Summer Pasta Salad as a Meal
Summer Pasta Salad is probably one of the easiest meals I make for my family during the summer. It’s full of fresh, delicious veggies and a robust flavor that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. You can use any of your favorites in Summer Pasta Salad to make it your own fantastic dish. For my family, it’s a complete meal when I add some grilled chicken or steak, which makes my job cooking dinner so much easier. I usually make Summer Pasta Salad as a side dish first, then add meat for a second full meal. I love things that I cook once and last a while!
Making Summer Pasta Salad
I always start my Summer Pasta Salad with tri-color rotini (spiral) pasta. It holds the dressing well and also holds it’s shape in the salad. From there I add in everything, from cucumbers and grape tomatoes, to olives and mushrooms. Anything goes in Summer Pasta Salad. Radishes are always added, especially when I have some from a farmer’s market or my own garden. To add a bit of a chewy texture to all the crunchy veggies, I add some garbanzo beans and kidney beans, which also add some protein. There’s really no end to the options you can add to Summer Pasta Salad. For the dressing, I use packets of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing, mixed with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, with some additional herbs and seasonings. The whole thing comes together to be the best pasta salad you’ve ever had!
- 1 lb tri-color rotini
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 greenhouse cucumber, diced
- 6 radishes, sliced
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1 can small black olives, drained
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can mushrooms, drained
- 2 packets Good Seasons Italian Dressing
- Olive oil (per directions)
- Apple cider vinegar (per directions)
- 2 T dried oregano
- 1 t dried basil
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the dressing packets, olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the dressing with the salad.
- Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.
- Serve chilled!
Summer Pasta Salad for a Crowd
Making Summer Pasta Salad for a Crowd is super easy. You can expand it as far as you want just by doubling or tripling the ingredients, adding more goodies to the mix, and making it your very own. It travels well in plastic zippy bags if you are taking it for a picnic or potluck, and people will love it! Don’t forget to take the recipe for Summer Pasta Salad because someone is sure to ask for it!