Garden Pasta Salad is another tasty pasta salad recipe. Lots of garden veggies are tossed with pasta and two types of cheese and coated in a tasty vinaigrette. This amazing salad is full of veggies: three colors of miniature bell peppers, two kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, celery, onion, broccoli, olives and carrots. While I added two kinds of cheese for extra flavor, protein and texture, you could just as easily leave them off and have a delightful vegan salad.
We had a large celebration luncheon for a staff member at our church who was retiring after 31 years in ministry at our church a couple of weeks ago. Now, when I attend large potlucks like this, I don’t like to make the same old thing everyone else makes. There must have been at least 10 (if not more) baked bean casseroles, almost that many potato salads, and loads of desserts. I guess I’m an oddball, but I prefer bringing something that’s not the same old thing as everyone else is bringing. And because I enjoy salads and bread so much, that’s what I brought!
I think you’ll love Garden Pasta Salad, especially if you like veggies or have a garden–plus the olive oil vinaigrette is fantastic. You can use many kinds of pasta in this recipe. It’s great with tri-color pastas to provide extra color, but radiatore, bow ties, wagon wheels, penne, shells and tortellini would also be good with this salad. Garden Pasta Salad is so festive and colorful. It’s a great one to pull out any time you can find fresh veggies–which is almost all year round these days. Garden Pasta Salad is a fabulous option for any kind of barbecue, potluck or family gathering.
If you’re looking for a marvelous pasta salad recipe to share with friends or even just your own family, then consider Garden Pasta Salad. If you have other fresh veggies like radishes, banana peppers, cucumbers or sugar snap peas – they would also work well in this recipe. And, again, if you want an even healthier option use gluten free pasta and eliminate the cheese for a vegan recipe.
Garden Pasta Salad has a tasty olive oil vinaigrette that makes this salad special.
Garden Pasta Salad is so festive and beautiful.
This close up shows all the wonderful veggies in this salad.
Here’s what I did.
Boil pasta according to package directions, except al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Add sliced carrots, olives, grape tomatoes, sunburst tomatoes, sliced miniature bell pepper rings, diced green onion, celery, zucchini and broccoli florets. I would have also added cucumber but mine had gone bad.
I added both provolone and Vermont white cheddar cheeses.
I used these ingredients for the salad dressing.
Mix salad dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
Add olive oil vinaigrette and stir to combine.
Garden Pasta Salad is a wonderful salad for backyard barbecues and other potlucks.
This is a nice salad to serve for salad bar luncheons, too.
Here’s the recipe.
GARDEN PASTA SALAD
(My own concoction)
- 1 cup yellow sunburst cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup miniature bell peppers, yellow, orange and red, sliced in rings
- 1 cup zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- 1 cup sliced ripe olives
- 1 cup petite baby carrots, sliced or matchstix carrots
- 16-oz. box tri-colored rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
- 1 cup provolone cheese cut in small cubes, or slices cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 2/3 cups Vermont extra sharp white cheddar cheese, cubed
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- 1 tbsp. basil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions, except al dente.
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Meanwhile, mix olive oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
- Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In large serving or mixing bowl, place tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, celery, broccoli, onions, olives, and carrots.
- Add cheeses.
- Add rinsed pasta and salad dressing and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate several hours for flavors to marinate.
All the different tastes and textures in this salad were marvelous.
Time to grab a plate!