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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Simple Creamy Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad and it is such a great side dish for cookouts and to take anywhere since you can make it ahead of time and it even keeps for a couple of days just fine. It's also one of those dishes most everyone likes.

I did some searching for a new pasta salad while I was planning for our Cinco de Mayo get together. The easiest kind is just using zesty italian dressing over everything but I wanted something creamier without using mayonnaise so I came up with this.

Simple Creamy Pasta Salad

16 oz box of garden rotini (or other pasta)
1 medium cucumber
1 bell pepper - I used a sweet orange pepper but red would work great too
Creamy Italian dressing
Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 cup or more Kraft grated parmesan cheese
pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to the directions and rinse with cool water. While pasta is cooling, chop your cucumber and pepper into pieces about half the the size of a piece of pasta or smaller. Add pasta and veggies to mixing bowl. Add parmesan cheese and both dressings - 2 parts creamy italian to 1 part zesty italian until pasta is coated and to your liking. Then include ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Check to make sure pasta is still moist - you may need to add a little more dressing before serving.

The great thing about this is you can easily adjust the vegetables - diced tomato, red onion, black olives, celery.... the options are endless!! Or add in cubed turkey or some grilled chicken to make it more filling.

I definitely would have used tomato but we had it in a bunch of other dishes at the cookout so I decided against it. This makes plenty... I think we had 14 people and there was more than enough served with other items.

Hope you enjoy!

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1 comment :

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