I realize it's been a while since I've shared any recipes on my blog. The last recipe I posted was for my healthy pre-workout muffins. While they are a great way to energize your body for a workout and get you the nutrients you need, they aren't what I would call "delicious." They are functional! They serve a purpose. They aren't made for enjoyment.
With Labor Day quickly approaching, I thought I'd share one of my go-to recipes for summer cookouts. It's a healthier version of a pasta salad (it's not healthy... it's just healthier than normal) and it's DELICIOUS! This dish is made for pure enjoyment, not for function!
This is a super creamy pasta salad, similar to one you'd buy at your local grocery store, which is why I love it so much. The use of Greek Yogurt gives it that great texture, and also sneaks in a little added protein which is always a plus. The ingredients are simple, but the flavor is incredible.
I found this recipe on Pinterest years ago and it's one I always turn to when I need a pasta salad. It's from Skinnytaste, and if you are like me and a frequent user of Pinterest, I'm sure you've come across this site before. This is my most-used recipe from Skinnytaste. It's super refreshing and light, but so flavorful. It's also very easy to throw together. If you bring this to a cookout, you'll go home with an empty bowl - people love it!
I've seen tons of photos on social media lately of the mountains of tomatoes and zucchinis people are picking out of their gardens right now. If you are one of those people, this is where you can put them to good use!!
Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables
Serves:16 Cook time: 30 Minutes
16 oz box elbow noodles
4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups zucchini, sliced and quartered (about 1 small zucchini)
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
7 tbsp mayonnaise
2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, and generously salt the water. Cook the pasta according to package directions, but subtract 30 seconds to 1 minute from cooking time so that the pasta will be very al dente.
Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes, zucchini and onion and place them in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, oregano, and garlic powder. Mix well.
Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
Add the mayo mixture, salt and pepper to the bowl and combine thoroughly.
Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
A few notes about this recipe:
I altered a few of the ingredients from the original recipe. On Skinnytaste, she uses fat free or low fat versions of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. My husband usually follows a keto diet, so we try to stick to full-fat products. For low fat ingredients, see the original recipe here.
I also recommend that you don't make this recipe the night before. Unfortunately it seems to loose some of it's luster overnight - the mayo/yogurt dressing isn't as creamy the next day. If you can, put this together a few hours before the cookout. It'll need to chill before you serve it, but it will still be a nice rich and creamy salad. (I hate the word creamy.)
What's your go-to recipe for summer cookouts? Share in the comments below!