Barbecue season is upon us! We have a big circle of friends with kiddos the same age, so it’s a toss up as to whose house we will end up at to grill on a weekend, which is so, so fun. The one drawback: people are going to notice if we bring the same dish every weekend. So it’s time to up my summer side dish game.
My go-to recipe has been my go-to recipe since I was in high school. I stole my aunt’s pasta salad recipe at a Christmas party and tweaked it a bit. I love it because it’s delicious and easy! Bonus points because Peyton and London mow on this salad. They’re like vultures as I am making it, and I’ll be honest, I generally double the amount of noodles, since the girls and David will eat about half of it before we get to the cookout!
What you’ll need:
one box tri-color rotini noodles
6 mini peppers (I do 2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow. More or less to your preference!)
1/4 cup mini pepperonis
2.25 oz can of sliced black olives
Italian dressing (I use Kraft’s Rustic Zesty!)
optional: parmesan cheese
What you’ll do:
Cook the noodles according to the box, strain, and run cold water over the noodles until they’re cool to touch.
While the noodles are being rinsed/cooled: peel and dice your cucumber, and dice your peppers. I noted above you can do more or less, depending on taste. I also like to mix up colors, to brighten up the salad! Open and drain the olives.
Put the noodles in a bowl with 1 cup of Italian dressing. Coat the top with poppy seeds (like, cover it until it’s black – trust me!). Toss well.
Add in all the veggies, and toss again.
Chill prior to serving. I like to make mine the day before, so the dressing can really soak in. Before serving, give it another squirt of Italian dressing, since it settles toward the bottom. If you’re planning on adding parmesan, now’s the time! Use as much (or as little) as you’d like, and give the salad another toss, to mix the cheese in!
Enjoy this at home, on your patio, at your next cookout, or (if you’re like David and the girls) enjoy it right out of the bowl 😉