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Pasta Salad recipes

Hi I was wondering how pasta salad is made these days. What ingredients are you using to make the perfect pasta salad?

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  1. My recent fave is penne, oven-dried tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, and torn basil with a simple mayo/oikos dressing. You can add diced chicken for protein.

    1. My current favorite is Confetti Pasta Salad. It's using a ditalini pasta, diced red/green/orange/yellow peppers, diced red onion, diced celery, mayo, dijon mustard, s&p, paprika, thyme and lemon pepper. It's very colorful and tastes wonderful.

      The other is the good old standby of Rotini pasta (I like rainbow), cubes of cheddar and swiss cheese, onion and a small jar of pimentos. Top with Italian Dressing.

      Both are huge hits at gatherings and I never come home with leftovers.

      1. I love my pasta salad! Here goes…(this makes a lot)…

        Boil orzo (about 2/3 of a box)
        while that is boiling…

        Halve 1 English cucumber lengthwise, then thinly slice (to make half moon shapes)
        Halve a bunch of cherry or grape tomatoes
        Thinly julienne 1 large orange or yellow pepper
        Very thinly slice about 1/2 of a red pepper (and then slice the slices in half)
        Open a jar of pitted kalamata olives, and slice about 1/2 the jar in half

        Throw all the veggies in very large bowl, and cover with 1 (or more) package of crumbled feta. Once the orzo is done, drain and throw hot over the veggies and cheese. Mix everything vigirously, then refridgerate (the feta kind of melts and coats the orzo). When ready to serve, use whatever bottle of Greek Vinagrette you want to buy. If you are feeling industrious, you can add some minced Italian parsley and mint. Enjoy!

        1 Reply
        1. re: schrutefarms

          Oops…I meant red ONION, not pepper….:)

        2. My absolute favorite is Ina's roasted veggie and orzo salad. It is perfect as is but I have been making it so long I have tweaked it a lot depending on what I have onhand. It is one of those very forgivable recipes!

          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

          6 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            I do love a good orzo/veggie salad as well. Good call! I like such a variation. I have a lot of versions of potato salads as well as versions of meat/pasta salads. It's time to be creative.

            1. re: boyzoma

              Totally agree! It's nice to have basic recipes that you can build on. We eat lots of roasted veggies in the winter and I often end up making Ina's recipe with the leftover veggies. Add some leftover chicken or steak and it makes a wonderful lunch to bring to work.

              I do admit to be pretty boring with potato salad. It usually the traditional American version or hot German with bacon. What are some of the creatives takes that you make? Would love some fresh ideas!

              1. re: foodieX2

                Some of my plays on potato salad are:

                Traditional pealed Idaho diced potatoes/diced hard boiled eggs/diced onion/diced pickles/mayo/mustard

                Cooked, quartered baby red potatoes, sliced green onion, dijon mustard, S&P, mayo, dash of red wine vinegar.

                Obviously the standard German Potato Salad

                There is a "mashed" potato salad, which goes over well.

                I also like to do a Dill potato salad.

                I know there is more, but at the moment, I'm brain dead!

                I have lots of others, but they are not "potato or pasta" based.

            2. re: foodieX2

              Another vote for Ina's orzo with roasted vegetables.

              And this one...orzo with tomatoes, feta, green onions.

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              1. re: foodieX2

                Thanks! Our daughter-in-law hates tomatoes so this pasta salad looks like she would like it. Hopefully she likes eggplant! Garden basil should be available pretty soon. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

                1. re: dfrostnh

                  Your welcome! Report back and let us know what you think. Enjoy!

              2. My sister makes a great pasta salad with:
                1 lb corkscrew pasta
                1 english cucumber diced
                Kalamata olives
                Chopped sundried tomatoes
                Cherry tomatoes
                Chopped red bell pepper
                Chopped scallions
                Marinated artichoke hearts

                Use some of the liquid from the marinated artichoke hearts whisked into olive oil and a little more red wine vinegar, or lemon if its around. She does shaved parmesan on the side since there are dairy free people in our gatherings.

                Adding in some chickpeas or white beans it makes a great summer lunch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  Mine is very similar - no olives or sundried tomatoes, though, and with chickpeas/beans. I add crumbled feta cheese and use Ken's Lite Caesar for the dressing (though I like the idea of the artichoke dressing).