Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tasty Tuesday- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is probably my least favorite item at a BBQ or picnic, but this recipe is SOOO GOOD!  My mom taught me how to make it, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since.  I could literally eat all of this stuff by myself.  I made it a while back for a get together with friends, and it was a huge hit.

Ingredients:  (I don't know the technical names for the pasta types, so enjoy my made up pasta names)

  • Tube noodle pasta
  • Tortellini pasta
  • Tri-colored spiral pasta (white, green, and orange- it adds color)
  • Chicken, cubed
  • Zesty Italian Kraft dressing
  • Olives
  • Green Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Crushed red peppers (like the ones at Pizza Hut for your pizza)
  • Parmesan Cheese
I have never really measured the exact ingredient amounts when making this.  It is pretty easy to wing it.  I promise you can't really mess it up.  If you're making this for a large group, I would say use a whole bag or box of each kind of pasta.  If it is for a small family meal, use a cup or two of each pasta type.  Cook all the pasta, drain, rinse, and lay out on paper towel to cool and dry. If there is water on the pasta, the oils in the dressing won't stick to it.  It's okay if the pasta is slightly sticky, because it will stick to the dressing better.

While the pasta is drying, cook the chicken, cut into cubes, and place in the fridge to cool.  Chop green onions, broccoli, and olives.

When everything is cooked, cooled, and chopped, mix it all into a giant bowl.  Add a whole bottle of Zesty Italian dressing, crushed red peppers, and parmesan cheese.  Sometimes the pasta soaks up the zesty-ness, so you can always add another bottle if you like more of a zing.

This pasta salad has the best zesty flavor and is sure to be a big hit.  It is best served cold, and makes terrific leftovers.  I actually think it's even better the second day since the dressing has time to marinate everything together. 

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I never make pasta salads, I don't know why? But I always like them when I eat them at get togethers. I'm making this one! thanks for the recipe!


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