Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad

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:

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

Smoked Salmon Orzo Salad

Eggplant Ricotta Pasta Salad

Roasted Beetroot Pasta Salad

Hoping you can find something you like.

Cheers!

Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad

Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 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
    Dressing
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. To make the salad, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with the dressing to coat.
  3. Let stand 10 minutes then serve.
  4. If you are not planning to serve the salad within an hour, don't add the arugula until ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!
http://www.havocinthekitchen.com/smoked-cheddar-pasta-salad/

8 Thoughts on “Smoked Cheddar Pasta Salad

  1. Oh, I totally agree with you about mayo and pasta/potato salads, Ben! We’re celebrating the holiday this weekend with Laura’s family in Maryland (huge family reunion) and there is a potato salad up there that really is swimming in mayo. I with it was this pasta salad instead! Plus, we share a love for smoked cheddar, so I would love to sit down with a huge plate of this pasta salad. Well done!

  2. I’m definitely a fan of pasta salads on the lighter side – not goopy and just as much about the other ingredients as the pasta. I’d love to have a bowl of this beauty of yours tonight for dinner!
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  3. I’m with you Ben. I like my pasta salads on the lighter side, and mayo free. I also like a good portion of veggies in there, which you’ve totally covered off! And smoked cheddar is a delicious bonus!

  4. What a wonderful pasta salad – the smoked cheddar sounds delightful! Hope you had a great Canada Day, Ben!

  5. Although I do use healthier variations of Mayonnaise in my pasta salad dishes Ben, I do agree that very often a good pasta salad doesn’t need much more that a little drizzle of olive oil or a quality balsamic vinegar. This looks like an amazingly delicious summer salad. Plus saving those calories for dessert gets a thumbs up from me!

  6. Wow, I love the ingredient combo! Sun-dried tomatoes, cheddar, salami, basil, garlic … these are right up my alley. And pasta is probably one of my favorite things.

  7. Love all the flavours goin’ on in this salad, Ben! I could legit make a meal out of just that and be quite happy!! YUM!

  8. I adore a pasta salad dressed in a vinaigrette, too! And your salad is loaded with so many of my favorite ingredients! A winner!

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