Now that warm weather is here, it puts me into the mood for one of our favorite side dishes–pasta salad! I love it because it is refreshing and has both carbs and lots of veggies. We grill up a meat or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and dinner is done!
My mother-in-law and I played around with some recipes and tweaked it into this one that we love the best! I prefer to make it in the morning so it can chill and soak all day in the fridge. I think the flavors are even more intense when you do it that way! It’s a great way to throw in whatever veggies you have on hand. On this particular night, our only veggies we added were diced cucumbers and tomatoes, but you can get creative. We love to put sliced carrots and raw broccoli as well. I think the magic ingredient is this seasoning by McCormick’s. It adds a punch of flavor! If you see it in the store, grab it up. It can be difficult to find, especially as it gets closer to summertime. I’ve also been able to find it on Amazon in a larger bottle! Here is our recipe, but we usually double it so we have plenty of leftovers for a few days.
1 pound tri-color rotini noodles
1 cup Italian dressing (I use Olive Garden dressing or make my own)
1/4 cup McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning
1 cup mini pepperonis
4 ounces cubed cheese (we use Colby Jack or mozzarella)
5 cups assorted vegetables (cucumbers, sliced carrots, halved cherry tomatoes, raw broccoli florets, black olive slices, etc.)
- Start boiling your water for the pasta. Add 2 TBSPs salt to the water. Boil your pasta to al dente (you don’t want it to get mushy or it will fall apart.
- Drain your pasta. Don’t rinse though-you want that starch to stay so your dressing sticks to it!
- Transfer your pasta to a large bowl. Add dressing and seasoning and stir well so it coats the pasta.
- Add your pepperoni, cheese, and vegetables. Stir well until everything is combined.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours so it can cool and the flavors can soak into the pasta. Before you serve, you may want to stir a little more dressing into the pasta!