Hey ya’ll! I’m so glad that you’re here and are just as excited about pasta salad as I am. This is my go-to recipe and is always in my fridge! When I was little, I called this “grown-up” pasta because my mom would make it when she and my dad had their friends over lol. I’ve modified it a bit to make it a little more my style!
This pasta will 110% take you to flavor town. It is zesty with touches of sweet and tangy! It’s super easy to make (you’ll find out quickly I don’t measure anything)+ the perfect dish to take to a summer cook out!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. 1 box of your favorite bowtie pasta
2. Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
3. 1 jar of Roasted Red Peppers – (fresh red peppers would be yummy + add crunch)
4. 1 Large Cucumber
5. 1/2 can of chopped black olives
6. 3-4 green onions stalks
7. Feta Cheese
8. Avocado – optional
9. Sriracha - optional
You can use any type of pasta you want. I like using bowtie noodles because they don't have holes like a penne or macaroni noodle that will soak up all of the dressing. You can shop my containers for my pasta that are on sale here.
TIP: When cooking your bowtie pasta, cook it until al dente. This will help prevent the noodles from getting too soggy from the dressing as it sits in your fridge and soaks up the dressing.
While your pasta is cooking. Chop your cucumber, the entire jar of roasted red peppers, and onions. I typically rough chop my cucumber and peppers to keep them a little chunky to add crunch but do you boo!
Once your pasta is done, drain it in the sink and rinse with cold water. This helps cool off the pasta if you are planning to serve it immediately.
The great thing about this pasta is that you can just dump all the ingredients into a giant bowl and call it a day. At this time you’ll add in theblack olives, your feta cheese and zesty Italian dressing. Add about half a cup of feta at first, then add more if needed after mixing. Same goes for the dressing. Taste the consistency as you stir to see if you need more dressing.
Once you have mixed all of the ingredients, you'll be able to tell if you need more of a specific ingredient. After you find a consistency to your liking, throw some plastic wrap over the top and chill until you're ready to serve.
TIP: You’ll want to leave a little extra dressing left over. As the pasta soaks up the dressing, it can get dry after a couple of days. Add a little more to keep it fresh!
There you have it! The perfect, Zesty Italian Pasta Salad! At this point, I would top it with avocado and Sriracha to add some heat! You could also add shrimp to add some protein! I hope you enjoyed my favorite summer dish! Let me know how you like it!
You can shop any of the dishes or utensils I used today here: