It’s officially pasta salad season in my book and I’m truly so excited! You Diamonds know how much I love concocting cold salads that are loaded with awesome textures and fantastic flavors. Cold food is and will always be my niche, so this time of year is when I kickstart all of that here on the blog. Salads are seriously a simple dish to make for those of you who say you can’t cook or maybe you just don’t have a love for being in the kitchen quite like I do. That’s totally okay! We all enjoy different things and have different hobbies, however, it is important that we can throw together something in a pinch incase of a last minute dinner party idea, or you have unexpected company coming in town. Putting together a huge, colorful salad like this is tradition for me whenever my family and I are welcoming in the warmer months of the year. This pasta salad is for sure a crowd pleaser due to the fact that there is such a variety of ingredients throughout!
You may not look at this breathtakingly gorgeous pasta salad and think that this is something super quick and easy to make, but it most definitely is! I promise. There’s no choice for it to be anything other than simple because all you do is ‘clean out your fridge’! Literally. Anything you’d want to try in a salad, or anything you know you just truly love in a salad is free game! If you have opened jars of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, vegetables that are left from other recipes you’ve made, or blocks of cheese that have 1/4 taken off of it from snacking throughout the week will all work in this cold pasta dish! Whatever you have goes! In my particular recipe I am going to show you exactly what I used from my fridge, but you do not have to feel obligated to use the same ingredients.
Get creative and have fun when you’re making this salad!
What did I have in my fridge?!
- 1/2 head of broccoli.
- Two mini cucumbers.
- 1/2 Beefsteak tomato.
- 1/4 of a red onion.
- A small handful of spring onions.
- 1/4 lb. of ham.
- 1/4 block of sharp white cheddar cheese. You can chop it into chunks, but I prefer it shredded!
- 1/4 of the bag of yellow cheddar cheese.
- 1/4 lb. of hard salami.
- 1/4 lb. of thinly sliced pepperoni.
- 1/4 lb. of cooper sharp cheese. THE BEST!
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped plus whatever is left of the oil!
Instructions: How I made my pasta salad?
- Boil any pasta of your choice to al dente. I used penne and rigatoni to stand up next to all of the other items I chose to use. This salad is meant to be fun so choose whatever shapes or size pasta you want.
- Once the pasta is finished, rinse with cold water.
- Season generously with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and parsley.
- Toss in everything you had in your fridge with your pasta!
Of course we need a dressing!
- 1-2 cups of Italian dressing depending how wet you like your salads. I’ve been noticing a lot of people do not use the same amount of dressing that I do.
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic glaze.
- The juice from 1/2 a lemon.
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
- 1 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil.