Pasta Salad – 3 Quick Meals in Minutes

Pasta salads are a great way to make a quick meal any day of the week. In the time it takes to cook the pasta you can prepare your additional elements and serve your meal in no time.

These easy pasta recipes are simple to make with just a few elements and are flavorful ideas for when you want a simple and fast meal. Each of these recipes will make approximately two servings.

You will also find some simple serving suggestions for each pasta salad to make meal planning a breeze.

Broccoli Pasta Salad

– 1 cup cooked whole-grain rotini pasta

– 2 cups broccoli florets – (cut into bite-size pieces and steamed lightly if desired)

– ½ cup canned, drained mandarin orange segments – (save juice from oranges)

– ½ cup bottled honey Dijon dressing

– 1 tablespoon (or as desired) of reserved juice from oranges

– 2 tablespoon sliced almonds


– Combine all elements in a bowl and toss well. Adjust dressing to taste, if needed.

Quick Meal Ideas:

Pasta and Seafood:

Combine shelled, cooked shrimp with some chopped tomato, celery and cilantro with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve along with this easy salad.

Quick Pasta Meal:

Make a simple presentation of this quick pasta salad by serving it on a bed of mixed salad greens along with sliced and toasted French bread spread with olive tapenade.

Optional Additions:

* Add crumbled cooked bacon, or some canned, drained and flaked tuna or browned and cubed tempeh.


Creamy Garlic Pasta Salad

– 2 cups cooked whole-grain penne pasta

– 1 cup cherry tomatoes – (cut tomatoes in half)

– ½ cup pitted kalamata olives – (cut each olive in half)

– ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise or low-fat plain yogurt

– 1 clove of garlic – (minced)


– In a bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes and olives.

– In a smaller bowl, combine the mayonnaise or yogurt with the garlic and stir to combine.

– Add the garlic combination to the salad elements and toss well.

Quick Meal Ideas:

Quick Pasta Meal:

For an easy and quick meal idea, try serving this pasta salad with a bowl of black bean soup.

Salad Meal:

Serve salad on a bed of romaine lettuce and baby spinach leaves along with sweet and sour pickles or dill pickles.

Optional Additions:

* Add some approximately chopped fresh basil.

* Add some additional vegetables like sliced green bell peppers and/or marinated artichoke hearts.


Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

– 3 cups cooked whole-grain rotelle pasta

– 1 ½ cups red bell pepper – (diced)

– 1 hard cooked egg – (chopped)

– ½ cup prepared basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto


– In a bowl, combine all the elements and mix well.

Quick Meal Ideas:

Quick Pasta Meal:

Serve salad along with thinly sliced smoked salmon layered on tomato slices and drizzled with some fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Salad Meal:

For an easy meal, try serving salad with steamed broccoli and mushrooms tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Optional Additions:

* Add some capers and/or oil-cured olives.

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