Easy to make pasta salad with fresh, flavourful and zesty ingredients. The quick-fix meal when you’re in a pinch and have to resort to pantry ingredients and a bunch of random jars your not sure what to make use of in the fridge.
Using mostly pantry staples to make the easiest pasta salad with very little effort for big flavours. When times are tough.. this recipe makes plenty for a weeks worth of lunches, it’s easy to make ahead, can feed a crowd, and it keeps well.
One of the main reasons this salad is so flavourful is the juices and oils the ingredients are kept in. You’ll notice a difference in taste if you eat it right away compared to once it’s been chilling and stored the next day. The flavours become a little bit more intense because they have had time to infuse together and soak into the pasta.
Even though this is a pasta salad, it doesn’t at all feel like your eating something heavy that’s high in calories which is normally the result of a more classic pasta salad with a creamy mayo-based dressing. It’s dressed using store bought pesto (we like the Costco kind), extra olive oil and oils from the jars.
Don’t stress if you’re missing some of the ingredients. Generally almost anything can be added to a pasta salad and taste good. Easy substitutes are:
Basil: other herbs like parsley will do. If you have mint reduce the amount to half.
Hot banana peppers: other pickled peppers, pickled asparagus or eggplant.
Cucumber: peppers, carrots, celery
Bocconcini: fresh mozzarella, shaved parmesan, feta
Arugula: spinach, or spring mix (completely optional and can be left out)
Nuts: we didn’t add any but if you want more healthy fats and protein go for it!
We hope you enjoy this recipe. Be sure to tag us @thecommunalfeast and #thecommunalfeast we would love to hear from you.