Updated: Jun 25, 2020
There's nothing better than a simple recipe that can be easily stored in the fridge until it's time to eat. This rainbow pasta salad is a crowd favorite. When I tell you that I make this once a week, I am not exaggerating.
This recipe is
A perfect spring/summer meal
Easily made ahead
Great for potlucks, parties, and picnics
The trick to the best pasta salad is to use whatever seasonal ingredients are on hand. Use this recipe as a guideline and don't be afraid to get creative with what's in season!
1 lb short, thick pasta, like farfalle, rotini, or penne
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
2/3 cup Kalamata or black olives, cut in half
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2- 3/4 cup chickpeas (about 1/2 can, drained and rinsed)
Feta cheese (optional)
For the dressing
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
red pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon honey, agave, or any other sticky sweetener of your choice
1. For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once it’s boiling, add 1.5-2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Cook the pasta until al-dente according to package instructions. Begin testing early so that it doesn’t overcook. Drain and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking and further cooking. Transfer pasta into a bowl and set aside.
2. Cut cucumber, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and olives. Add to the pasta bowl, along with chickpeas.
3. To make the dressing, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over pasta and vegetables, stirring to combine.
4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
5. To serve, garnish with cheese, if desired.