Pasta Salad Recipes

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Pasta Shells with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms (Pasta Salad Recipe) Recipe

Pasta dishes are always a favorite in my house and this green pasta shell dish is no exception. I decided to experiment with the new barbecue we bought over Memorial Day weekend, so I grilled some tandoori chicken for an alternate version of this recipe. Before cooking the meat, I also grilled large Portobello mushrooms for the vegetarians in my family. I love using this kind of mushroom; they are meaty and add so much flavor to a dish. To finish the preparation, I flavored the pasta with a sweet basil oil, green and pink peppercorns, lentils and onions. The sweet basil oil has a pungent flavor, thanks to the addition of garlic.

I consider the dish relatively healthy as it's vegan. No cheese, butter or cream are involved, but that doesn't mean the dish lacks flavor. What I love most though about making this pasta dish is that you could serve it warm, or bring it along with you for a picnic and serve it at room temperature as a pasta salad. The weather is getting so warm in the Bay Area that it's time for us to get all the blankets, picnic bags and ice cooler from the attic and enjoy meals outdoors for many weekends to come!  


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Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

04.07.10 by Jackie

Orzo pasta salad is a very quick and easy dish to prepare. You can vary the ingredients in the sauce, but the basics are the same: you need the orzo pasta, some vegetables and a sauce. I made a roasted red bell pepper paste, added some green beans for color, lentils for protein and finished the dish with enoki mushrooms and cashew nuts for texture.

If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe for a picnic, this dish is an excellent choice. It's a light dish that pairs well with almost any kind of protein (hamburgers, fish, etc.). It's also very flexible; as spring turns into summer, you can incorporate many different seasonal vegetables into the recipe. Our extended family has a lot of picnics and potlucks this time of year, and I often prepare some variation of an orzo pasta salad. It's great for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians in our house.


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Wild Rice and Orzo Salad with Maple Vinaigrette Recipe

This dish is really three recipes in one. I combined my wild rice, kidney bean salad and orzo pasta salad recipes together to make a light and healthy meal. The maple vinaigrette helps tie everything together.

I usually make orzo pasta salad for parties and picnics, but we've been having a heat wave here and we all felt like eating something cool. The addition of kidney beans for protein and wild rice for fiber makes the dish more of a complete meal. If you have some leftover roast chicken, you can dice or shred it and add it to the salad as well.


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Cashew Pesto Radiatore Pasta Salad Recipe

Radiatore pasta look very similar to rotini shaped pasta but they're shorter, with a ruffled edge. Whenever I cook this particular shape of pasta, I know the dish will be devoured. There is just something about the shape of this pasta that kids love. And grown-ups who are like kids, like my Lulu, love it as well. 

We planned a last-minute picnic and I needed to come up with a quick and tasty dish that everyone could enjoy. Pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser and with the help of my sisters-in-law, I threw together the radiatore pasta with a cilantro lime cashew pesto sauce, with some roasted walnuts added for texture. To this, I incorporated vegetables, specifically broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. I had bought really cute perlini mozzarella balls and I added them to the dish, because who can say no to cheese?

For the non-vegetarians, there was some smoked salmon. I like smoked salmon in pasta salad because it works so well cold and is tastier than canned tuna or boiled chicken.


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Vegetarian Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Vegetarian Orzo Pasta Salad

05.25.09 by Jackie

Orzo is a rice shaped pasta that is very convenient for making salads. Just dice all the vegetables the same size as the orzo grains, add a vinaigrette, and you're all set. If you need meat in your meal, diced smoked turkey is a healthy and tasty option.

The reason I made this is that Lulu's family organized a fun picnic for Memorial weekend in Big Basin. It was a pot luck, and I volunteered to make the veggie dish. The orzo pasta salad is easy to make and easy to transport, which are both important considerations when you're planning a picnic. Just drizzle the vinaigrette when you're ready to eat.  Make it for your next family picnic or barbecue; it's guaranteed to be a hit!


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