It’s October, but we got one last taste of 74 degree weather today! It felt like summer and I just wanted to be outside. We decided to grill out for dinner, so obviously my favorite summer side dish made an appearance–pasta salad.
Growing up, my mom made this all summer long, it just hits the spot. She made it a little differently, but I prefer putting a little Greek twist on it, and I also attempt to make it slightly more healthy. I substitute Banza chickpea pasta, make my own dressing, and leave out any cheese. It all comes together in like 10 minutes, which makes me love it even more.
After you throw all the ingredients together, I think it is served best if you can chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. That’s up to you!
8 oz. box of Banza chickpea pasta (any shape will do nicely)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 cup sliced cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives (halved)
Dressing – how much of these ingredients you use is up to you.
2 parts olive oil
1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice
Greek Seasoning (I use Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning)
Garlic Pepper (Lowry’s is the best!)
Bring water to a boil, add Banza pasta, and cook no more than 7 minutes. The instructions on the package say 9-11 minutes, but in my experience, that will leave you with a really mushy pasta that all sticks together. 7 minutes is the max.
While your pasta cooks, chop all your vegetables and throw them in a medium to large mixing bowl. Prepare the dressing and pour over the vegetables.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain and run under cold water until the water draining out of the strainer runs clear. Add drained pasta to the mixing bowl, and stir. At this point, I usually reevaluate to see if it needs more dressing. I like to have enough dressing so that there is a tiny bit in the bottom of the bowl, but most is mixed in. However much you add is up to you!
Enjoy! Here’s a wine recommendation and a summer tune from the Queen (Lizzo) to help you chop those vegetables with a pep in your step.