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Vibrant Potluck Pasta Salad

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There’s something truly special about a dish that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also delights the eyes, and our Vibrant Potluck Pasta Salad does just that. This dish is a celebration of colors and flavors, combining the tender bite of rainbow rotini pasta with a medley of crisp vegetables, tangy olives, and spicy peperoncini peppers. Each forkful is a journey through a garden of textures and tastes, dressed in a zesty Italian dressing that ties all the components together beautifully. It’s the kind of salad that becomes a talking point, not just for its visual appeal but for its ability to bring a burst of freshness and joy to any table.

Perfect for potlucks, picnics, or a simple family dinner, this pasta salad is as versatile as it is delicious. It’s a dish that invites customization, encouraging cooks to add their own twist with different vegetables or dressings according to taste. The addition of cherry tomatoes just before serving ensures a pop of sweetness that complements the savory notes of the salad. Whether you’re looking to impress guests or just make mealtime a bit more colorful, this pasta salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Full Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 ounces rainbow rotini pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (for pasta water)
  • 1 bag of frozen vegetable medley (broccoli, carrots, peas, etc.)
  • 3 ounces black olives, sliced
  • 12-13 peperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 16 ounces Italian dressing (full fat, not fat-free)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

 

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Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Add the pasta and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Parmesan cheese, olives, and peperoncini peppers.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately add the frozen vegetable medley to the hot pasta. Stir to combine and let the residual heat cook the vegetables slightly.
  4. Rinse the pasta and vegetables under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta and vegetables, sliced olives, sliced peperoncini peppers, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Pour about 12 ounces of Italian dressing over the salad and mix well. Reserve the remaining 4 ounces of dressing for later.
  7. If serving immediately, add the cherry tomatoes and mix gently. If serving later, refrigerate the salad and add the cherry tomatoes just before serving. Add the reserved Italian dressing to freshen up the salad before serving.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 7 minutes | Total Time: 22 minutes

Kcal: 320 kcal | Servings: 8 servings

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