I love summer. The sunshine makes me want to head to a BBQ and enjoy a nice and icy iced tea/lemonade. Ahh. Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite BBQ sides, Pasta Salad. I love that they are lighter than mayonnaise based salads and can be customized to be exactly how you like them.
I made this Simple Pasta Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing for a work event a couple weeks ago and it was a hit! The hubby and I also enjoyed it for dinner with some sliced grilled chicken on top, a light but filling week night dinner.
Our grocery store sells these cute little nugget shaped pastas and I love them for pasta salad. But if your grocery store doesn’t sell these, use whatever you can find. This time I kept the ingredients simple, but if you like tomatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes would be a good addition or along with fresh basil!
Simple Pasta Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing
This recipe doesn’t make a lot of dressing so if you like your pasta salad drenched in dressing I recommend doubling the dressing recipe. Like I mentioned above, use any small shaped pasta you like.
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, or vinegar of your choice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey (can also use sugar or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 ounces small shaped pasta
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, small cubed
5 ounces mini pepperoni
- Dressing: combine vinegar, oil, honey, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a jar and shake until combined. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Salad: cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water until it cools slightly. Drain the pasta well.
- Once the pasta has cooled, in a large bowl combined the pasta with cheese, pepperoni and coat with the dressing.
- Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
Dressing adapted from here.