Large Batch Pasta Salad Recipe
This past weekend my daughter’s swim team hosted their first meet of the season. As parents that means time to chip in – time volunteering and food for concessions. Personally, I don’t mind doing any of it, because I know that it takes a team to make youth sports events successful. I was assigned the task of bringing 2 lbs. of pasta salad for concessions. Luckily, pasta salad is pretty easy to put together – even at the last minute – and you can really create recipes from just about anything you have in the fridge. A good pasta salad starts with a fun pasta shape, then gets some colorful veggies, maybe some cheese and/or meat added to it, and it is pulled together with a dressing – and just about any bottled salad dressing will do! Just get creative.
My recipe was pretty simple. I cooked up 2 lbs. of rotini pasta the afternoon before and after rinsing and draining the pasta well, I added half a bottle of Kraft Tuscan House Italian dressing to the bowl of pasta. I tossed it well to keep the pasta from sticking and the start getting the spices and pasta to work together. Next, I chopped up:
- 2 big bunches of broccoli
- 4 cucumbers (remove the seeds)
- 4 plum tomatoes (remove the seeds)
- 1 block of Monterey Jack cheese
I put each ingredient in a separate baggie and put everything in the refrigerator overnight. At 6:30 the next morning I emptied all the bags of chopped veggies and the cheese into the large bowl of pasta, added some sliced and drained black olives, put in another bottle of the dressing, tossed the whole thing together and was out the door just minutes later. The only thing I meant to put in, but forgot to buy at the store was the pepperoni. I think that would have really finished off the recipe nicely.
This version of pasta salad is perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, sporting events or just everyday! And because I used the Italian dressing as opposed to a mayo-based dressing, I didn’t have to worry that it got left out for a bit when things got crazy in concessions.