Home Forums Forum Recipes Salad and Dressing recipes Pasta Salad Variations

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    Caesar Pasta Salad

    3 cups (10 oz) penne pasta, uncooked
    2 hard-cooked eggs
    1/2 cup red onion, chopped
    1/2 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
    1 ounce (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped
    1 bottle (8 oz) low fat creamy Caesar salad dressing
    1 head (3/4 pound) romaine lettuce, shredded (6 cups)
    1 small tomato, for garnish (optional)

    Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold
    water. Place in a bowl. Set aside. Meanwhile, chop eggs, red onion
    and bell pepper. Grate Parmesan cheese with grater. Snip parsley. Add
    eggs, onion, pepper, Parmesan cheese and parsley to pasta. Pour salad
    dressing over pasta mixture; mix well. Stack 3-4 lettuce leaves on
    top of each other; cut into thin shreds. To serve, line a bowl with
    lettuce. Spoon pasta salad in center of bowl. Garnish with tomato
    rose. Serve.

    Yield: 6 servings


    Bistro Pasta Salad

    serves 4-5

    4 cups torn spinach
    4 cups cooked orecchiette or small seashell macaroni
    1 cup chopped tomato
    1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
    6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts — drained and chopped
    12 oil-cured ripe olives
    3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

    Combine spinach and next 5 ingredients (spinach through olives) in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette over spinach mixture, and toss well. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over salad.

    ***Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette***
    1 cup sun-dried tomatoes — packed without oil
    2 cups boiling water
    3/4 cup water
    3/4 cup no-salt-added tomato juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 clove garlic, peeled

    For Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette: Combine sun-dried tomatoes and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Drain.

    Place sun-dried tomatoes, 3/4 cup water, and next 7 ingredients (3/4 cup water through garlic) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

    Store remaining vinaigrette in an airtight container in refrigerator for 1 week Serve with hot pasta.


    Stacked Pasta Salad

    Makes 8-10 servings

    1 pound tri-colored pasta twists
    1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup milk
    4 scallions, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon dried tarragon
    2 teaspoons salt
    1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
    1 bunch (2 to 3 stalks) broccoli, cut into small florets and blanched (see Tip)
    1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets and blanched (see Tip)
    1 large red bell pepper, diced
    1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, rinse, and drain again. Let cool.

    2. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, scallions, tarragon, salt, and black pepper; mix well. Reserve 1 cup of the sour cream mixture and add the pasta to the remaining sour cream mixture; toss until well-coated.

    3. In a trifle dish or large glass serving bowl, layer half the pasta mixture, half the broccoli, half the cauliflower, and half the bell pepper. Repeat the layers once more and drizzle with the reserved sour cream mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Toss just before serving.

    PREPARATION TIP: To blanch the broccoli and cauliflower florets, add each to boiling water for 1 minute then remove to a bowl of ice water to immediately stop them from cooking further; drain.


    Seafood Penne Pasta Salad
    1 pound crab meat (you could use imitation)
    1/2 cup onions, chopped
    1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1 1/2 pound penne pasta (cooked)
    1 pound sour cream
    16 ounces bottle ranch salad dressing
    1/4 cup milk
    Cook and cool pasta. Mix sour cream, dressing and milk (let sit 2 hours).
    Mix together onions, peppers, celery, crabmeat and pasta. Mix well with dressing. Chill


    Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad

    3 pounds chicken
    6 peppercorns
    1 bay leaf
    1 parsley stalk
    1 sprig of fresh thyme
    1 onion
    1 carrot
    1 celery stalk
    1/2 green pepper, finely shred
    1/2 red pepper, finely shred
    1/2 yellow pepper, finely shred
    8 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked
    1-teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 small onion finely diced
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1-tablespoon curry powder
    1/2 cup white wine
    2 tablespoons water
    1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons warm water
    2 tablespoons curry flavoring
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1-teaspoon salt
    Poach chicken by placing in a large pot with enough cold water to barely cover. Add peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, onion, carrot and celery cut into quarters. Bring to a bare boil with lid on; reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes. Cool in poaching liquid, then drain, skin and shred. To make curry flavoring, soften diced onion in hot oil, then add curry powder and cook over medium-high heat for a further 3 minutes. Add wine and water. Boil rapidly until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Strain and let cool. Prepare curry mayonnaise by combining all ingredients until smooth. Place peppers in a large bowl (reserving a little for garnish), with chicken, pasta, salt, pepper and curry mayonnaise. Mix gently until well coated. If mayonnaise mixture is too thick, add warm water gradually until a smooth consistency is attained. Place a portion of salad on bed of spinach and sprinkle reserved peppers on top. Assemble just before serving


