Cold Pasta Salad for Hot Summer Days
Cold Pasta Salads Taste Wonderful on Hot Days!
Summer is the season for barbecues, picnics and potlucks. One of my favorite summer recipes, that is a hit for all these occasions, is Pasta Salad. This is my mom's recipe, with a few changes that I've made over the years. It works equally well as both a side dish for summer cookouts, or as a main dish if you add tuna or chicken breast. Without the added meat this salad is also great to bring to a vegetarian or vegan event as well! I usually make such a large batch for summer cookouts that I can add tuna to it for a second meal the next day. I think this is the best food for hot weather. Be sure to tell us what you think!
Photo by Agalova
This salad is Egg and Dairy Free!
My mom just found out she has both egg and dairy allergies at the beginning of this summer. Many of our family's recipes are so dependent on eggs and milk, but this recipe is both egg-free and dairy-free from the start. It will be a great, familiar comfort dish for her at this weeks family cook-out. That also means that when I bring this dish to a large gathering, I can know that my vegan friends can enjoy it as well. I like to serve dishes that everyone invited can all enjoy!
- 2 Boxes Rotini Noodles, (Rainbow or Whole Wheat are my favorites)
- 3 Bell Peppers, (I like to use Red Orange and Yellow)
- 1 large Onion, (I like the White or Purple)
- 2 crowns Broccoli-cut up, (my husband doesn't like the stalks so I use just the tops.)
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil, Extra virgin has the richest flavor, use light if you don't want a strong olive oil taste
- 1 cup White Vinegar, (other varieties are fine too)
- 2 T Mrs. Dash Garlic and herb blend, (or your favorite no salt spice blend)
- 2 tins canned Tuna or Chicken, (if desired)
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, I often use them whole for ease, but they are great sliced as well
Instructions for making this Pasta Salad
- First step: Bring the water to a boil for the noodles. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on their package. I like to add the broccoli in with the noodles to save cooking time.
- Then, while the noodles and broccoli are cooking, chop up the peppers, onion and tomatoes, if needed.
- Drain the broccoli and noodle mixture, and rinse with cold water until the pasta is thoroughly cooled.
- Mix the noodles and all of the veggies together with the vinegar, oil and Mrs. Dash or the seasoning blend of your choice. Here is where you can add your canned meat if so desired. If you are making this salad ahead of time, it will easily store in the large 2 gallon sized zip-lock bags in the refrigerator.
- Final Step: Add the chilled pasta salad to the serving bowl when you are ready to serve. And, of course, most importantly - Enjoy!
Expirience has shown me that the noodles soak up most of the oil and vinegar overnight, so it is always a good idea to add a little more before serving the salad on the second day.
Do you use ingredients from your garden when making pasta salad?
Fresh from the Garden!
Summer Salad Poll
Whats your favorite?
Do you need more Pasta Salad Ideas? - How about 50 of them?
While I love my pasta salad so much that I could eat it every day, my family enjoys a variety. If you love pasta salads then this book will make a wonderful addition to your collection of recipe books. These will keep you busy all summer long! The author includes pasta salads that span the globe. I found the ones using Udon and Soba noodles to be a much needed change to my summer repertoire of salad recipes. I also liked that she includes an amazing variety of interesting ingredients including fruit like peaches pears and mangos, many of which I love, but don't incorporate into many meals other than fruit salad, lol. If you are feeling that your pasta salads all taste pretty much the same I couldn't recomend a better book to take your pasta salads to the next level. Although the author includes 50 recipes, I can easily use her dressing ideas and veggie suggestions to make up my own recipes inspired by her book.
Values are approximate
|Serving size: 4 oz|
|Calories from Fat||54|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 6 g||9%|
|Carbohydrates 24 g||8%|
|Sugar 8 g|
|Sodium 180 mg||8%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|