Some people like creamy pasta salads that include mayonnaise or sour cream, but others do not care for mayonnaise at all. This recipe is one that you can serve to pretty much everyone, whether they like mayo or not. With its light, vinegar based dressing, the dish itself is the perfect accompaniment for a heavier meal that is based upon grilled meats.
Every cookout has a standard food selection. Of course, grilled meats or veggies are generally the stars of the show. But, to have a really great cookout, the side items have to be just as appealing. Since cookouts mostly take place in the warmer months, most people prefer side dishes that are lighter and cooler.
Easy Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe
- Pint Mason Jar with Lid
- Medium-Sized Saucepan
- Large bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Water
- 2 teaspoons Honey
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 6 tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan divided
- ¾ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 pinch Black Pepper
- 16 ounces Tri-Color Garden Rotini from a box
- ⅓ cup Sliced Black Olives
- Pour the oil, vinegar, honey, and lemon juice into a pint mason jar with a tightly fitting lid. Add half of the Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and the pepper into the jar. Cap the jar and shake all of this together to blend. Dip your finger into the dressing mixture and taste it. If it needs a little more salt or pepper, feel free to add some. If you like a bit more heat, add a few more red pepper flakes.
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, bring two or three quarts of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt, and stir the pasta into the water. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Our package said to cook the rotini for 7 minutes.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, rinsing it under a stream of cool water.
- Put the pasta in a large bowl that has a tightly fitting lid, and gently stir in the black olives.
- Add the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Toss the pasta and cheese mixture with about ⅔ of the dressing from the jar. Gently use a large wooden spoon to toss the pasta with the dressing mixture.
- Refrigerate the pasta for two or three hours. Taking the time to refrigerate the pasta before serving allows the flavors to blend and intensify.
- Before you serve the pasta salad, add the remainder of the dressing and a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Serve.
- To store the pasta salad, store it in a container with a tightly fitting lid for up to five days.
Related: Pasta Salad Recipes