Calories Per Serving: 398
Italian pasta has always been extremely easy to make, so-much-so that you will never let yourself lose this recipe. Made with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, turkey bacon, olives, herbs, and a drench of quick homemade Italian dressing, once this pasta has entered your life, it’s impossible to kick it out again.
We guarantee that you’ll be eating this at every mealtime, snack time and honestly, whenever you’re bored too.
In our minds, pasta salad is reminiscent of two things; large family potlucks at home, and those endless times around the salad bar in Pizza Hut, filling each salad box up to the brim in the early 2000s. It’s also a good way to get rid of any extra cheese, meat or vegetables in your fridge while making a relatively healthy and extremely delicious meal.
Honestly, pasta itself is very flexible, but this pasta is like the girl who does gymnastics, diving and figure skating all at an Olympic level. All you need is some protein, cheese, vegetables (reds and greens, especially), some pasta (of course) and voila, you’re done.
Pick a pasta you enjoy eating and the one you feel has a good solid texture and shape to absorb all the sauce, for us, that’s rotini. You’ll also need a tangy dressing to beautify and glisten that delicious pasta. This will only take about a minute, so be patient! In the end, mix it all together in a bowl, and resist the urge to eat. Or, don’t. There’s no point in waiting for the next event to make this pasta, go ahead and make it right now!
Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- 1 pound uncooked pasta– We like rotini!
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
- 1 lb. turkey bacon, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup olives, sliced
- 3/4 cup pepperoni(optional, but do it)
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Italian Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (yes, tablespoons – see notes!)
- 2 cloves garlic(or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons each dry oregano and dry basil
- black pepper to taste
- fresh herbs if you want! sometimes I add fresh parsley, basil, or chives.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
- Blend up the dressing, or shake together in a jar.
- Toss all ingredients together! I like to use about three-fourths of the dressing, and then I save the rest of the dressing to add to my leftovers.
- Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. I think it actually tastes best the day AFTER you make it.
Salt FYI: Please note that the amount written is for COARSE sea salt. If you are using fine table salt, start with 2 teaspoons and add more to taste. The dressing itself will be very salty. Like, too salty for a normal salad. But in this recipe, that’s what we want! That dressing is going to get tossed with an entire pound of plain pasta, as well as a whole lot of fresh unseasoned vegetables, and it will taste delicious once it’s all tossed up.