This Summer Pasta Salad has an incredible Cilantro Ranch dressing and lots of fresh vegetables, nuts and cheese, too. Add rotisserie chicken if you like.
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4 from 4 votes

Summer Pasta Salad

This Summer Pasta Salad has an incredible Cilantro Ranch dressing and lots of fresh vegetables, nuts and cheese, too. Add rotisserie chicken if you like.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Tex Mex, Western
Keyword: pasta salad, summer salad, tex mex side dish
Servings: 4
Calories: 870kcal
Author: Kevin Is Cooking

Ingredients

  • 16 oz gemelli pasta
  • 12 oz mini tomatoes (gold, yellow and red) slice in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup corn kernels (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thin half inch slices
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper thin half inch slices
  • 1 zucchini thin half inch slices
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 bunch cilantro (See Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (salted and roasted)
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese
  • marinated red onion slices (See Note 3)

Instructions

  • Slice the vegetables and set aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat bring heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 12 minutes. Drain the cooked pasta and place in a large salad bowl.
  • In a blender add the Ranch dressing and cilantro leaves only. Purée until blended and set aside.
  • Add the dressing, pepper and sliced vegetables to the cooled pasta and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.
  • Toss the salad again and season to taste. Serve with marinated red onion slices, cotija cheese crumbles and pumpkin seeds.

Notes

  1. You can use freshly grilled cut off 1 or 2 ears of corn, canned or frozen.
  2. Rinse and twist all the leaves off the bunch of cilantro, discard the stems. This should be a little over 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup total.
  3. One of this salad’s ingredients, the sliced red onion in rice wine vinegar, is treated to a quick pickle prior for the salad. I like to keep this mixture on hand in my refrigerator for different salads and as a garnish on Mexican dishes. Simply thinly slice a red onion, cover it with rice wine vinegar and keep in your refrigerator. For this I would suggest allowing the onions to marinate at least 30 minutes if you don’t have any on hand.

Nutrition

Calories: 870kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 758mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1455IU | Vitamin C: 69.4mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 3.4mg