With Memorial Day just around the corner, we are all craving some normalcy right about now. You may not be able to have your traditional plans of day drinking and grilling with friends, but you can have some of your cookout favorites!
In the summertime, my body usually wants raw, cold, or room temperature foods. When the moment requires something hearty, pasta salad calls my name. Featuring fresh veggies and filling pasta, you really can’t go wrong with this dish for a summer celebration.
Start by making a batch of my homemade Italian dressing. I always suggest making this quick recipe over buying because store-bought dressing can have some pretty nasty ingredients in it like preservatives, artificial color, xanthan gum, canola oil and sugar.
Simply combine all of the following ingredients and shake, stir or whisk them together.
- 1 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup (do NOT use agave)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
Next, cook up your favorite pasta. I love Jovial rice pasta as they are gluten-free and have the most fantastic texture. They also have einkorn pasta and now a grain-free pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, chop up some of your favorite veggies. The magic of this dish is that you can add whatever you want. Here are some of my favorites:
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup red, orange, or yellow peppers
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup cucumber
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup tomato
- 1/4 cup olives
- 1/4 cup onion
I invite you to make this dish your own! You may want to add chickpea, celery, cabbage, or anything that sounds appealing.
Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain and allow to cool a bit. Add in all of your chopped veggies and 1/2 of the dressing. Then stir well. You may want to add more dressing, salt, pepper, or herbs to make it perfect.
Then serve and enjoy!
What are your favorite summer cookout dishes? Tell me in the comments below!
Looking for something sweet to follow up this savory dish? Check out my Lemon Meringue Pie!