Italian pasta salad as seen pre-made at the grocery store or at a restaurant is typically comprised mostly of pasta swimming in dressing with little to no vegetables. I prefer homemade pasta salad with a lot of vegetables and a light olive-oil based dressing to offer fiber, nutrients, and good-for-you fat. Whether you choose white, gluten-free, or whole grain pasta, this pasta salad will deliver enough fiber and nutrients to make you feel full without hurting your waist line.
Italian Pasta Salad
From Leah’s Kitchen
Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients:
1 box pasta (Barilla plus one of my favorites)
3 Broccoli crowns chopped
2 large cucumbers chopped
1 bag baby carrots chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped
2 packets of Good Seasons All- Natural Italian Salad Dressing (follow the less oil directions and use olive oil)
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
Italian Pasta Salad Directions:
Place two pots of water on stove and bring to boil. Make the salad dressing by combining 2 packets of Good Seasons Italian dressing with 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup plus 6 TBSP. of water, 1/2 cup of olive oil. Shake or blend to combine and set aside. Chop all of the vegetables to small bite sized pieces. Set the cucumbers aside and place in fridge- these can be added before serving to prevent becoming soggy in the dressing. Place the broccoli into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then drain. Cook the pasta according to the box directions. Drain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add the broccoli, carrots, green onions, and red bell pepper to the bowl and toss all the ingredients with the salad dressing. You do not need to add all of the dressing- just enough to coat. Season with seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This salad needs a couple of hours to marinate with the dressing for the best taste. Don’t forget to add the cucumbers before serving as well. Also, you may want to sprinkle a little more dressing before serving your Italian pasta salad.
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