Sunday, March 4, 2012

Italian Bow Tie Salad

Pasta salad isn't a dish I make very often. I don't normally have a lot of time to make side dishes, and if I'm going to a potluck-type thing, I usually prefer to bring a dessert! :) Well last weekend I needed to bring a dish to an event, and I'm trying to eat a little healthier... so, I took another look at this recipe.

I've made it a couple times over the last few years, each time changing it up a little. This time I switched the cheese (from mozzarella to Monterrey Jack) and added a roasted red pepper (here is how to make that). It was great! The flavors worked well together, and I loved how colorful it was. Several people told me they really liked it. I might still keep trying to make it better (let me know if you have any suggestions!), but for now, here's a really good version of an Italian pasta salad!

This is what I used for the dressing- you mix this packet with oil, white vinegar, and water.

Italian Bow Tie Salad
Printable version here

6 oz. uncooked bow tie pasta (about 3 cups)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Italian dressing (such as Good Seasons Zesty Italian)
1 small can (2.25 oz.) sliced olives, drained & rinsed
8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
5 oz. Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
1 red pepper (roasted, peeled & diced)
Salt & pepper (to taste)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water; drain.

2. Combine cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour. (If serving the next day- stir well before serving, adding more dressing if pasta seems to have dried out a little.)

Ingredient amounts are just suggestions- feel free to change things up!

Why I love it? It's an easy dish for a potluck, picnic, or even just to make for a few days' worth of lunches. It is colorful, and the flavors work well together!


  1. I make something similar to this that I LOVE! Bowtie pasta, diced red onion, halved grape tomatoes, shredded parmesan cheese, and balsamic dressing or red wine and olive oil dressing. It is SO SO good!!

  2. Sounds good, Kristin! I was thinking about how there's nothing crunchy in the salad. I could always add diced red onion like you, but then I'd have to pick them out, because I don't like raw onion! LOL It's a good idea for others though! :)