An easy Pasta Salad with fresh herbs, bell pepper, and cheese. This is a mayo-less salad, perfect to serve at outdoor picnics or cookouts...
Let's Make It, You Will Need
Step #1: Heat water to boil, add pasta. Stir to keep water moving, 5-8 minutes.
Step #2: Drain pasta, shake and rinse (so it’s not sticky).
Step #3: Place pasta in a large bowl, and add oil immediately to hot pasta.
Step #4: Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Step #5: Add all other ingredients, toss well, and chill again at least 2 hours.
- What I love about this salad is you can make it ahead and serve outdoors because is mayo-less!
- Try any pasta shapes you like. I made it with cavatappi, a pretty spiral pasta noodle...
- Use cheese you have or love; cheddar, pepper jack, swiss, or Colby.
- Try yellow or orange bell peppers. They make the salad look gorgeous.
How long does Pasta Salad Last?
Be sure to refrigerate it when after you're done digging in, and it should last 3-5 days in the fridge.
More Picnic Food Ideas
Something refreshing to drink of course is first on the list! Have small water bottles, drinks for kids like this lemonade recipe, and some adult beverages if permitted where you are having your picnic.
The best recipes to make for a picnic outdoors are food that can be served in small containers like potato salad or pasta salad and passed around, or held in your hand like a cut sandwich that stays together.
Small bite-size desserts that hold their shapes (and don’t melt) are a great choice as well! Cookies and bars desserts are a great choice.
Recipes without ingredients like mayonnaise (that become unsafe in hot temperatures) are also preferred.
Foods that pack well in a cooler, wrapped individually in parchment, plastic, or foil wraps are also a great idea.
Use small containers or zip bags to portion things for each person, and small splits of wine or champagne are nice too!
Easy Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Cavatappi pasta or any shape: shells, bow tie, etc.
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 2 large orange bell pepper chopped
- 2 large yellow bell pepper chopped
- ¼ cup red onion diced finely
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups Monterey jack cheese ½” cubes
- Heat water to boil, add pasta. Stir to keep water moving, 5-8 minutes.
- Drain pasta, shake and rinse (so it’s not sticky).
- Place pasta in a large bowl, and add oil immediately to hot pasta.
- Cover and chill 30 minutes.
- Add all other ingredients, toss well, and chill again at least 2 hours.