Rich and creamy, with a surprisingly sweet and yummy sauce– Aunt Gert’s Sweet Macaroni Salad is the recipe you want to have on hand for Spring picnics and Summer barbecues.
This recipe for Chicken Club Pasta Salad is an easy to make pasta salad that combines everyday ingredients for a hearty side dish. It’s the best twist on the classic cold cut combination sandwich. Filling enough for a light Summer supper, perfect side dish to take to the next barbecue.
If you grew up in the South pasta salad was and still is a staple, but it typically just involves plain pasta and some sort o mayonnaise base. Shake things up with this fun new twist- Pepperoni & Basil Tortellini Salad, in a creamy Caesar dressing with sliced sweet grape tomatoes too.
Mayonnaise laden pasta salads are a classic, but they seem to be less in vogue these days. Healthier is in & healthier side dishes are trending. This sesame ginger pasta salad is a lightened up version of the traditional Summer side dish, but with every ounce of flavor we could have possibly packed in & plenty of Asian flair.
It’s that time again, the Fourth of July weekend. Time for celebrating the many freedoms and privileges we’ve been afforded.
Time for good food, tasty barbecues, fun times with friends and family, and plenty of fellowship whether it be around the picnic table or by the side of the pool.
One of the staples at all of our Independence Day celebrations is pasta salad. And not necessarily the same pasta salad every year either.
I recently decided to lighten things up, you know from our typically ‘heartier’ pasta sides, for the warmer weather of Spring & Summer.
This new spin on a timeless classic is packed with fresh, crisp veggies, tossed with a ginger dressing laced with Asian flavor.
If that wasn’t tasty enough, the whole thing’s then topped with a generous sprinkle of fresh, thinly sliced green onions and lightly toasted sesame seeds.
So if you’re looking for something a little bit bold, a little bit different, but totally fresh, consider bringing this sesame ginger pasta salad to the potluck table this weekend.
It pairs perfectly with just about anything a cookout can throw at you.
Want a heartier side dish, or looking to make this healthier pasta salad into a whole meal? That’s simple enough. Add some chopped rotisserie chicken to the bowl, and toss to combine. Alternatively, flaked cooked salmon is another delicious protein option to add in.
Not a fan of toasted sesame seeds? Crispy chow mein noodles or even slivered almonds both add the perfect crunchy topping to servings of this Asian style pasta salad.
If you’ve tried this SESAME GINGER PASTA SALAD, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Sesame Ginger Pasta Salad
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 4 inch ginger root peeled
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 16 oz farfalle pasta cooked according to the package directions, drained
- 8 oz snow peas blanched
- 1 sweet red pepper seeded & diced
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- In a small skillet, over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, about two minutes or until they’ve turned a light brown. Set them aside.
- Use a fine grater to grate the ginger into a fine sieve placed over a small bowl. Press out the liquid with the back of a spoon to get the juices out. Should yield about 1 1/2 tbsp worth of liquid.
- To the ginger juice, add the mustard, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together until the dressing is smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked pasta, snow peas, diced pepper, chopped celery, and the dressing.
- Toss until everything is coated, and then put it in the refrigerator to chill. Serve cold, making sure to toss everything again right before hand.
Mediterranean Tortellini Pasta Salad makes a filling vegetarian meal, or a flavor-packed Summer side dish. With bright, fresh veggies, cheese filled tortellini pasta, and salty feta cheese tossed in a Greek-style red wine vinaigrette this is bound to be the headliner of any menu.
A perfect summer salad, this Ranch Pasta Salad is chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s a fan favorite at any barbecue or neighborhood gathering, and it doubles as a hearty warm-weather lunch or a light vegetarian supper.
Don’t you just love a good pasta salad? They just seem so summery to me. Whether as a light side with dinner, or as a lunch. My favorite though are the heartier versions where I can dump everything in, give it a good solid stir, and after it’s cold… voila! Dinner is served. Pasta salad literally provides endless possibilities for new flavor combinations and ingredients. It makes me so happy, like kid on Christmas morning happy. This particular pasta is one of my personal favorites. It also happens to include one of our favorite ways to season/prepare chicken. It’s so simple too!
Generously season your chicken breasts with taco or fajita seasoning, and then bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cooked through. While having some on hand does give me an extra excuse to whip up one of our favorite pasta salads, we just genuinely like it that much. I love to dice it up and toss it in with some lettuce to make a nice hearty salad. The hubs uses it to make his own little protein packs to take to work. For the pasta salad though, you can make it all at once, or cook your chicken as much as a couple days ahead of time and have it ready to go.
Seriously, just look at those juicy slices of perfectly cooked chicken.
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Eat your colors’? Fresh ingredients can be so vibrant, and I’m really starting to notice the burst of intense, natural flavor they add to our meals. My favorite chicken, vine-ripened tomatoes, bacon, and a Mexican blend of cheeses over a bed of pasta. Oh the intensity! They all combine beautifully with just a tiny bit of help from the special sauce.
Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the recipe!
Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad
recipe adapted from Recipes for our Daily Bread
3 chicken breasts, seasoned with taco or fajita seasoning
1/2 pound of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
12 oz package of spiral pasta
1/2 cup Ranch dressing (not dry mix)
1/2 cup salsa, regular NOT a fruity blend
1 teaspoon taco or fajita seasoning
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, or cheddar cheese
1. Generously season the chicken with either taco or fajita seasoning and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through, at 350 degrees.
2. Allow the cooked chicken to cool slightly and then dice.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Set aside to cool.
4. Cook the bacon until it’s nice and crispy. Allow grease to drain by putting the cooked bacon on some paper towels and when cool, crumble it.
5. Chop the tomato.
6. In a a large bowl combine all ingredients, stirring to mix everything together.
That’s it! Told ya, simple. While it’s great straight away, it tastes best when allowed to chill. It’s just as good if made the night before and left to refrigerate overnight.
This recipe was taken over to Fiesta Friday # 24 which is hosted every Friday by Angie on The Novice Gardener.
Sometimes I want a lightened up casserole, that’s still hearty- which is where this Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole comes in. Served hot or cold, it’s an easy dinner the whole family looks forward to that can also serves a crowd.