I think that one of the best dishes served at a summer picnic is the pasta salad- full of cuisine options and the recipes are limitless. I Like to go for more of an Italian flavor using any protein on hand like chicken, shrimp, or pepperoni with Italian cheeses and my secret seasoning trick- Italian seasoning packets.
These seasoning packets are the easiest way for me to “dress up” a pasta salad whether catering for an event or cooking dinner for a barbeque with my family. The basic ingredients are celery seed, garlic, onion, basil, black pepper, and salt. You can purchase them at your local grocery store where the bottled salad dressing is located. Click here to search for the dressing.
This recipe is great for dinner on the patio or a small gathering with friends or family. Don’t be afraid to add as many veggies as you can find and even fresh herbs like thyme or parsley! When it comes to adding proteins, my family loves when I use salad shrimp or chopped grille chicken. If you happen to have raw protein, season it with a packet or half of the Italian seasoning mix- you won’t regret it!
Now, Let’s Cook
I like to start by boiling one box of rotini pasta. Be sure to salt your water with a pinch or two of salt and place the pasta in the water only once it has started boiling.
While the pasta is boiling, I cut up one half of a yellow onion, red, yellow, and green peppers, a couple of heads of broccoli crowns, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, and diced cucumbers.
Next, I add a half-pound of the protein of my choice, freshly grated/shredded/shaved parmesan cheese, and a packet of Italian seasoning mix- you can add more if needed.
Once I have cooked and drained my pasta, I allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before mixing with my favorite ingredients and adding my favorite salad dressing- Tuscan House Italian me, please!
I’ve posted a list of the ingredients below!
Be sure to let me know what you think and tag me in any pictures on instagram!
12-16 oz of Rotini Pasta
1 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Medium, Yellow Onion
2 cups of Yellow/Green/Yellow Peppers
2 Broccoli Crowns
1 1/2 cup of Diced Tomatoes
1 cup of Sliced or Chopped Olives
1 to 1 1/2 cup Diced Cucumbers
1 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1 to 1 1/2 packets of Italian Seasoning Mix
1/3 to 2/3 cups of Italian Dressing