Monday, March 26, 2012

Carolyn's Pasta Salad Recipe

I am still on my vegetarian kick. As I start trying to cut back on the meat, I realized that I have cooked plenty of vegetarian dishes without really realizing it.

One of those dishes is regular old pasta salad. I love pasta salad in the summer because I have tons of fresh veggies and herbs from my garden to toss into the salad. At the moment, I have no fresh veggies but I realized I had a lot of random veggies in the fridge and decided to make a pasta salad so they wouldn't go to waste.

I am so about not wasting food anymore. Now I am not always successful but when I shop now, I think about how many dishes I can make with a food product and how I can incorporate it into another dish. A whole chicken is great roasted and then you can use the leftovers and bones for soup. The other day I made steak and I re-purposed the leftovers into burritos.

These veggies would probably go to waste so pasta salad is a great dish to toss them into. I had some peppers and green onions. I also had some home jarred banana peppers from a friend who canned them last summer. So I tossed them into a bowl and added some olive oil and some apple cider vinegar.

The great thing about pasta salad is that it can be willy-nilly. You can put anything into it. It is so versatile and easy to make. You can also use any type of pasta. I love using rotoni, elbows or any small pasta. Just cook it up in lots of slated water.

While that is boiling cut up your veggies. I cut up my colored peppers that makes it festive and tasty. Honestly, like I said, you can add anything. Fresh veggies are the best but you can make do with what you have. I have used caperberries, olives, feta cheese, cilantro, tomatoes and anything else that looks good!

I also add a good quality olive oil and a flavored vinegar. I decided an apple cider vinegar because it went well with the banana peppers. I usually like using a good quality balsamic vinegar when I have fresh veggies because that takes it up another level. I also add salt and pepper and any fresh herbs I have. If you don't want a vegetarian dish, you can always add some protein like chicken or shrimp. I mean, anything goes with this dish!

Once the pasta is done, rinse and add to the mixture. You don't even have to rinse the pasta is you want it to go into the mixture warm so it soaks up all the good oil and vinegar. Mix it up and then put in the fridge for a few hours. You can eat it warm but I like my pasta salad chilled.

I usually serve this as a side dish but it makes a great lunch or dinner. Just add some fresh bread as a side dish and it is a perfect summer meal. I also love to serve this at parties because it is filling, tasty and will feed a lot of people. It is pretty inexpensive to make as well.

So there you have it another easy veggie dish. This is perfect for summer!

 Buen Provecho!


  1. nothing speaks "summer" to me more than home made pasta salad!!

  2. Hey Hyper-Girl! How ya doin'?

    I'm trying to do the vegetarian thing, too. Your recipe sounds delish.

    I'm doing one tonight that is not a salad, but it's pretty good. Whole grain pasta, white beans, chopped garlic melted with butter, fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. s&p if you like. Mmmmmmmm.