A zesty and simple pasta salad recipe that is made with beans, olives, tomatoes and drizzled with a flavor packed dressing. This easy recipe is great all year round. It’s light and delicious!
When you hear Pasta Salad, do you think “summertime meal”? If you answered “yes”, this Zesty Simple Pasta Salad Recipe will change your mind!
Yes, it is a cool refreshing meal in a salad. But, it is also so delicious, you will not want to wait until the summertime to enjoy it! Plus, it is budget friendly!
This Simple Pasta Salad recipe is a great make ahead meal!
I admit, I tend to have this pasta salad recipe more in the summer but, it really is great anytime of the year. It just seems that during the summer, when vineyard work is at its height, a cool meal that can be prepared beforehand is a definite win!
Between vineyard and garden, I spend as little time in the kitchen as possible and concentrate on meals that can be made the night before. This also helps keep the kitchen cool during the heat of the day.
I’m telling you, this Simple Pasta Salad recipe is a win-win!
This Simple Pasta Salad Is Great For Feeding The Whole Family On A Budget!
To make it more economical, I use dried beans which I soak overnight before cooking. Grains, beans and seeds have phytic acid in the bran and hulls which is an anti-nutrient.
Phytic acid binds with essential minerals (like calcium) and prevents the absorption of those minerals in your body. That was the bad new. The good news is that phytic acid can be neutralized through soaking – for more information and the how-to’s, see Proper Grain Preparation.
Having a large family means cooking large quantities. Feeding a large family on a budget can be especially challenging. I normally take a recipe and triple or quadruple it.
If you have ever tried to take a recipe and multiply it, you know that many times the spices are just not quite right. Often you cannot just multiply the spices- it turns out too spicy. Taste testing certainly has its place in my kitchen – a little bit of this and a little bit of that, taste it and repeat!
With pasta, it is so easy to throw more noodles in the pot and adjust the other ingredients accordingly – tasting as I go, of course! Pasta is economical, healthy and filling – that is important with teenage farm boys!
Tips for Making This Zesty Simple Pasta Salad Recipe:
- I use store bought rotini pasta but homemade, regular, specialty or gluten free pasta works well too.
- You can use store bought Italian dressing or basic homemade dressing but the Raisin Vinaigrette is absolutely delicious on it!
Zesty Simple Pasta Salad Recipe Step by Step
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. (not shown)
- Add all ingredients together. Photos 1-4
- Add dressing. Photo 5
- Mix well and adjust spices as desired and add more dressing if necessary. Photo 6
- Serve and Enjoy!
Zesty Simple Pasta Salad
- 1 lb garden rotini pasta
- 1 lb dry kidney beans or 2 cans
- 1 can black olives chopped
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3/4 - 1 c salad dressing Homemade, Raisin Vinaigrette or store bought Italian
- salt and pepper
- Soak dry kidney beans overnight then cook until tender.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- Add all ingredients together and mix well.
- Adjust seasonings adding more dressing if needed to coat well.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Do you Make a Meal of Pasta Salad or a Side Dish?
Leave a comment, I would love to know!