This family of mine LOVES pasta. I LOVE veggies (and they sort of do...sometimes..depending on the veggie). So what better way to give them the pasta they love and make mom happy than with a Perfectly Delicious Vegetable Pasta Salad. Not only is this salad packed of of nutritious veggies, but it has the heartiness of ultragrain quinoa pasta, tossed with your favorite dressing and kissed with some freshly grated Parmesan. This pasta salad is so versatile - it is great for lunchboxes, dinner on a warm evening, and a crowd-pleaser at picnics and barbecues (Labor Day is fast approaching!)
As with many of my recipes, you can customize this dish to your hearts content. I'll give some of the other ways we like to serve it after the recipe!
- Pasta - your choice, but I feel a penne, bow tie or spiral work best.
- I used a Hodgson Mills Ultragrain with Quinoa pasta for this recipe. I cooked the whole package (and used about 4 cups cooked) and had some "plain" pasta leftover.
- 1/2 medium cucumber (about 1/2 cup)*
- 1/2 red bell pepper (about 1/2 cup)*
- 1 bunch of broccoli (about 1 cup+)*
- *NOTE: you can always use more veggies!
- 1/2 Cup Italian dressing. I used Newman's Own Lite Italian
- Freshly Grate Parmesan (or you choice of cheese...like Feta or Goat Cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the Pasta according to package directions. For my pasta: Boil water; add pasta; bring to a boil; cook for 7-9 minutes). Drain and set aside
- Dice red bell pepper and cucumber
- Cut broccoli into manageable bite size pieces.
- When pasta has cooled, add pasta and veggies to a large bowl.
- Coat with dressing and toss.
- Taste, add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Sprinkle on the Parmesan!
Delicious...and EASY - a great combination!
Customize your pasta salad! Here are some ideas for jazzing up your salad:
- Cooked (and cooled) turkey sausage, chopped
- Chick peas
- Lentils (check out this Dilly Summer Squash and Lentil salad!)
- Grilled Chicken
- Pine nuts
- Try a different dressing!
- Try a different cheese!
What's your favorite salad?