Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad recipe is flexible based on the ingredients you have in your kitchen or the season. Start with a hearty pasta shape with nooks and crannies to hold onto the dressing like rotini or penne. Then toss with our simple dressing and lots of colorful vegetables. We also love adding a handful of fresh mozzarella balls and parmesan cheese, which melts into the dressing. For more suggestions for what to add, read through our recommendations in the article above.

Duration:

  • PREP: 10min
  • COOK: 10min
  • TOTAL: 20min
Makes about 10 servings

YOU WILL NEED

    • PASTA SALAD

  • 1 pound dried pasta like fusilli, penne, rotini or farfalle
  • 1 cup sliced bell pepper, 1 medium
  • 1 cup thinly sliced zucchini , 1/2 medium
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, 5 to 6
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini or banana peppers, optional
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) halved mixed olives
  • 1 cup (2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese or other hard cheese
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) fresh mozzarella balls, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley or basil, optional
    • HOMEMADE DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons juice from pepperoncini jar, optional
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes (check the package for recommended cook time). Drain and rinse well under cold water.

While the pasta cooks, make the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, pepperoncini juice (if using), and olive oil until blended. Add the drained and rinsed pasta to the dressing and mix well.

Stir in the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, pepperoncini (if using), olives, parmesan, mozzarella, and herbs (if using). Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve, or for the best results, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: Serving Size 1/10 of the salad / Calories 363 / Total Fat 19.1g / Saturated Fat 5.1g / Cholesterol 18.3mg / Sodium 507.1mg / Carbohydrate 36.6g / Dietary Fiber 2.3g / Total Sugars 2g / Protein 11.7g

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