We are sharing our super easy pasta salad recipe. This pasta salad recipe is perfect to make ahead of time for a quick dinner or to take to work or school the next day. Pasta salad is one of those dishes that are great to take to a party or to feed a crowd. You can double or triple this tasty recipe.
Just follow this recipe and in no time at all, you will be enjoying a flavorful and healthy meal with fresh ingredients. One reason why this is such an easy recipe is because you can switch out any ingredient. So if you would like to add an ingredient to your pasta salad that you absolutely love, you can do that. Don't like caramelized onions? No problem, switch it out for sundried tomatoes or bacon.
This pasta salad recipe will feed two very hungry people, or for a good-sized side dish for four.
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA SALAD
3 cups of bow tie pasta (when cooked makes about 3 cups)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup of diced peppers (mix different colors if you like)
1/4 cup minced purple onion
1/4 cup caramelized onion
1-2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 cup mayo or favorite dressing
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 hard boiled eggs
2 tbsp paprika
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PASTA SALAD
Cook three cups of bow tie pasta. This is going to give you about 3 cups of cooked pasta because bow tie doesn't expand very much. Once the bow tie pasta is cooked, drain it and then stop the cooking by running it under cold water or giving it an ice bath.
Add in the celery, pepper, purple onion, caramelized onion, & parsley. Mix well.
Next, stir in the mayo, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and stir until mixed well.
Transfer to a suitable serving dish and place the eggs on top and sprinkle with paprika.
What Type Of Pasta Is Best For Pasta Salad?
Bow tie pasta and shells are the most popular for pasta salad because they don't get really mushy as they absorb the dressing. Also, any kind of pasta with little nooks and crannies are ideal because those little spaces will be a perfect carrier for herbs. When cooking your pasta, be sure to cook it al dente so that it doesn't go soggy.
Cooling The Pasta For Pasta Salad
When making pasta salad the pasta should be cooled down quickly to avoid overcooking. So as soon as your pasta is finished cooking, put it directly into an ice bath or run it under cold water. Then strain it and dry it as best as you can. If you choose to add your dressing to warm pasta, that's ok too because it will help with the cooling process and also add extra flavor into the actual pasta pieces. The key tip here is to make sure that the pasta is no longer cooking.
Adding And Choosing Ingredients For Pasta Salad
All ingredients for pasta salad should be chopped up about the same size to ensure you are getting a little bit of everything in every delicious bite.
When To Serve Pasta Salad
You can either serve pasta salad right away, or you can make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge. Pasta salad always tastes the yummiest the next day because the flavors have had a chance to blend together. Just test it again for salt and pepper and a bit more if you think your salad needs it.
Best Way To Store Pasta Salad
Pasta salad can last up to 5 days in the fridge when stored properly. When storing pasta salad, it keeps best in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. We use glass containers here on Amazon. Pasta salad can be frozen but it's not that great. It's best to make as much as you need plus a bit more to keep in the fridge for a few days for lunches and work.
Taking Pasta Salad To A Picnic Or To Work
Pasta salad is one of those recipes that people love to take to work, picnics or a party. Practicing good food safety by keeping your pasta salad chilled is important. Using a portable insulated bag will help keep your pasta salad nice and cool. Check out all of the different sizes and brands here on Amazon.
We have even more easy recipes on our food blog.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Please save a pin.