It’s the dog days of summer and getting a good lunch on the table is surprisingly difficult. At my house, lunch is usually covered by left overs. But over the last several days, the boys have eaten EVERYTHING in my fridge. So I had to dig deep to figure something out. So enter the easy, cold pasta salad.
What’s So Great About My Pasta Salad?
Well, it’s literally the easiest, laziest, and good pasta salad I’ve ever had. Now, as a rule, I don’t like pasta salad. I’ve tried so many different kinds and they are all pretty gross. Sometimes it’s a texture thing, other times it’s an ingredient issue, but it’s always nasty. But my easy, cold pasta salad is a pretty great treat when your hungry and it’s freaking hot outside.
Easily Sourced Ingredients
The only thing I put in my pasta salads are things that are easily found in my fridge, freezers, or cabinets. Sometimes, that makes for a very interesting lunch, but so far it’s worked pretty well. In fact, I have never gone to the store to get ingredients specifically for this. I’ve also never set out to specifically make this.
The caveat to that is that I always have shredded chicken, small steaks, and veggies in my freezer. I’ve also got some weird salad dressing that needs to be used up too.
I have a lot of sensory issues when it comes to texture, specifically with my food. I can usually get down a couple bites of scrambled eggs before I am gagging and can’t eat anymore. Which sucks, because I actually like eggs. But these sensory issues has created a lot of problems when it comes to trying new foods. Including pasta salads.
The reason I came up with this recipe is simply because I was hungry and didn’t want anything hot or heavy in the middle of summer. And let’s be real, a salad isn’t going to cut it right now.
My Easy, Cold Pasta Salad
The steps are incredibly easy and really, you don’t need a recipe. I like to experiment with recipes and cooking so rarely, if ever, do I have a solid plan in place. If you need a step by step recipe? I’m probably not your girl. But if you just need a foundation to create your own, I got you covered.
Are you ready for the easiest recipe you’ll read?
- Boil pasta of your choice to your done-ness (I like al dente for pasta salad)
- Prep your protein
- Drain your pasta and run cold water over it
- Add in your veggies or fruit
- Add your salad dressing
- Mix everything. Store in fridge if needed.
Making Your Own Pasta Salad
The options are endless for making your own easy, cold pasta salad. You could put pretty much whatever you want into it. But I try to make sure it’s got a good protein (I prefer shredded chicken or small steak) and some frozen veggies to help cool everything off faster.
- Steak with frozen corn and peas with Caesar dressing
- Shredded chicken with frozen strawberries and walnuts (or some nut) with a flavored baslamic
- Mini shrimp with with bacon bits, peas and baby corn with oil and flavored vinegar
- Crab with wanton strips and peppers and soy sauce
Try It And Let Me Know
I love making these different combinations and hope you do too! Let me know in the comments what you like to do with your easy, cold pasta salad!
Easy, Cold Pasta Salad
- 1 box Noodles
- 2 cup vegetables or fruit
- 1.5 cup salad dressing
- 1/2 lb protien
- 1/4 cup cheese
- Pinch Salt for pasta water
- 2 Tbsp Oil for pasta water
- Start your pasta water. Once at a boil, add noodles and cook till just done (al dente)
- While your pasta is cooking, cook your protein if needed
- When protein is done, place in freezer
- Prep your veggies or fruit. The recipe that I am using above was with frozen veggies, so I didn't have to prep anything
- When pasta is done, drain and then rinse with cold water for about 30 sec to 1 minute.
- Add everything into a big bowl and mix with salad dressing of choice.
- You can serve immediately or place in refrigerator.