When I think of pasta salad, I think of summertime BBQs, cookouts with family and friends, pool parties and all of that other school’s out fun! I think this stems from the fact that my all-time favorite pasta salad is one that the mother of one of my best friends from childhood would make for us constantly throughout the summer.
My friend Kristen’s house was the hang out spot in the summertime because she lived 30 seconds away from our community pool and also had a trampoline. What more could you want as a kid in the summer!? Since I basically lived at Kristen’s house all summer long, I ate a LOT of her mom’s pasta salad.
Her mom’s pasta salad was made with tri-color rotini pasta, fresh chopped cucumber, sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives and a bottle of Italian dressing. Simple and tasty! Last Friday night, we hosted a casual cookout at our house and since temperatures outside hit 80 degrees, I wanted to make a simple meal that felt fresh and summery. I ended up revisiting my favorite childhood pasta salad to serve as one of the side dishes but revamped it a bit with a homemade Italian dressing and some fresh baby spinach and parsley to give it a little more flavor.
I was able to get everything I needed for our casual cookout and this pasta salad from BJ’s Wholesale Club and since I was watching a friend’s kids on Friday afternoon, I took advantage of their same-day grocery delivery to have all of the ingredients delivered to my door. I love grocery shopping but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t seriously LOVE the convenience of grocery delivery, too. It takes the stress out of last-minute grocery shopping, especially when you throw kids in the mix! (If you’re all about that in-person grocery shopping, there are definite advantages to shopping in-club at BJ’s as well, including the ability to combine coupons from manufacturers on top of BJ’s exclusive coupons and you can even digitally add coupons to your card via the BJ’s app making the potential for savings even greater.) And whether you shop online or in-club, BJ’s offers incredible summer savings and beats supermarket prices on national brands every day (saving families up to 25 percent off grocery store prices!) which I’ve seen first-hand whenever I compare their prices to other grocers through the grocery delivery service.
After placing my order, within about 90 minutes, I had fresh veggies, herbs and pasta and all the fixings for a homemade Italian dressing waiting on my doorstep.
If you’re a bit of a texture freak like me, I think this pasta salad will especially appeal to you because it’s the perfect combination of chewy and crunchy with a zesty dressing to pull all of the ingredients together and help the fresh vegetables shine!
Simple Summer Pasta SaladPrint
This Simple Summer Pasta Salad is the perfect summery side dish for cookouts. Made with a homemade Italian dressing and tri-color rotini pasta for a pop of color, it’s easy to whip up in no time at all.
- 2 12-ounce boxes tri-colored rotini pasta, cooked, drained and chilled
- 1 cup black olives, sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 Wellsley Farms English seedless cucumber, chopped
- 2 cups Wellsley Farms organic baby spinach, finely chopped
For the dressing:
- 1 cup Wellsley Farms organic olive oil
- 2/3 cup red wine or white wine vinegar (or any combination of the two)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons Wellsley Farms pink Himalayan salt
- 2 teaspoons Wellsley Farms organic maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Combine all salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk rapidly to combine. (I also love pouring all of the salad dressing ingredients into a large mason jar and shaking everything up until it’s all properly mixed together.)
- Combine all of the pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour salad dressing on top of pasta salad and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Keywords: pasta, pasta recipes, pasta salad, side dish, side dish recipes, summer recipes, easy recipes
Enjoy! And please let me know if you give this one a try!