BLT Ranch Pasta Salad


I love BLT sandwiches. I thought why not turn my favorite sandwich into a salad. When I told my friend I was making a BLT Pasta Salad with romaine lettuce, he thought I was nuts. I did add a few other ingredients that don’t usually appear on my sandwich like cheese and green onions.  This salad was a big hit and it was very tasty. 

Ingredients:

8 ounces of pasta, cooked and drained I used shell pasta because that what I had, feel free to use your favorite

3/4 bag of Romaine Lettuce

4 green onions, cut into small pieces, green and white parts

Cherry tomatoes or a big heirloom tomato cut into bite size pieces

6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp, I used thick cut slices, crumbled

3/4 cheddar cheese, cubed into small pieces

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain from hot water and run cold water over your pasta in the colander to cool it off.  Pasta should not be hot. While the pasta is cooking, chop and cut up the other ingredients. Put all ingredients in your salad bowl and toss. Add your favorite ranch dressing or make my recipe posted below. Add dressing a little at a time so you do not over dress your salad. It’s better to add a little at a time and toss. Enjoy!

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Ingredients:
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 Tablespoon of chopped chives, fresh is best
1 Tablespoon of parsley, I used dry
1/2 teaspoon Dill, dry
1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt 
1/8 teaspoon Pepper, cracked fresh if possible
Whisk all of the above ingredients. Refrigerate. Dressing is best if made the day before. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Welcome to Pasta Palooza!  Six new pasta recipes from six of your favorite food bloggers!  It’s a wild and crazy pasta party!  Have fun and let’s eat pasta!  

I have created a new twist on one of my favorite salads. All of your favorite ingredients that are in a Greek Salad are now in this pasta salad. Opa!

Ingredients:

8 ounces spiral pasta, or whatever kind you like

1 hothouse cucumber, diced

1 small bell pepper, chopped. I used an orange one

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 jar of Calamata olives, drained

1 container of Feta Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water after its drained and cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with Greek Salad dressing. 

  
Greek Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of dried oregano, use Greek if possible 

1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs*

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces of Feta Cheese

1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar 

1/3 cup corn oil**

2/3 cup olive oil (Greek, extra virgin)

In a food processor or blender, mix all ingredients except oils and blend until smooth. While the food processor/blender is still on, slowly pour in the oil until dressing it’s combined.  *The bread crumbs keep the oil and vinegar from separating.  * *Corn oil keeps the dressing from becoming thick like mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before dressing your pasta salad.   This dressing is fabulous on regular Greek Salads made with lettuce. 

Salad dressing recipe adapted from St. Louis Post Dispatch. 

   
   

Please visit the links listed below to get all of the fabulous pasta recipes shown here on Pasta Palooza. 

http://cookingfromasahm.blogspot.com/2015/04/chipotle-ranch-pasta-salad.html

http://mooreorlesscooking.com/2015/04/14/mexican-stuffed-pasta-shells/

http://www.therowdybaker.com/?p=3596

http://www.hunwhatsfordinner.com/2015/04/spring-pasta-salad.html

http://crumbsinmymustachio.wordpress.com/2015/04/Caprese-Pasta-Salad/

Ham and Swiss Cheese Green Noodle Casserole

I used to make this casserole for my family whenever I had leftover ham. However, this casserole is so yummy, I actually purchased a couple of thick cut ham slices so I could make this for the blog. This is a very rich and creamy comfort food casserole dish that will satisfy ham and cheese lovers.

Ingredients:
1 16 ounce package of spinach noodles
2-3 cups of ham, cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces of Swiss cheese, grated
3 Tablespoons of butter
3 heaping Tablespoons of flour
1 quart of heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons pepper, or more to taste
2 1/2 teaspoons of dry ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put water on to boil in a large pot. Grate Swiss cheese and set aside. Cut ham into cubes and set aside. Once water starts to boil, add spinach noodles. Cook al dente. While noodles are cooking, prepare white sauce. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add flour to make a roux. Cook until butter has been absorbed in flour. Roux should be tight. Whisk in heavy cream. Add salt, pepper, dry mustard, onion powder and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk. Continue to have sauce at a low boil for 5 minutes or you will have a flour taste instead of a cream taste. Add ham and grated Swiss cheese. Drain noodles and add to creamy ham and cheese sauce. Bake in a 2 1/2 quart pan covered for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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Tortellini Caprese Salad

I love Caprese Salad. I could eat it daily. I love it so much I have incorporated it in two recipes now. The first was my Caprese Pizza and now my Tortellini Caprese Salad.

