Earlier this summer my daughter requested I make a pasta salad. She didn’t have to ask me twice! I always love a good pasta salad and tend to volunteer to make them whenever invited to a potluck, but I have to admit I avoid making them for our meals at home because honestly, I don’t have a lot of self control when it comes to eating pasta. Knowing that more of that big bowl of pasta salad will be shared with more of my family gave me more incentive to make it for dinner a few times this summer (my husband and daughter will eat it, my older son is still not on board but I have a feeling our littlest guy will be a fan soon enough).
I used quinoa pasta for this pasta salad recipe (found a great big bag at Costco recently), but your favorite whole wheat or regular pasta would work just fine. I kept things simple and summery with sliced raw zucchini, shredded carrots and grape tomatoes. The bite sized pieces of chicken sausage made it a tad heartier (for those that don’t think pasta salad could count as a meal) but the sausage could easily be replaced with beans to turn this pasta salad into a vegetarian dish. And because I’m all about shortcuts these days I used a bottled vinaigrette – this one from Brianna’s was just recenly introduced to me by my friend Shari and I am absolutely in love with it (among a few of their others).
Since I know I have a hard time controlling myself around pasta, I try to bulk up my pasta dishes with as many vegetables as possible. I added a couple large handfuls of spinach and baby kale mix to a serving of pasta salad with a couple extra splashes of dressing. It was perfect. My husband and daughter approved and agreed!
Hope everyone is having a GREAT summer! xo