Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad

Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad

This simple pasta salad features fresh, delicious vegetables and pasta dressed up in a sweet Vidalia onion dressing that kids will love. It’s best served cold, making this an excellent meal to make in advance and pull out on a busy weeknight. This recipe comes to us from our friends at School Nutrition Plus and appears in their new cookbook, A Chef Walks Into a Cafeteria…

Makes 7 servings

Cooking Tip of the Week: Cooling pasta that will be made into pasta salad in an ice bath before adding the vegetables and dressing helps the pasta from getting too sticky once it cools.

Food for Thought: Vidalia onions are a special variety of onions grown only Georgia. In fact, according to a law called the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986, if the onions aren’t grown in certain counties in Georgia, they can’t be called Vidalia onions! Vidalia onions are extra sweet because the soil in these parts of Georgia is especially low in a mineral called sulfur, which contributes to the “onion-y” taste of other types of onions. So if you don’t like onions yet, sweet, less-“onion-y” Vidalias are a great variety to start with!

Family Dinner Conversation Starter: What makes the place where you live special? It could be your state, your city or even your own home!


For the Pasta:

Adult: Bring 4 to 6 quarts water to a boil in a pot. Add salt and oil to water.
Adult: Add pasta and cook 9 minutes or until al dente.
Together: While pasta is cooking, cut vegetables and place in mixing bowl. Set aside.
Together: Once pasta is cooked, cool in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain.
Kid: Add cooled pasta to veggie mixture.
Together: Add 1 cup of Vidalia Onion Dressing. Toss and chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the Dressing:

Together: Put all ingredients, except oil, into food processor.
Together: Process until onion is minced; slowly blend in oil.
Adult: Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Together: Toss with salad.

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