    Garlic chicken salad with pasta

    8 Ounces pasta — cooked and
    drained, your choice
    4 Tablespoons oriental sesame oil
    1 chicken breast — boned
    and skinned
    1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar or
    cider vinegar
    3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 Tablespoons soy sauce
    2 Tablespoons chili oil
    2 Tablespoons garlic — minced
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper — or to taste
    1 large red or green pepper
    — cut into strips
    1/4 cup scallion — chopped
    2 tablespoons parsley — chopped
    Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a
    large bowl; cool to room temperature. Cook
    chicken in boiling salted water to cover 10
    minutes or until center is opaque. Drain, cool
    and tear into long shreds. Whisk remaining 3
    tablespoons sesame oil, the vinegar, vegetable
    oil and soy sauce in a small bowl. Add chicken
    and marinate 10 minutes at room temperature. Add
    chicken and marinade to pasta; toss to mix. Heat
    chili oil in a small skillet over medium -high
    heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook,
    stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Stir in bell
    pepper and green onions; cook 1 minute longer.
    Pour over pasta; add parsley and toss. Cover and
    chill for several hours or can be served


    Linguine Primavera Salad
    1 c broccoli flowerets,(1″ long)
    2 sm zucchini, trimmed quartered cut crosswise into 1″ pieces
    4 asparagus spears, trimmed-cut into 1″
    1/2 lb green beans, trimmed cut into 1″
    3 T fresh minced oregano,(or dried)
    1/2 lb fresh peas, shelled
    3 T minced fresh thyme, (or dried)
    6 T olive oil
    2 c. mushrooms,thinly sliced
    1/4 c. plus 2 T. fresh parsley minced
    1/4 t dried red pepper,Crushed
    2 t garlic,Minced
    5 tomatoes medium firm ripe cut into 1 “cubes
    1/4 c. fresh basil (or it. dried basil,Chopped mixed with 2 T. fresh parsley)
    1 lb linguine (preferably fresh)
    1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, Freshly Grated
    salt and pepper, To Taste
    1/4 c. pine nuts, Toasted
    Vinaigrette Dressing: (Makes about 3/4 cup dressing)
    1/2 c. plus 1 T. olive oil,
    3 TBSP plus it. white wine vinegar,
    1/4 tsp. salt,
    freshly ground pepper.
    Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Set aside.
    1. Make Vinaigrette dressing.
    2. Steam broccoli over boiling water, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Steam
    zucchini until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Steam asparagus until crisp-tender, about 5
    minutes. Sprinkle green beans with oregano and steam until beans are crisp.tender,
    about 8 minutes. SprInkle peas with thyme; steam only 3 minutes. Drain all vegetables;
    place in large bowl.
    3. Heat 1 T. oil in large skillet; reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms, chili red
    peppers (crushed), and add 1/4 c. parsley; saute, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add
    to vegetables.
    4. Heat 3 T. oil In same skillet; reduce to medium heat. Add remaining garlic; saute 1
    minute. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring gently for 5 minutes. Stir in basil. Remove from
    heat; set aside.
    5. Heat 2 T. oil in clean, large skillet over med-high heat. Turn to medium. Add all
    vegetables from bowl; saute, stirring about 2 minutes. Transfer to large serving bowl.
    6. Heat large pan of boiling, salted water to boiling. Cook linguine to Al dente (30
    seconds for fresh pasta) (for dried paste, cook according to box directions). Drain in
    colander; rinse under cold water. Drain.
    7. Pour vinaigrette dressing over vegetables in bowl; toss to coat well. Let vegetables
    marinate 5 minutes, at room temperature. Add tomato mixture, linguine, grated cheese,
    and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix well. Garnish with pine nuts and 2 T. parsley.
    Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, until cold.


    3/4 pound Chicken Breast — *
    6 ounces Dried Mixed Fruit — **
    1 cup Ring Macaroni Or Orzo — Raw
    1 cup Jicama — Cubed
    2 Green Onions/Tops — Sliced
    1/2 cup Mayonnaise Or Salad Dressing
    2 tablespoons Sour Cream Or Plain Yogurt
    1 teaspoon Red Chiles — Ground
    1/4 teaspoon Salt
    * The chicken breast should be boneless, skinless and weigh about
    ** You should use 1 6-oz package of diced mixed fruit.
    Heat enough salted water to cover the chicken breast (1/4 tsp salt to 1
    cup of water) to boiling in a 4 quart Dutch oven. Add the chicken
    breast. Cover and heat to boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the
    chicken is done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken with a
    slotted spoon.
    Heat the water to boiling and add the fruit and ring macaroni or orzo
    gradually so that the water continues to boil. Boil, uncovered,
    stirring occasionally, just until the ring macaroni is tender, about 6
    to 8 minutes or 10 minutes for the orzo, then drain. Rinse with cold
    water and drain again. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and mix
    with the fruit, macaroni, jicama and onions. Mix the remaining
    ingredients and toss with the chicken mixture. Cover and refrigerate
    until chilled, at least 2 hours.


