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Three Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

Updated on March 7, 2012
Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

Pasta salad is one of my all-time favorite dishes because it tastes wonderful and it is so versatile. It goes perfectly well as a delicious main course side dish, or as a yummy appetizer. The great thing about pasta salad is that it is incredibly easy to prepare and can be a healthy alternative to fried appetizers. It’s also easy to tweak pasta salad recipes with your own unique twists to get the flavor you desire.

Pasta salads are also great to serve at large family gatherings and other social events. A large serving can be whipped up in a flash and you know everyone will love it. The most time consuming part of this dish consists of boiling a large pot of water and cooking the noodles. The next time you plan a party or family gathering, serve up one of these three deliciously easy pasta salad recipes along with a favorite chicken recipe – or maybe some spareribs – and watch it get devoured in a hurry.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of water
  • 3 cups of elbow macaroni or pasta of choice
  • 2 cups of cooked green peas
  • ½ of a medium-sized red bell pepper (chopped or diced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika (optional)

1 – Easy Homemade Pasta Salad Recipe

Cooking Directions

Boil the water in a large cooking pot and add in the pasta and cook until tender (about 9-10 minutes). Drain the water from the pasta and allow it to cool completely. In a mixing bowl, add cooked green peas, chopped red bell peppers and mayonnaise and mix completely. Add in some salt and pepper to taste and continue mixing. Stir in the cooked pasta and blend everything together well. Lightly sprinkle with paprika or coarse black pepper to top it off.

(Option) As an alternative to mayonnaise, you can substitute regular or low fat ranch dressing for an even bolder taste. This beautiful dish is sure to disappear from the table as soon as you place it there!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 2 7-ounce balls of mozzarella cheese (chopped in small cubes)
  • 14 ounces of fresh cherry tomatoes (chopped in quarters)
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves
  • 7 ounces of preferred pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

2 – Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Cooking Directions

Boil 8-10 cups of water in a good sized cooking pot. Add in the pasta of choice and cook until tender (about 9-10 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, grab a mixing bowl and mix together shredded basil leaves, mozzarella cubes and cherry tomatoes. Add in a good dose of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the pasta has fully cooked, drain the water and allow it to cool completely. After the pasta has cooled, stir it into the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and blend together well. For added flavor, try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve it up and watch it disappear!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Cups of boiling water
  • 1 Box of tri-color rotini pasta
  • Italian Caesar dressing
  • 1 Can of sliced black olives
  • ½ Red bell pepper
  • ½ Yellow bell pepper
  • ½ Red onion
  • Handful of broccoli florets
  • Parmesan cheese

(Optional )

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green bell pepper
  • Feta cheese
  • Sliced carrots
  • Small shrimp

3 – Easy Tri-Color Pasta Salad Recipe

Cooking Directions

Bring water to boil in a large cooking pot. Add in 1 box of tri-color pasta and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Once the pasta is cooked to the desired consistency, drain the water, rinse with cool water and allow the pasta to cool. After the pasta cools, place it into a mixing bowl and add in bell peppers, onions, broccoli and parmesan cheese. You can also add in any of the optional ingredients if you so desire, mixing everything together evenly. Next, add a generous dousing of Italian Caesar dressing and allow it to soak into the pasta. Stir everything together and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to be served. More Italian Caesar dressing may need to be added after chilling as the pasta really soaks it up. Serve it up for a cool, refreshing summer dish!

Health Facts about Pasta

Pasta is a delicious base for healthy and nutritious meals. Pasta is also usually served with high-nutrient vegetables, lean meats and healthy seafood. Pasta provides natural sugars (glucose) which is beneficial fuel for human muscles and the brain. As a complex carbohydrate, it provides the slow and steady release of energy the body needs to perform its daily tasks without the crash that quick energy simple sugars often produce.

Nutrition Facts about Pasta
Nutrition Facts about Pasta

One cup of whole wheat pasta can provide your body with up to 25% of its daily recommended allowance of fiber. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B and iron. Pasta also has a low Glycemic Index which means that it will not cause a rapid rise in blood-sugar. Pasta is a wonderful comfort food that has many health benefits and it tastes great too!

The Wrap Up

If you are looking for a fast and easy recipe that tastes amazing, any one of these three easy pasta salad recipes will fit the bill. They are all extremely easy to prepare and take little preparation. They are also very versatile and are great for family dinners, as well as large social gatherings. Pasta salads also add a healthy balance to the rich foods we love to eat during backyard barbecues and holiday get-togethers. Try putting together your own easy pasta salad with one of the delicious recipes, or add your own spin and come up with an original recipe that is sure to have everyone asking for more.

- Bon Appetit!

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    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 

      7 years ago

      Three interesting pasta salads to try.

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