This Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad is a nice variation of a traditional pasta salad. It doesn’t include a mayo dressing too.
Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad
Hello, everyone! First of all, let me congratulate my American friends on July 4th. How are you celebrating? Grilled food? Boozy cocktails? Popsicles? Red, White, and Blue dessert? Potato salads? Pasta salads? All above?
Talking about salads, I’ve brought this Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad to celebrate July 4th with you. I am a huge fan. However, I normally stay away from those variations (Meaning 95,7%) loaded with a mayo dressing. Don’t get it wrong. I am fine with mayonnaise. Just not with my pasta salad. Indeed, I might even give it a try (once a year), but the main prerequisite is that the ingredients shouldn’t be swimming in the dressing. I am also fine with a lighter version with plain yogurt and mustard.
Still most of the times, I go with simple dressing ideas such as extra version olive oil, lemon juice, or balsamic. Separately or together. In fact, a good pasta salad doesn’t need anything more than a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Besides, isn’t is great to save some calories for a dessert?
This Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad combined simple yet ultimately delicious ingredients: arugula, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked cheddar, toasted pine nuts, salami, and fresh basic. The dressing was a bit more compound this time: olive oil, balsamic, basil paste, and garlic. Does this sound good?
It’s quite appropriate for a picnic, too. Just don’t add the arugula until the moment you are ready to serve this salad.
Lastly, take a look at some other pasta salads ideas:
Hoping you can find something you like.
- 1 - 1,5 cups cooked pasta, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
- 5-7 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved)
- 1/3 cup smoked cheddar, cubed
- 1/4 pine nuts, toasted
- few salami slices, chiffonade
- fresh basil, chiffonade
- 4 tbps olive oil (use from sun-dried tomatoes jar)
- 2 tbps. balsamic
- 1 tbsp basil paste (sold in supermarkets in herbs departments)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- salt and black pepper, to tatse
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients until dissolved and let stand for 10-15 minutes. You may sieve the mixture if you don't want the garlic morsels.
- To make the salad, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with the dressing to coat.
- Let stand 10 minutes then serve.
- If you are not planning to serve the salad within an hour, don't add the arugula until ready to serve.