    Vermicelli Salad in Tomatoes


    12 medium-large tomatoes
    1 lb. vermicelli
    1 tsp. olive oil
    3 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 cup fresh basil leaves, slivered
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    Italian parsley leaves (optional)

    Cut off top 1/4th of tomatoes and remove seeds and pulp. Leave the tomatoes upside-down on paper towels to drain. Cook pasta according to package directions until tender but firm. Drain; add olive oil and lemon juice to pasta, tossing to coat. Set aside to cool.
    Add basil, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, and parsley
    to cooled pasta, tossing to coat. Spoon into tomato shells. Garnish with
    additional Italian parsley leaves, if desired.


    Cappelletti Pesto Salad


    Pesto(recipe follows)
    8 onuces cappelletti or other medium sized fancy shaped dry pasta
    1/3 cup olive oil
    2 tablesp. white wine vinegar
    1 clove garlic,minced or pressed
    fresh ground pepper (optional)

    Prepare pesto;set aside.
    In a 5to6 quart pan, bring 3 quarts water to a boil over high heat.Add pasta;let water return to a boil and cook,uncovered,just until tender to bite (about 10 minutes). Or cook according to package directions. Drain,rinse with cold water, and drain well again.
    In alarge bowl, combine oil,vinegar,garlic,and 1/3 cup of the pesto;mix until well blended.
    Add pasta and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for at lease 1 hour or until next day. Just before serving,sprinkle with coarsely ground pepper,if desired.
    makes 4 to 6 servings.

    In a blender or food processor,combine 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, 1/2 (2 1/2oz.) grated parmesan cheese,1/4 cup olive oil; add1 clove minced garlic, if desired.Whirl until basil is finely chopped. Use at once;or place in a small jar,top with a thin layer of olive oil to keep pesto from darkining;and refrigerate for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage.

    makes about 2/3 cup



    6 or 7 cooked, diced chicken breasts
    1 box of curley-q noodles (1 lb. size)
    2 jars marinated artichoke hearts
    1 avocado sliced
    1 jar capers
    1 sm. jar sliced black olives
    2 tomatoes, diced
    4 scallions, chopped

    Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling water for 8 minutes. Rinse noodles in strainer (colander) in cold water. Place noodles in large salad bowl. Add shredded chicken, artichokes with marinade, avocado, capers, black olives, tomatoes and scallions. Toss with dressing and chill.

    1 c. fresh basil
    2/3 c. olive oil
    Juice of one lemon
    1/4 c. red wine vinegar
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    Salt to taste

    Whip all ingredients in food processor.



    2 bell peppers, diced
    2 purple onions, diced
    2 cucumbers, diced
    2 tomatoes, diced
    16 oz. thin spaghetti
    1 lg. bottle Italian dressing
    1 jar McCormick Salad Supreme

    Cook spaghetti. Drain. Combine all other ingredients together. Place in refrigerator. (Better if this sits overnight.) This recipe makes a large quantity. You may cut this recipe in half. I sometimes add raw carrots (cut up), broccoli and/or cauliflower.



    1 pkg. frozen veggies, thawed
    1 c. red kidney beans
    2 red spuds, cooked and cooled, cut up
    1 c. green beans
    1 bunch radishes, sliced up
    1 c. broccoli flowerettes
    1 (12 oz.) bag sea shells, cooked
    2 stalks celery, cut up
    2 carrots, grated
    3 tomatoes, cut up

    Mix all together and let get cold. Serve with favorite diet dressing.



    1 (7 oz.) pkg. or 2 c. macaroni shells
    1 (4 1/4 oz.) can med. shrimp,
    drained & soaked as label directs
    1/2 c. oil
    1/2 c. lemon juice
    1 (0.7 oz.) pkg. Italian salad
    dressing mix
    1 tsp. prepared horseradish
    1 1/2 c. sm. broccoli flowerettes
    1 c. coarsely shredded carrots
    1 1/2 c. sliced zucchini
    1/4 c. chopped green onions

    Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions. In small jar with tight fitting lid or cruet, combine oil, lemon juice, salad dressing mix and horseradish; shake well. In large bowl combine all ingredients; toss with dressing. Cover; chill several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Chill leftovers.



    1/4 c. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
    1/2 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. red wine vinegar
    3 scallions, thinly sliced
    1 lg. garlic clove, finely minced
    1 lg. tomato, seeded and chopped
    1/2 c. peas, raw or cooked
    1/2 c. pea pods, raw
    1 c. broccoli flowerets, separated,
    1 c. cauliflower
    1 lb. fusilli (any pasta), cooked and
    drained (optional)

    In large bowl, combine mustard, oil, vinegar, scallions, garlic and tomatoes. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients, toss and serve.

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