This easy pasta salad is tossed with the easiest, creamiest basil dressing and topped with all the best things from a late summer harvest. Juicy peaches and fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and creamy avocado and crunchy green beans all tossed into a bowl with bowtie pasta for the perfect summer meal.
We’re in this weird space right now where it’s partly still summer and partly back to school season. Summer fruit is almost (but not quite) over and warm cozy dinners are on the horizon. So, today is all about easy pasta salad that is perfect for taking as a back to school lunch and for making the most of all those “last of the summer” harvest fruits and veggies.
What kind of dressing is in easy pasta salad?
Well, that depends on the kind of person you are. Most often an easy pasta salad will have a simple Italian style vinaigrette dressing from a store-bought bottle. Just because it’s really quick and… easy. I personally love a creamy dressing rather than an oil based one.
For this pasta salad, I made a creamy basil dressing using some low-fat Greek yogurt and a large bunch of basil. I know it seems like a creamy pasta salad dressing would have a ton more calories than a vinaigrette, but when you use a low-fat yogurt, it’s a low-calorie healthy dream. All it needs is a little drizzle of some honey, a squeeze of lemon and some salt. Blend well and you’re done.
What can you put in a pasta salad?
The short answer is Everything! The long answer is whatever you have on hand in the crisper drawer that you need using up. Or use all of your loot from the farmer’s market.
A list of my personal favorites for adding to pasta salad
- Sweet Corn
- Green beans
- Garden peas
I mostly keep my pasta salads vegetarian just because I like packing them for picnics and desk lunches and that means that they sometimes are out of the fridge for a few hours before they get devoured.
What kind of pasta should you use to make easy pasta salad?
Avoid long noodles like linguine and fettuccini at all costs. When it comes to pasta salad, bite-sized is best. A noodle like a farfalle which I use, or penne will do the trick. We’re not looking for long and awkward or small and fiddley in a pasta salad situation.
Pasta salad is all about an easy meal or side dish that is healthy and doesn’t require much effort. Perfect for these late summer days, when all you care about is eating delicious food and soaking up the last of that golden summer sunshine.
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Easy Pasta Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing (Vegetarian)
- 2 cups uncooked pasta cooked according to package instructions
- 1 peach cut into wedges
- kernels from 1 cob of corn
- 1 Avocado thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup green beans trimmed and cut in half
For the creamy basil dressing
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 bunch basil
- squeeze of lemon
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta well in a colander and place the pasta in the sink under cold running water until the noodles are cold.
- Add all the vegetables and set aside.
- Meanwhile make the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add some water, if the dressing is very thick, until desired consistency is reached. Adjust the seasoning, and toss the dressing with the salad.
This salad will keep for unto 4 days in the fridge.
The dressing makes a great low fat sauce for grilled chicken or fish.