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Your Favorite Pasta Salad

My standard go-to salad that I always make is pretty basic... but i *love* it and have a hard time getting away from it!

A chicken ceasar pasta salad. With bow tie noodles, scallions, romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a creamy ceasar (or creamy garlic) (or creamy peppercorn) (or whatever I feel like making) dressing....

So what's yours?

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  1. Mmmm sounds good. I love bowties in pasta salad.

    I have two favorites:
    Bowties (or tortellini) with red peppers, fresh mozzarella, black olives and artichokes in an italian dressing
    Orzo with feta, tomato and a ton of fresh basil in a lemon-pepper dressing

    1. I haven't made it in a while, but fusili with grilled chicken or shrimp, roasted red bell pepper, asparagus or broccoli and pesto - homemade with fresh basil, reggiano, garlic, pine nuts and evoo.

      1. Tricolor fusilli with blanched broccoli and carrot, green onion cut on the bias, and a dressing of rice vinegar and just a little sesame oil. Low fat and full of flavor. You can add chicken or shrimp for protein if you wish (tofu would work too) and many other vegetables will work as well-- asparagus is especially good and in season right now.

        1. My SIL makes an easy one, which for some reason I just love- and it is reallly a throwback to the 70's, I think. It is pasta, cubed sharp cheddar, sliced green olives and a bit of mayo.
          I also like your favorite pasta, lots of fresh garlic( i like to add both roasted and raw- sliced really thin), salt, fresh thyme and oilive oil. I like this served with grilled chicken or shrimp. Again- it is easy and good- but you have to really love garlic.

          1. Orzo with grape tomatoes, black olives, feta, lightly cooked snow peas, red bell peppers and a mustardy vinaigrette. You can add fish, chicken, seafood or whatever protein you like to make it a complete meal. I make this in quantity because both DH and I love it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cheryl_h

              Do you make the vinaigrette or buy it? what kind or how do you make it?

              1. re: pamd

                I make the vinaigrette. It's a simple blend of olive oil, vinegar, a good dollop of mustard. I use about a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar with about a third as much Dijon mustard as vinegar.. Sorry I don't have exact amounts, I make the same dressing for so many salads I don't really measure any longer. I like a fairly tangy dressing with a distinct mustard flavor. If I use a sharp vinegar, I sometimes add a little honey. If the vinegar is mild, I leave it as it is. If I have fresh herbs and they go with the other salad ingredients, I'll macerate them and infuse the vinegar with them, or chop finely and add to the vinaigrette at the end.