Dinner/ Recipes/ Salads

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Gluten-free, Vegan

Summer pasta salads are literally the best thing to eat, and this one is so fresh from the basil and mint dressing you will want to eat it everyday!

Now that the weather is warming up, I am staring to crave all things summer- BBQs, corn on the cob, lemonade and the ole classic pasta salad. Yet instead of all that mayo and cheese and bacon that you normally see in pasta salads, I gave mine a healthy upgrade to include more nutritious ingredients and a SPECTACULAR and FRESH dressing!! This meditarranean pasta salad has been a hit everytime I made it, and I can’t wait to eat it again.

This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients and only two of these need to be cooked, the rest are freshly chopped and tossed in. If you make a double batch, then you can save this for a quick and healthy lunch throughout the week. I choose to keep this gluten-free by using GoGo Quinoa’s macaroni noodles, but you can use any pasta you like! This recipe is much tastier at room temperature, so if you keep it refrigerated, ensure that you allow it to sit out at room temp for 20 mins or so before serving.

What goes into the fabulous Meditarranean pasta salad?

As I mentioned this pasta salad only has a few simple ingredients, but you wouldn’t know it based on how wonderful the flavour is! Here is what goes into my pasta salad:

Doesn’t look like much right? Well you’ll be fooled because this ends up beeing a HARDY portion and the mediterranean vegetables are filling and nutritious enough to keep you satisfied.

  • Cherry or Grape tomatoes: they add a burst of colour and juicy flavour. A mediterannean staple, be sure to cut them in halves or quarters to ensure every mouthful has some in
  • Zuchini: this is the only vegetable you will cook. I like to grill them with some olive, salt and pepper and dried herbs for added flavour. I do mine easily in the oven, but be careful not to overcook as zuchini can easily become mushy
  • Black olives: another meditarranean staple, the black olive is a must for this recipe! I actually prefer the canned sliced black olives, which also makes it even easier since you just drain and toss it in!
  • Green onions: gives it a nice crunch, flavour and beautiful colour
  • GoGo Quinoa macaroni pasta: this is my go to for this recipe to keep it gluten-free. Plus the texture is perfect for a pasta salad. Feel free to sub your favorite pasta
  • One batch of my BASIL MINT DRESSING: this is they key to the bright and delicious flavour! Follow the link to the dressing recipe. You will probabaly make another batch later for your green salads or to drizzle over some roasted veggies

Now that we have our easy ingredients list, let’s put it together. Start by making your Basil and Mint Dressing (Double the dressing recipe if you are doubling the pasta salad recipe). Then start roasting your zuchini and boiling your pasta. Finally chop your tomatoes and green onions. It is always best to combine all the ingredients together when the pasta is still hot, this makes the flavours soak right into the pasta and combine perfectly.

Just thinking of pasta salads makes me want to get out my swim suit and shorts, pack up my picnic basket and beach bag and have a party at the beach! I get so excited thinking about anything related to summer, and that is what inspired this recipe. I love combination of colours, it really is so fresh, and I know you are your guests will too!

If you love hearty salads for potlucks, picnics or the beach, then you also need to try my Chicken and Rice Salad.

I hope you enjoy it! If you make this tag me in a post so I can see how much you enjoyed it too!

xoxoxox

Meditarranean Pasta Salad

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Dinner, sides, salads American
By Nadia Zanini Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 20 mina Total Time: 35 mins

A fresh and healthy take on the traditional pasta salas with a mediteranneon twist! Easy to make with only a few simple ingredients, this is a summer picnic must

Ingredients

  • 1 package on GoGo Quinoa Macaroni or about 250 grams of your favorite macaroni noodles
  • 2 zucchini's
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • 1.5 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 1 recipe Mint Basil Dressing (see link to recipe in body of post)

Instructions

1

Make your Mint and Basil Dressing (see recipe link in body of post)

2

Slice and chop zucchini in bite sized pieces. Toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Spread out evenly onto a roasting pan, and bake in a 350 pre-heated oven for about 15-20 mins, or until the zucchini are well cooked but not mushy

3

Fill your pot of water, add salt and cook pasta according to package direction

4

Chop your green onions and tomatoes

5

In a large serving bowl, add your cooked pasta, salad dressing, cooked zucchini, green onions, tomatoes and black olives. Toss really well to coat. Garnish with fresh mint or basil

6

Serve immediatly, or refrigerate and save for later. Be sure to let it sit and reach room temperature before serving

Nutrition

  • 416 Calories
  • 38.7g Carbohydrates
  • 16.9g Fat
  • 1.2g Fiber
  • 5.5g Protein
  • 2.7g Saturated fat
  • 531mg Sodium
  • 3.1g Sugar

Notes

All nutritional facts are based solely on a nutritional calculator and may not be exact Nutritional facts include the separate recipe for basil mint dressing


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