Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is one of those salads you’ll end up drooling over! It’s also a fabulous dish to take to potlucks and holiday picnics and parties. The combination of flavors is incredible and the crunchy texture will have you coming back for seconds and thirds!
Trio-color garden rotini is mixed with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, matchsticks carrots, black olives, garbanzo beans, red onion, mild banana pepper salad rings, pepperoni, romano cheese and basil. Then it’s mixed with a delicious Basil Vinaigrette with fresh herbs including lemon thyme and Italian oregano. This pasta salad is absolutely mouthwatering.
I enjoy pasta salads and I’ve got several on my blog, including Ranch BLT Pasta Salad, Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad, Trio-Antipasto Salad, Garden Pasta Salad and Bruschetta Pasta Salad. But I also like combining salads with a Mediterranean flair such as my Greek Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Salad, Antipasto Salad, Marinated Greek Salad, and Tomato Avocado and Mozzarella Salad–whether they have pasta or not.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is probably the most similar to my Greek Pasta Salad except it does not use feta cheese, avocados or the same vinaigrette. This one has chick peas (Garbanzo beans) and pepper rings (which I use in my regular Greek Salad), and substitutes Romano cheese which is a nice change from Feta. All in all, this salad turned out really, really well.
We had our Sunday school class over for lunch after church a couple of weeks ago. Along with grilled hamburgers and chicken sausage, I made three different salads including this one. All of them turned out as tasty as can be. But I have to admit I ate more than my share of this one.
If you need a tasty salad for your next gathering, I highly recommend Mediterranean Pasta Salad. The basil brings it all together, and you will probably want to hide the leftovers from your family and eat them all yourself!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is one of the best pasta salads you’ll ever eat. This one is chocked full of veggies, Romano cheese and has a delicious Basil Vinaigrette.
Everyone at our potluck enjoyed this delicious salad. I loved the texture as well as the flavors.
This lovely salad has a scrumptious Mediterranean flavor. The cucumbers, olives and mild pepper rings remind you of foods eaten in Greece and the surrounding coastal areas.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the salad.
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large salad bowl. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, mild pepper rings (drained), pepperoni, chickpeas, diced red onion, romano cheese and basil.
I used these ingredients for the Basil Vinaigrette.
Stir ingredients to combine.
Combine salad ingredients with Basil Vinaigrette. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I actually refrigerated this overnight and it was still wonderful a day or two later.
Pepperoni and mild pepper rings provide a nice bite in flavor. Chickpeas and cucumbers add a delightful crunch.
If you enjoy pasta salads you need to put Mediterranean Pasta Salad on your “to make” list. It’s really a great recipe to pull out when you have a lot of company and can be served with almost any kind of main dish like Grilled Chicken or even hamburgers!
Here’s the recipe.
MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD
(My own concoction)
- [b]PASTA SALAD:[/b][br]
- 16-oz. tri-color rotini, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed with cold water
- 1 cucumber, grooved, sliced and quartered
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup matchsticks carrots
- 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup sliced black olives or Kalamata olives
- ½ orange bell pepper, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- ½ cup mild banana pepper rings or sliced pepperoncinis
- 1 cup miniature pepperoni slices
- 1 cup shredded Romano cheese
- 2 tsp. fresh basil, minced[br]
- [b]BASIL VINAIGRETTE:[/b][br]
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 scant tsp. salt (between ¾ and 1 tsp.)
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil, plus extra strips for garnish if desired
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon thyme, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh Italian oregano, minced
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add rotini and cook until al dente (a few minutes before done).
- Rinse in cold water for about a minute to stop enzymatic process so noodles stop cooking.
- Place cooled noodles in the bottom of a very large mixing bowl or salad bowl.
- Wash cucumber.
- With a fork, groove lines into the cucumber from top to bottom around the whole cucumber.
- Slice and quarter.
- Add to mixing bowl.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, black olives, bell peppers, red onion, pepper rings, pepperoni, romano cheese and fresh basil.
- Mix Basil Vinaigrette and pour over top of salad ingredients.
- Stir really well to combine.
- Refrigerate several hours before serving.
- Garnish with additional Romano cheese and basil before serving, or as desired. [br]
- Combine ingredients with a whisk.
- Pour over top of pasta salad.
Your taste buds will be drooling after a bite of this tasty salad.
I thought Mediterranean Pasta Salad was great comfort food! Quite frankly, it’s so filling you will find the leftovers great served for lunch afterwards.
This colorful salad is great to take to any backyard barbecue or gathering with friends or family.