I don’t know about you, but at my house, when the summer heat rolls in, the oven stays off.
I have no interest in using the oven to heat up my house when it’s already 90 degrees outside, and with the exception of food fresh off the grill, hot food just doesn’t taste as good during the warmest months of the year.
No, when it’s hot out, I’m craving crisp, cold watermelon, berries, and ice cream. And when I want a more substantial meal, I dive into a big bowl of this Perfect Summer Pasta Salad.
After years of making and taste-testing pasta salads, this is the one that comes out on top.
And let’s be clear. This isn’t some mayo-covered grocery store pasta salad either. This is a fresh, healthy salad made with wholesome ingredients. Served cold, it’s the ultimate summer comfort food.
Honestly, this pasta salad gets made approximately every other week in my house all summer, and we never grow tired of it.
It’s filled with fresh, seasonal veggies that are perfectly cool and crisp, and the lemony dressing is light and refreshing. Throw in some sharp cheddar cheese and there you have it – summer goodness in a bowl.
Plus, the recipe couldn’t be easier. Boil some pasta, chop some veggies, and pour the dressing over it all. That’s it.
The Perfect Summer Pasta Salad is completely adaptable, too. So if you don’t like tomatoes, swap them out for another veggie. Don’t have cheddar cheese on hand? Swap it for feta.
The pasta you choose is also totally up to you. My absolute favorite pasta to use is tricolor rotini, but regular or whole wheat rotini, penne or shells all taste great.
The recipe calls for this Five-Ingredient Lemon Garlic Dressing. Trust me, it’s the best dressing for the job and takes less than five minutes to throw together.
But, if you don’t have the dressing ingredients on hand, you can feel free to use any other vinaigrette-type dressing you have lying around. You really can’t mess this up.
So what are you waiting for? Whip up a big bowl of this Perfect Summer Pasta Salad and dive right in. Make it to eat for lunch throughout the week or as a side for your next cookout.
I have a feeling it’s going to become a summer staple for your family, too.
- 12 oz rotini pasta
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper (red or orange), chopped
- 4 oz white cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- Lemon Garlic Dressing (about ⅔ cup)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain, rinse and allow to cool.
- Place pasta, vegetables, cheese, and dressing in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Dressing Recipe Found Here: 5-Ingredient Lemon Garlic Dressing