Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are always an idea that comes to mind when I am trying to figure out what to make for either dinner or a side dish..or even snack. They have a lot of great pre-made pesto sauces at the grocery stores that I shop at. It would also be great if you can use a homemade recipe as well! My easy homemade Pesto Recipe can be found here (My Easy Homemade Pesto). With only 5 ingredients, you can whip up a great meal in less than 20 minutes. This will last up to a week in the fridge and it is best eaten cold (in my opinion). Chopped cucumbers, spinach, and bell peppers make a great addition to this dish!

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Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

Cold Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad

This tasty easy cheesy cold pasta salad makes those busy nights easy!

Ingredients

1 lb spinach & cheese tortellini

7 ounces (about 1 cup) of pesto

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; quartered

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese; cubed

1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until cooked, or al dente.
  2. Drain and let cool for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, quarter the cherry tomatoes and cube the cheese.
  3. Once pasta is cooled, add pesto, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Mix with a spoon until combined and enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2016/06/cold-tortellini-pesto-pasta-salad/

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Pasta Salads are always a good idea and they are my go-to dishes! They are simply so easy to make and everyone loves them. You can also dress them up (or down) in so many ways. This time I tried a light refreshing style pasta salad and added a Mediterranean twist to it. You can snack on this or eat is as a meal..Occasionally I add grilled chicken to this too!

IMG_4771Pasta Salad close up

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Auto

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Auto

Light and zesty pasta salad with a crunch of fresh goodness in every bite

Ingredients

1 pound of Rotelle pasta (wheel shapped pasta)

1 can of artichoke hearts; drained and chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives; sliced

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

1/2 cup pesto

1/2 cup feta cheese; crumbled

1/3 cup cherry tomatoes; sliced in half

1/2 cup corn

3 Tbsp green onions; thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once the water starts to boil, add pasta and cook according to its boxed directions. Once pasta is cooked, drain, and let cool.
  2. Once pasta is cooled, add to a large mixing bowl and stir on, italian dressing, pesto until pasta is completely covered in dressings.
  3. Add in olives, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, tomatoes, corn, and green onions. Mix until everything is combined then garnish with more green onions. Let sit for about 20 minutes (this will make all of the flavors come together). Best when enjoyed cold.
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/05/mediterranean-pasta-salad/

IMG_4770Pasta Salad close up

Skinny Cold Pesto Pasta Salad

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This pasta salad is creamy, but not to worry…it’s made with nonfat yogurt so you can consider this to be on the healthier side (kinda). This is quick, easy, and this is another dish you can add whatever you want. There are NO limits! If you don’t have penne pasta I would suggest using fussili (the swirly pasta). This dish would make a great addition to any party, BBQ or even side dish…remember, summer is right around the corner so you can start planning your party dishes!

Ingredients:
1 lb of penne pasta
1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
½ cup fresh homemade pesto
1 cup mozzarella cheese; cubbed
15 thin slices of  salami
6 fresh basil leaves
½ cup sun dried tomatoes; julienned cut
1/4 cup black olives; sliced
1 cup spinach; chopped (optional, for some extra greens)
Pinch of black pepper

Steps:
1. This recipe is extremely easy so get ready…bring a large pot of water to a boil with a sprinkle of salt. Boil pasta until cooked (read box directions for time). Once cooked, drain, and let cool.

2. Add cooled pasta in a large bowl and add yogurt and pesto. Stir with a wooden spoon until pasta is completely covered. Add in the rest of the ingredients and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes or until completely cold. You can also eat it whenever you would like but I prefer my pasta salad cold! Enjoy!

Italian Mac and Cheese

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Growing up we would always have some type of homemade pasta dish on Sundays as an Italian tradition. We had everything from Spaghetti and Meatballs to Raviolis…you name it we had it. It was my favorite meal of the week! This recipe just sounded so good on this rainy day and it was. I actually got this recipe from one of my favorite Food Network stars, Rachael Ray and added my own twist to it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian sweet sausage; casings removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend (Trader Joe’s has a great one!)
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Steps:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta until al dente (still chewy), about 10-11 minutes.

2. In a non-stick frying pan or skillet, brown the sausage for about 5-7 minutes or until it is no longer pink. Drain cooked sausage and set aside. In the same pan add olive oil, butter, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms look golden.
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3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add flour to mushrooms and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in milk. When sauce comes to a boil stir in 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add marinara sauce. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat.
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4. Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish. Add one layer of pasta and then sprinkles more cheese in the middle. Add second layer and top with remaining cheese and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!
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Italian Pasta Salad

imageThis is the easiest way to make a pasta salad if you are short on time and need to make a quick side dish or appetizer for a party or event. I would make this super easy pasta dish when I was in college because it was cheap, delicious, and everybody loves pasta salad! Especially with salami and cheese in it how can you go wrong!? Mix up the ingredients to what you like and you can’t mess up this recipe 🙂

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 lb multi colored rotini pasta
1/4 cup Wish Bone light Italian dressing
8 ounces mozzarella cheese; cubed
1 cup salami; chopped
1 can black olives; sliced
1 cup fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes; cut in half
1 small jar of roasted peppers; sliced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
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Steps:
1. Bring a large bowl of water to a boil and cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente (cooked but has a bite to it). Once cooked drain and let cool.
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2. Once pasta is cooled place in a large bowl, add salad dressing, mozzarella cheese, salami, olives, spinach, tomatoes,red peppers, and seasonings. Toss with two large spoons until evenly coated. This dish is best when its served chilled. This is so easy and simple anybody can do it!
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