Quick and Easy Summer Pasta Salad

pasta salad 4

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen me asking for some quick and cool (temperature-cool not slang-expression-for-something-fabulous-cool) dinner ideas as we are heading into an extreme heat wave here in Southeastern PA.   I will be trying out some of the suggestions that I received (add yours if you haven’t already)!

I had tonight’s dinner covered – pork roast in the crock pot (no hot oven required!), corn on the cob and then I decided to whip up some quick and easy pasta salad.  I had a bunch of pasta just begging to be used from my last coupon trip, so this summer staple was practically calling my name.

I have made this version of pasta salad with slight variations over the years – many times I’ll add broccoli and I switch between Italian dressing and raspberry vinaigrette dressing (usually whatever I have on hand).  The secret flavor that sends this salad right into summertime is the freshly chopped dill – which for today’s batch I was excited to cut right from my herb garden!

You will need:

12 oz pasta (1 box) – I tend to use whatever I have in the pantry, so feel free to substitute your favorite variety.  Today I used a tri-color penne pasta.

Handful of grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved

1 green pepper, rinsed and chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

1 or 2 stalks of fresh dill, chopped

How to make:

1.  Cook pasta to al dente.  Transfer from pot to colander and rinse in cold water to halt the cooking process.

pasta salad 1

2.  Transfer cooled pasta to a bowl.  Add all other ingredients and stir until combined.

pasta salad 2

pasta salad 3

That’s it!

I always try to make my pasta salad at least a few hours before serving it (or even the night before).  I chill it in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat.  Sometimes I will add an extra splash of dressing to the salad right before I serve it.