Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Anytime we are asked to make a dish, this is what we turn to.  It’s our “Go To” pasta dish!  It’s delicious, impressive and incredibly easy! It is best made the day before, but usually we can’t wait that long and dig right in!  I have to admit, it isn’t always the same.  We sometimes substitute ingredients for others in our pantry, but this recipe will give you the gist!  All of these ingredients can be found at Trader Joes!

Roasted Red Peppers

Med pasta salad with spoon

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe:

1 lb. hearty pasta (rigatoni is good!), cooked and cooled

1 jar of roasted red peppers (drain juice)

1 lg. jar of marinated artichoke hearts (cut down into bite size pieces) *use juice in the jar!

1 jar of chopped sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil (for this salad, I used oven dried tomatoes…oh my, so good!)  *use the oil in this jar!

1 jar of pitted kalamata olives (drain juice)

1 C. of fresh mozzarella cut in cubes (or use mini balls)

3 C. fresh arugula

1/2 C. chopped fresh basil

4 grilled chicken breasts, cooled and cubed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 C. Newman’s balsamic dressing

3 Tbls. of extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves of minced garlic

Toss all the above together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you substitute oven roasted tomatoes, you will need a bit more olive oil.

We have used jarred marinated mushrooms or fresh mushrooms.  We have used fresh thyme in place of basil.  We have added 1/2 C of fresh pesto to the mix.  This mix can be changed around and fresh ingredients can be substituted for jarred.  We try and keep these pantry items available in a pinch!  Be creative!

Artichoke hearts and olives