway, but I must now learn to make my own..Thank you for this recipe!

    3. OMG truly an obsession. I went to my local Vons (owned by safeway) and picked some up yesterday I really was looking for cole slaw but this was freshly made and looked delicious I bought 1/2 lb I wish I had picked up more. So just now I googled and found your receipe. Thank you will make some today.

    4. Funny, I only just found it at our Safeway here in Oregon! If I can make it myself, I don’t need theirs though.

  2. I used basil instead of parsley and made it will zucchini “noodles” and it was great!! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for the recipe. I live in Scottsdale, AZ, and the local Albertson’s which used to sell this hasn’t had it for a while, and I have been Jonesing for it. I appreciate the photos and the detailed instructions. Wish me luck. I’m making it tonight.

  3. Just ate this salad from the grocery store: Vons, in California. Delish! I came here to look at the recipe, I want to try to make it! Thanks for this post. All kinds of delicious things come out of Arizona! Mmm Mmmm!

  4. I’ve had the salad from a Safeway in Northern VA and fell in love. But I LOVE this version even more! Made a huge batch for a group of friends tomorrow, and I can’t stop eating it tonight, ha!

  5. Wow, thank you so much!
    My Vons (CA) just stopped serving capellini salad around early october, forcing me to try to make my own. Your recipie is great, thanks again!

  6. Love this stuff too – I live near Safeway. I love to heat it up and have it with a Dave’s spicy pickle spear or two on the side. My G-d….

  7. Thank you.
    I love lemon and this salad was great.
    Our Safeway also adds sugar snap peas.
    I thought Feta cheese would be really good and I will try adding it next time.

  8. Our local Safeway has this salad when they can get it from “the warehouse”. Since Albertsons and Safeway have merged, I would think Albertsons would carry it too. I am glad to find the recipe because, as many of you have said, “I love this salad”. Thank you for the recipe. Now I can make it at home and not have to wait until Safeway has it in.

  9. Just had the Vons (Safeway) version for lunch. So happy to find you recipe as I have been spending way too much on this. I mix it with arugula, romaine and avocado for a robust salad.

  10. I live in Illinois and just bought this today. I Googled the recipe and here I am. My deli’s recipe used arugula and no pepper or parsley. OMG! Yummy! Thanks for the recipe because now I can make it all year long. I will definitely be trying it on zucchini noodles.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  11. I work for Albertsons love this dish the combinations of ingredients very tasty, lemon not overpowering

  12. they sell this at Albertsons with Arugula in it too! love it. #CauseImTooLazy #IDoDeliFoods

  13. I made this recipe exactly but my sauce turned out watery an not creamy white like Safeways. What did I do wrong.?

    1. Hi Linda, the one that I tried originally in Litchfield, Arizona at the Safeway did not have a creamy white sauce, you could try adding more parmesan cheese, this will give it the creaminess you are looking for but might make it saltier!

      1. Family having dinner here TONITE 6PM OR. TIME,, ! Iits still dry an plenty tart. If I added cream would curdle.? Please reply soon. TX.

      2. It should not be dry at all, drizzle some olive oil and mix it up, also reserving some pasta water (the leftover water after you boil the pasta helps) but I have never had to use it, I am a lemon lover so my solution would be to add more lemon juice but you complained about the tartness right? Hope this helps!

  14. I am trying to replicate a salad they sell at the jewel here in Illinois. This sounds like it might do it . This will be a great salad for our beach party this weekend.

  15. Wow. This is awesome. Thank you. Meijer carries this but its expensive. You nailed this recipe, it is absolutely delish!

    1. Wow. This is awesome. Thank you. Meijer carries this but its expensive. You nailed this recipe, it is absolutely delish

  16. Thank you for sharing! I recently found this salad at my local Meijer, and I fell in love. I’m excited to try and make it myself.

  17. I moved down to AZ from WA state. I was first introduced to the Tortilleni salad from Safeway in WA but I could not locate it down here in AZ.
    One day I had a craving for pasta and went to Safewayโ€™s Deli and sampled the Lemon Caper Capellini Salad. I was smitten and fell in love.
    As a matter of fact I ate some for dinner yesterday.
    The combination of Lemon & Arugula mixed with tomatoโ€™s is the best so far I have tasted.
    Thanks for simplifying this recipe for me.

  18. How many servings does this make? I am serving it as a side at a Barbecue. Should I double it to serve about 24 people?

  19. Thank you. I found this at Safeway and I’m also obsessed…Googled the recipe and found yurs…also named Mo lolol

  20. Oh my goodness! I am sitting here eating that salad from Safeway as I write. I too absolutely LOVE this and they are carrying it now (summer salad only perhaps?) but I’d much prefer to make a batch of my own. Which brought me to you!

    I am going to use your recipe to recreate this delicious dish. Tonight however, I’ve noticed the distinct addition of arugula to Safeway’s salad. I’m a fan of the flavor arugula carries so Initvonly was I excited to find it in their salad, I think I’ll be adding that to mine when I follow your recipe.

