Nothing says summer like a delicious Picnic Pasta Salad, and nothing goes better with Picnic Pasta Salad than a perfectly grilled hot dog.
I was never a fan of pasta salad when I was a kid. There was something about all those tiny little raw vegetables. You know – the ones that are too small to pick out? Well, that’s the exact reason I love this pasta salad as an adult. Fortunately my taste buds have evolved over the years and I love fresh veggies. Throw in some cheese and a high quality Italian dressing to bind it all together, and I’m a happy girl. This recipe makes a ton of food so its fantastic for your outdoor gatherings with friends and family. In my opinion, no outdoor barbecue or potluck should go without the perfect grilled hot dog.
One of my most favorite things to eat during the summer is a grilled hot dog. Nothing says long days, warm sunshine and family gatherings like a BBQ. From the time I was a kid, I remember always being the one to pick the hot dog that was split on the grill, completely hot and bubbly. To me, that was a sign of perfection. As an adult, I do the same thing, with the added bonus of pure nostalgia.
Picnic Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces bowtie pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup peppers (diced, I used a mixture of red, orange, and yellow)
- 1 cup carrots (diced)
- 1/3 cup celery (diced)
- 1/3 cup green onions (diced)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (diced)
- 1/4 cup parmesan (grated)
- 8 ounces Italian salad dressing
- handful of freshly minced basil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions, only stop cooking a couple minutes before recommended time so that pasta is a bit al dente. Toss drained pasta in olive oil to prevent sticking, set aside.
- In large pot or bowl, combine vegetables and cheese. Toss to combine. Add pasta and toss to combine. Add salad dressing and toss once more to fully combine.
- Before serving, garnish with basil and salt & pepper as desired.