Ultimate Pasta Salad
One of my absolute favorite things to eat on a hot summer day is pasta salad. I can make up a batch fairly easily in the morning and let it get icy cold in the refrigerator all day. Then when it is dinner time I just simply pull the bowl out of the fridge and serve it.
Some people may think it strange to just have pasta salad for dinner but this recipe for my Ultimate Pasta Salad covers most of the food groups – grains (pasta), veggies (yep we got those), dairy (cheese) and even meat (pepperoni).
Do you consider pepperoni a meat though? I don’t know, but it sure does taste good!
You could beef up the meat content if you wanted by adding some cooked diced chicken too. I have done that. It is good.
I make this pasta salad recipe probably about once every two weeks or so for dinner and it is definitely one of my go-to recipes for pot-lucks and other summer get-togethers. Everyone loves it. It goes well as a side dish and is easy to make.
I personally like to double the recipe because (1.) I have a large family and (2.) this salad tastes even better the second day as leftovers for lunch!
The recipe below is how I make my pasta salad exactly. But feel free to change it up some. If you don’t like onions, leave them out, want to use fresh red peppers instead of jarred, go for it. Want to try a different kind of cheese? Sure why not! Enjoy and stay cool!
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- 2 Lbs. Curly Pasta (I used Cellentani)
- 1 (7 Oz.) Package Sliced Pepperoni (cut in half)
- 1 (16 Oz.) Bottle Red Wine Vinaigrette (I prefer Wish-Bone brand)
- 1 (15 Oz.) Jar Marinated Roasted Red Peppers (Drained and sliced into strips)
- 1 Medium Red Onion (diced)
- 1 Cucumber (peeled, seeds scooped and diced)
- 1 Lb. Mozzarella Cheese (cut into cubes)
- 1 Cup. Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 (3.8 Oz. Can Sliced Black Olives (drained)
- Prepare pasta according to directions on box and cook till just al dente.
- While pasta is cooking prepare the rest of ingredients by chopping your vegetables, cheese and pepperoni.
- Drain cooked pasta in colander and run hot pasta under cold running water until completely cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and mix well with a large spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill or for up to 3 days.