When a quick salad is needed to go with whatever is on the grill, pasta salad is an easy choice. I typically use whatever fresh vegetables happen to be on hand plus cheese and meat according to preference or mood of the day. I have found this to be a good venue for whole grain pasta, since the use of a dressing makes it hard for those “picky eaters” to distinguish between the “white stuff” and whole grain.
This time I used tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, yellow bell pepper, green onions, salami and mild brick cheese with rotini pasta.
My dressing solution is super-simple. Basically, use some Italian salad dressing, mixed with a little bit of mayo. The mayo thickens the dressing slightly so it sticks to the ingredients.
Mix it all together and you have yourself a salad!
Easy Pasta Salad
- 1-1½ cup rotini pasta whole grain
- 10 baby carrots cut up
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- ½ yellow bell pepper chopped
- ½ English cucumber chopped
- 1 bunch green onions chopped
- 5 slices salami chopped (about 1 ounce)
- ¾ cup shredded mild cheese I used brick
- ¼ cup Italian salad dressing I use Newmann’s Own
- 1 TB mayonnaise
- Cook pasta until al dente (my brand called for boiling 8-10 minutes, I did 8) then rinse and immerse in ice water to cool down. Drain.
- Cook the carrots by immersing in water and microwaving 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Chop all other vegetables and the salami. Shred the cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salad dressing with the mayo until smooth.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.