Lindsay’s Pasta Salad

Pasta salad was always a staple at our summer family gatherings. Because I grew up with it, like many of my traditions, my kids are now growing up with the same traditions. I can remember filling my plate with pasta salad as a kid no matter what the main dish was. I think I always loved this salad so much because it had artichokes in it. The yummy marinated ones.

As with most of my childhood favorites, I have learned to make them for myself and my family today. This pasta salad is still one of my favorites for several reasons. First, it’s a great side dish for almost any summer meal. Second, it’s easy to make. Third, it can be made ahead of time, which makes coordinating your meal a snap. Fourth, it can feed a large group of people. Finally, I love this salad because it’s delicious, of course!

As with most salads, you can add whatever you like. In my pasta salad, I typically add carrots, broccoli, olives, artichoke hearts, and any other veggies I have on hand. Sometimes I include red or green onions and red pepper. Sometimes I’ll add cauliflower or yellow squash. Sometimes I’ll add pepperoni, grilled chicken, or salami; cheddar, provolone, or mozzarella cheese. Some other possibilities include tomatoes, celery, spinach, pepperoncini, or radishes. Another factor that makes this salad unique is the pasta used. I will typically use rotini, but have used a variety from spaghetti to farfalle to orecchiete to campanelle. This salad truly is a blank slate. Everyone makes it differently according to tastes. Be creative! What do you like to add to your pasta salad? Comment below!

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Lindsay’s Pasta Salad

1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked

16 oz bottle of Italian dressing of your choice (my favorites are Wishbone or Kraft Roasted Red Pepper)

1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts

1 small can of black olives

Chopped up fresh veggies of your choice.  Must haves in my salad are:

broccoli – about one small head

carrots – a couple good handfuls

Green or red onion, sliced thinly

As mentioned above, add whatever other veggies sound good to you!

Start by using about 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottle of salad dressing.  Toss all the ingredients together and serve!  It’s that easy.  If you’re making ahead of time, you’ll want to save the extra dressing as you may need to add more before serving.  The pasta will soak it up, which makes it better if it’s sat a few hours or overnight.  Enjoy!

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