There is something about summer and pasta salad that go hand and hand. Classic rock playing in the background, burgers and hot dogs grilling, and all the delicious sides ready for eating. This summer may look a little different with fewer and smaller gatherings, but that’s all the more reason to make them meaningful and memorable!
I love this pasta salad at a BBQ alongside my baby back ribs, but it is also perfect for weekly meal prep. Whip up a batch during your meal prep time along with some turkey meatballs and steamed broccoli, then portion out for lunch each day. I use portion-control containers and fill up the CARBS container (it’s the yellow one, about 1/2 cup serving) with pasta salad so that I don’t go overboard. Here’s an example of how I use portion-control containers to prep my lunches…
*You can snag these color coded portion-control containers here! They have been a lifesaver for me and made meal prep super simple.
The best part of this recipe is that you can add or omit any mix-in that you want! Don’t like olives? Don’t add them. Want some roasted red peppers in there? Do it! I have even chopped up pickles before and added them in for some texture and crunch. The possibilities are endless!
Easy Pasta Salad
8 oz. (half a box) Rotini, cooked according to package
3/4 cup Italian dressing, divided
1 (2.25 oz) can black olives, sliced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 block Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 block Mozzarella cheese (or mozzarella blend if desired)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
2. Add 1/2 cup of Italian dressing and coat pasta.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Pour remaining 1/4 cup Italian dressing and mix together to ensure dressing evenly coats all ingredients.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.