Quick and Easy Springtime Pasta Salad
SPRING IS FINALLY HERE! YAY! Do you know what that means? It’s time to switch gears from warming soups, stews, and winter squashes to colorful, fresh, and tasty salads!
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I’m obsessed with my sweet potatoes/starchy veggies, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than a nice salad on a warm, sunny day with the flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the smell of fresh-cut, green grass. I love being able to walk right out to my vegetable garden in my backyard to pick out fresh ingredients for my meals. I mean, what’s better than picking cherry tomatoes right off the vine and popping them in your mouth or picking parsley right out of the pot on the patio and smelling those fresh herbs on your hands for the rest of the day? To me, nothing screams spring and summer more than those things.
Sometimes You Just Want Pasta
While quinoa salads are usually my go-tos, for some reason I’ve had a hankering for some pasta lately. Since I was getting a little worn out on spiralized veggies and because grains don’t agree with me (and can often damage our gut), I decided to try using green lentil pasta. Best idea EVER. If you haven’t tried green lentil pasta before, I highly suggest that you give it a shot. Not only does it taste pretty close to normal pasta, it packs a huge protein and fiber punch, which I was super excited about since it’s usually hard for me to get enough protein in during the day.
The green lentil pasta plus all the fresh veggies and herbs and homemade balsamic dressing creates the perfect spring/summer meal that will leave you feeling satisfied, energized, and healthy. Check out the recipe below and start celebrating the spring/summer season with tasty, nutritious food!
- For the Salad:
- 2 cups uncooked green lentil pasta
- ½ cup canned artichoke hearts/hearts of palm, chopped (either one works here, or both!)
- ½ cup canned water chestnuts, chopped
- ¾ cup fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ cup canned black olives, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Sea salt, to taste
- Balsamic dressing (I use the recipe below, but you can use any balsamic dressing)
- For the Balsamic Dressing:
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar (the longer aged, the better--I like this one)
- ⅓ cup avocado/olive oil
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- About ½-1 tablespoon of your favorite Italian herbs
- Sea salt, to taste
- First, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Once it's done, set it aside to let it cool while you prepare the other ingredients for the salad.
- Next, place all the ingredients for the dressing together in a container or small mixing bowl. Whisk or shake the ingredients together until they're well-combined and the oil and vinegar are no longer separated and the sugar is dissolved.
- Then, place the cooked pasta along with the rest of the ingredients for the salad (besides the dressing) in a large mixing bowl. Toss the ingredients together until they're evenly-combined.
- Next, pour a desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss everything together until it's well-coated (you will have leftover dressing).
- Then, you can choose to serve the salad right away (I think it has enough flavor to be eaten right away). Or, if your pasta is still a little warm and you would like your ingredients to marinate together more, you can choose to refrigerate the salad until it's chilled and the flavors have had a chance to soak in (about 30 minutes or longer).
Want another delicious pasta salad recipe? Check out my Kolorful Kale Pasta Salad that can be served warm or cold!