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A lightly creamy tortellini pasta salad filled with summer’s best vegetables.
The best time of year for food, don’t you agree?
I mean, fall is my favorite for tastes (duh), but summer is full of fruits and vegetables and they’re all CHEAP. Which is great for the belly, the body, and the wallet.
What’s your favorite summer produce? We, the toddler especially, are loving blueberries and watermelon in this house. I was enjoying asparagus but the baby was getting very gassy, so I’ve stopped that for now and have been so sad since.
Thank goodness for zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans still rocking my veggie world. I’ll see you again someday, ‘spargus, my dear friend.
So until then, I’ve been obsessed with this summer pasta salad and plan to be for the rest of the summer because OMG ALL THE BEST SUMMER VEGGIES and pasta! I mean, what’s not to love?
I first whipped this pasta salad up right before I had baby #2. I was hungry all the time and I basically polished off the whole batch (like 1.5lbs of salad) myself.
Of course, the toddler ate some, because helloooo, tortellini, but the majority of this pasta salad was consumed by me and my fetus.
I’m surprised he didn’t come out looking like a tomato.
WHAT MAKES THIS SUMMER PASTA SALAD SO GREAT?
So what exactly is in this pasta salad and what makes it different from other pasta salads you might want to throw together for your summer gathering?
Well, obviously we’ve got pasta, but tortellini (!!), so there’s a little extra somethingsomething for the tastebuds. Use your favorite– I used cheese, but there’s nothing wrong with a meat option, if you’d prefer that.
The veggies you’ll use are grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini, and corn. I used canned corn, but if you can cut it fresh off the cob, that would obviously be ideal.
As for the dressing, we’re working with a creamy dressing, but it’s light.
A CREAMY BUT STILL LIGHT DRESSING SEALS THE DEAL
You’ll use a little mayo for flavor, but the rest of the creaminess comes from plain Greek yogurt. A little extra flavor comes from some balsamic vinaigrette while adding some tartness, so you’re left with a creamy dressing that has a little bite to go up against all those sweet and crunchy veggies.
It’s really a great combo that I wasn’t sure would work at first, but I’m glad I mixed and taste tested before finding the perfect ratio of flavors. Plus, nothing too heavy that will weigh you down or make you feel all gross outside at a summer picnic.
Summer pasta salad perfection!
CUT THE RECIPE IN HALF FOR A SMALLER CROWD
A word of advice: this recipes makes a lot of pasta salad. If you’re looking to make something for a smaller crowd, I urge you to cut the recipe in half.
Leftovers only stay fresh for about 4 days, so keep that in mind when you’re considering how much might get eaten and how much you’d be left with.
Of course, this summer pasta salad was a hit in our house, so chances are you won’t be left with too much, but be aware… This recipe is not for the faint of pasta heart!
If you’re looking for something different to serve at your next BBQ or picnic, this is it. It’s the best way to showcase some summer veggies without having to turn on an oven or stove, and you kill 2 birds with 1 stone because what summer gathering is complete without some pasta salad??
Oh, and don’t limit this pasta salad to summer! If you’re willing to pay a little extra for some tomatoes and zucchini in the off season, there’s no reason you can’t serve this at any kind of gathering.
Summer Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces cheese tortellini
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes quartered (about 2-3 cups)
- 2 small zucchini chopped
- 1-15 ounce can corn drained
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, zucchini, and corn. When the pasta is cool, add it to the bowl and toss together until everything is combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, and balsamic vinaigrette. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and stir gently until everything is coated. Taste and add salt as needed. Chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered tightly up to 4 days.