Veggie Loaded Pasta Salad
Does your family love pasta? I have 2 big pasta lovers in my household. And I grew up with a brother who could’ve probably housed an entire pound of spaghetti all by himself. Me? Not so much. Sure, I like pasta, but it’s not up there on my favorite foods list. So how do I fulfill my family’s pasta needs? I compromise with pasta salad!
So Much Pasta!
When I was growing up, I’m pretty sure we had spaghetti at least one time each week. It was my brother’s favorite food and he had, let’s just say, a limited palate. Basically he ate spaghetti and hamburgers. I don’t blame my mom for that weekly routine appearance of spaghetti, because now that I have a little sous chef of my own, I KNOW the challenge of feeding kids is REAL! But I was a good kid and even though I didn’t love spaghetti, I dutifully and sometimes begrudgingly, ate it, because you know, I was hungry and a kid has to eat.
Can’t Escape the Pasta
Flash forward several years to college. Just imagine my disdain when I found out EVERYONE loves spaghetti. So much so, that once again, I found myself faced with it at least once a week! WHY? And this spaghetti was terrible – watery sauce, over-cooked noodles, it was just sad. So you can see, my lack of love for spaghetti and pasta, in general, all stems from these very formative year experiences with it.
Embrace the Pasta!
Flash forward some more years to meeting my husband. It only took a few dates and conversations to realize, this man loved his pasta and spaghetti too. Oh dear. Of course. Karma. Naturally, I make it for him often, because he loves it, but when the pasta craving hits for him, I compromise. Instead of spaghetti, I recommend other delicious noodle dishes and definitely pasta salad! Because pasta salad is delicious! And you can load it with your favorite ingredients! And for me that means lots of veggies. So, that’s what I do and so I wrote the recipe down to share with you!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pasta? Tell me in the comment section below! And if you make this Veggie Loaded Pasta Salad, let me know what you think! Want more pasta salad? Then be sure to try my Greek Pasta Salad too! Bon Appetit friends!Print
A veggie-inspired meal that comes together quickly! You’ll love this Veggie Loaded Pasta Salad recipe!
- 1 pound whole wheat (or other whole grain or GF) radiatore pasta
For the Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minded
- 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Salad:
- 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
- 3 cups baby spinach, sliced thin
- 1 cup chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- kosher salt, to taste
For the Pasta:
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cool water. Drain thoroughly and spread out on a baking sheet to dry while you make the dressing.
To Make the Dressing:
In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, garlic and Italian seasoning. Once combined, whisk in the olive oil.
For the Salad:
Add the cooled, cooked pasta to the bowl with the dressing along with the artichoke hearts, spinach, bell pepper, carrots and parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
This pasta salad can be prepared in advance, just don’t add the spinach until you’re to serve.