A Happy, Healthy Family

6.06.2016

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad



A good pasta salad can be amazing, but a bad pasta salad can be gross, right? To me, a good one consists of a little pasta, lots of fresh vegetables, and some great dressing. The bad ones are just pasta and cubed cheese doused in bottled dressing.

I started making this recipe over ten years ago after a bad experience with that pasta salad that comes in a box--what was I thinking? Never again!

I call it Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad because I just started throwing in whatever I could think of--everything but the kitchen sink. As with my recipe for Veggie-Loaded Penne, this dish really should have more vegetables than pasta. And don't be wary of using some frozen vegetables in this dish--they often have just as much nutrition (if not more) than their fresh counterparts.

I used to use a bottled dressing for this, but it is incredibly hard to find store-bought dressings that are soy-free (most of them use soybean oil instead of olive oil) and sugar-free, so when I saw this Greek Vinaigrette recipe from The Bewitchin' Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a (very slightly adapted) try. It's great and adds just the right amount of zip to the pasta salad.

This recipe makes a ton, so it's perfect to take to your next cook-out. Or you could always halve the recipe, but who doesn't like leftover pasta salad for lunch??





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Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
This recipe is great to take to a cook-out!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat penne
  • 10-12 asparagus spears, lightly steamed and cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1/2 c frozen loose-kernel corn
  • 1/2 c frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 c cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 15-20 black olives, halved
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 t sea salt
Instructions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. I always just throw the pasta, frozen corn, and frozen peas in the same pot.2. Meanwhile, combine steamed asparagus, black beans, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, and olives in large bowl.3. When pasta and frozen vegetables are done, add those to the vegetable mixture and combine.4. To make the dressing, pour vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and spices into a small Mason jar and shake to combine. Pour desired amount over salad. Depending on how much dressing you like, you may have a little left over, but don't throw it away! Store it in the refrigerator for up to a week and use on a green salad later in the week or drizzle a little extra on the pasta salad just before serving.5. Let rest in refrigerator for a few hours before serving. If desired, top with freshly-grated Parmesan.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 main dish servings or 12 side dish servings





Enjoy!


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