Ingredients:
1 package of frozen tortellini (my bag was 1 pound 3 ounces)
1 container of grape tomatoes
I package of fresh mozzarella pearls
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 heaping cup scallions, mine were tiny, I used green and white snipped with kitchen shears
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Basil leaves, I love basil and I had some tiny new leaves and I snipped probably 8 leaves total (use as many as you like, to taste)
Balsamic Glaze on top as garnish (can be purchased at grocery store near vinegars)

Prepare frozen tortellini according to package directions. My package was cooked in 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until tortellini is cool. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except balsamic glaze. Drizzle balsamic glaze, garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Manga, manga!

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Loaded Lemon Pasta


I have created a pasta dish that is loaded with lemony flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that you can have it with or without meat. Load it up with fresh vegetables of your choosing. It’s a quick and easy dish that is budget friendly. I loaded my pasta with chicken tenders, sautéed mushrooms and onions.

Ingredients:
Zest of one lemon
8 ounces of Angel hair pasta
3 -4 Tablespoons of herb garlic butter, I used Land of Lakes (can be found at Super Walmart where butter is sold)
2 cups of baby spinach
1/3 (or more) cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

1 package chicken tenders*

1 6 ounce package of sliced mushrooms*

Salt and pepper to taste

*Add steamed or stir fried vegetables to make this a vegetarian side dish or main entree.

*In my picture, I browned up a package chicken tenders, place them in a warm oven to keep warm while I sautéed a 6 ounce package of mushrooms and a sweet onion. I cooked the vegetables while the pasta was cooking.

Cook and drain pasta according to directions. In a bowl, combine zest and butter. Add cooked pasta and toss until butter has melted. Add remaining ingredients. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Aprons.

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Southwest Pasta Salad

After a long delay, sorry it took so long to get this post to you. This is a quick, easy put together pasta dish. If you added chicken, it could be a meal.

Ingredients:
8 ounces of Rotini pasta, or whatever you have on hand
1 can of Bush’s Seasoned Black Beans, drained, not rinsed
1 can of corn, drained
I 4 ounce jar of chopped pimentos, drained
1/2 cup of cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup onion, diced fine
1 small green, yellow or red pepper, diced fine (you pick the color)

Dressing:
1 cup of salsa, I used Pace chunky medium
1 cup of sour cream

Smokey paprika and green onions to garnish, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water after draining. Add beans, corn and pimentos. Stir to mix. Add onion and cheese, stirring to mix.

Combine salsa and sour cream together in a separate bowl. Add to pasta salad. Garnish right before serving.

If pasta dries out in the refrigerator, add more sour cream and salsa together.

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Remarkable Rotini Pasta Salad


I love pasta salads in the summertime. It’s pretty much summer weather in Tampa most of the year. This pasta salad comes together so quick and it’s very easy to put together. Please enjoy!

1 12 ounce box of tricolor rotini pasta (I used Muellers)
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes
2 green onions cut with kitchen shears
3 stalks of celery, I cut my stalks with shears too
1 4-6 ounce package of Feta cheese crumbles
10 ounces of bottled of Olive Garden Salad Dressing*
1 can of sliced black olives*

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prep your celery, green onions and wash and dry tomatoes. Add to a large bowl. Drain pasta and run cold water over the pasta to cool. Add to salad bowl. Add Feta cheese and toss in dressing. I did not use the entire bottle. It’s all according to how much dressing you like on your salad. If this is made a day ahead, you may want to add a little more dressing. Refrigerate. I also garnished this salad with some shredded Parmesan cheese for photograph purposes. It’s not needed in the salad.

*Olive Garden dressing can be found in many grocery stores, SAMs Club and Walmart. If you can’t find it, google or go on Pinterest for a copy cat recipe.

*You do not see black olives in my salad. I don’t like them, but I know for all of you olive lovers, they would be a great addition to this salad.

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