  21. Excuse my typos…supposed to say ‘so not only’

    Dangers of eating while typing! lol

  22. I bought it for the first time yesterday at Safeway here in Longview, WA.It is truly wonderful. I immediately found your recipe online and just finished making it for dinner tonight. I will be forwarding it on to my Daughter- in- law in Florida. She is just crazy over anything with capers in it and I know it will be a big hit with her. Thanks for such a great recipe. Sharon

  23. I bought some yesterday at Jewel and it was expensive ($8.99/lb.) so I hopped on my computer to see if I can find a recipe for it so that I can make it myself and VOILA!! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, I’m going to try it soon!!

  24. I love this salad, made it tonight! Although I did everything direct except I used vermicelli, I used two boxes, but grabbed the wrong pasta for the second box. ๐Ÿ˜• oh well it worked the linguine is just very so dente, lol! I call it an MS mishap!

  25. I just returned to aus and i also fell in love with the safeway lemon salad i thought it also had a little red onion as well i bought all ingredients yesterday and was going to put finely diced red onion is this correct thanks guys

  26. I googled this recipe because I wanted to recreate the salad that I love from the Safeway deli. I was so pleased to find this recipe, which was inspired by your love of the exact same salad! Thank you.

  27. Made this salad tonite. It was delish. I must agree with you about wanting more of a lemony flavor. I will be looking for that Meyer Limon Sedona vinegar. Will I be able to find this at Trader Joes?

  28. Foodyandy… My wife and I first tried this salad in 2017 when visiting AZ to check on some rental property. When we move to AZ in 2019 this was one of the first things we sought to find at Safeway. After paying $6,99 per pound over and over again I decided to look for a recipe. I am so glad that I have found yours… I have made this three times. We love lemons and garlic so I use 4 to 5 lemons and 8 garlic cloves. Mum, mum, good.

    I alos have my own lemon tree so I will definitely check out your book..

    Thanks so much,


    1. Mark, so happy to hear, nothing brings me more joy than hearing about people enjoying my recipes!!!!! PS: So jealous of you having a lemon tree, we all know how pricey lemons can be! :-).
      If you get a chance, please like as many recipes as possible and of course, share with the world!

    1. Actually Annie, yes, I have made this hot with shrimp, but prefer the cold version as the lemon is more noticeable, just a matter of choice. Either way its a delicious salad ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Hello . . . I may be late to this cappellini/lemon/caper party, but sure glad I made it! I bought some at Stater Bros market in So Cal and as soon as I ate it I searched for a recipe & here you are! I’m looking forward to making your recipe and sharing with others. This may well be my new contribution to family & friend get togethers as soon as we can do that again ๐Ÿ˜Š Thanks foodandy!

    1. Hi Julie, so glad to help, please let me know if you have any questions, and little side tip not in the recipe, add extra lemon juice if you are a lemon lover like me and keep the pasta water and add some to the salad before you put it in the fridge to make it nice and moist. Enjoy

  30. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this salad, there are no more “Safeways in SoCal anymore- “VONS” bought them out and VONS does, always, have .. at least here in beautiful, Pasadena CA. Just got back from market with my ingredients and will make for tomorrow (Memorial Day, 2020) I CAN’T WAIT TO MAKE THIS AND SHARE WITH MY FAMILY! It’ll just be the 3 of us this year in our backyard because of the pandemic stay @home orders BUT more for us – right?! Thanks for sharing this. I had tried it prior to this and it wasn’t quite right but in reading your’s, I had left some ingredients out and now I see where it came out different. I literally “searched” VONS COLD LEMON SALAD and I saw your recipe/article and was eager to get to the market. It’ll be great, I know. Thanks again for sharing girl, be safe.

  31. I’ve made this and it tasted wonderful, but I can’t keep my tomatoes from migrating to the bottom of the bowl. What is in the store doesn’t do this, so I’m wondering what I’m missing as I followed to a “T”. Any suggestions?

    1. Bonnie, I have had the same issues, my solution is to put it in a tupperware container, give a good shake and then poor it into serving container, cutting the tomatoes smaller helps too!

    2. Bonnie, Sorry, just saw this a year later! Am I bad :-(, only suggestion is to slice your tomatoes or cut them in wedges, I usually make it and put it in a container with a lid and shake it around quite a bit before I open the lid and toss it upside down into a bowl, this way the tomatoes, capers, etc stay on top when serving it! Hope this helps

  32. We looove the lemon capellini salad from Safeway! Theirs has arugula in it now which adds a wonderfully peppery bite. In going to swap that for the parsley in your recipe, I hope it turns out well!

  33. I buy this at the Albertsons here in Las Vegas, and they had the recipe posted online for a while. Iโ€˜ve made it several times before, but had a little operator error tonight. Didnโ€™t let the noodles cool down enough and all of my beautifully shaved Parmesan glopped up into a blob. I was able to retrieve the blob, refrigerate it for 20 minutes, and slice it and dice it very finely and it worked just fine. I forgot to save pasta water so I added a splash of ruby red grapefruit vinegar. I also use arugula instead of parsley For a nice little peppery flavor. Itโ€™s 108ยฐ here tonight so this pasta was wonderfully refreshing. I didnโ€™t take the time to defrost and add some frozen cooked shrimp, but I probably should have. But I gobbled it down anyway! Thank you for the recipe

  34. Made this for dinner last night after not having had it in a few years…. SO DELICIOUS!!! I added chicken breast that I marinated in mojo (wanted to keep to the citrus flavor) for protein and used barilla protein pasta.

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