Summer is coming soon, and we certainly feel the heat here in North Carolina! Our family loves my husband’s bow tie summer pasta salad, so we decided to make it this weekend along with our kids’ favorite summertime food: hot dogs.
The cool part about this meal is that it can be served alone, as a vegetarian meal, or with your favorite protein that you like to throw on the grill. We have it with hot dogs, but it also goes great with grilled salmon, burgers, grilled eggplant, kabobs, or BBQ chicken. You can also get pretty creative with the veggies you include in the meal, or choose to go with what’s in season.
This pasta salad is so yummy that we end up munching on it for days. A whole box of pasta goes a long way, so we almost always have leftovers. Most of the time it starts out as a side dish for dinner, and then we have it for lunch the next day.
We love using bow tie pasta for this dish, but pinwheels or rotini work great as well.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Change up the veggies. Choose the veggies your family loves and/or whatever is in season. Make sure to include tomatoes, though, as we think those are a must for flavor! Other ideas: zucchini, corn, peas, beans.
🍅Add parmesan “shaky” cheese. My kids (Julie speaking) were actually only interested in this pasta if they could sprinkle the old standby, Kraft Parmesan Cheese on it 🙂
🍅Set aside some plain noodles & veggies. If you suspect your kids won’t like the flavor of the vinegar and herbs, set aside some plain noodles and veggies before mixing everything together.
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Swap out the pasta. The only ingredient in this dish that contains gluten is the pasta. You can remedy this very easily. Some of the gluten-free pasta products I like are Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (just be careful not to overcook cause it can get mushy) and Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. These days, though, even the most mainstream pasta brands are making gluten-free versions, i.e. Barilla and Ronzoni.
- 1 12 oz box bow tie pasta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 large yellow pepper (diced)
- 1 cucumber (cut however you like)
- 6 T olive oil
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves (chopped or ripped apart)
- 1 1/2 t fresh dill (chopped, or 1/2 t dried dill)
- 1 t salt
Cook pasta according to instructions on box. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, combine veggies into a large bowl. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, dill and salt, and mix together.
Serve pasta dish as standalone meal or as a side dish. We like to pair ours with hotdogs and/or hamburgers.
We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.