Pasta salad is a delicious dish to serve at a picnic, family dinner, or weekend gatherings. It’s a perfect side dish, and if you’re like me, you can turn it into a meal. You can also add just about everything to it, as long as the flavors match. Cooking pasta noodles is simple. The tricky parts in making pasta salad are finding the freshest ingredients and making the salad dressing. This article guides you how to make pasta salad dressing with ingredients that are available in your home.
How To Make Pasta Salad
Before going to the guide on how to make pasta salad dressing, we need a good and simple base of pasta salad to add it in. Here is a quick recipe that you can try.
- 8oz of your favorite pasta
- ¼ cup diced sausage
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, cubed
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced small cucumber
- chopped green bell pepper
- chopped red bell pepper
- 3oz of pitted black olives
- 32 grams minced fresh parsley
- 64 grams olive oil
- Minced garlic
- 5g dried basil
- 5g dried oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Bring to a boil a big pot of moderately salted water. Cook the noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or until rotini pasta is al dente. Rinse with cold running water after draining.
- Put the drained pasta in a big mixing bowl. In a mixing bowl, mix the pepperoni, chopped vegetables, olives, parsley, and cheddar cheese. Toss in the drained pasta to the mixture.
- To make a simple salad dressing, get a container with a lid. Put in the olive oil, vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper. Close the jar and give it a good shake.
- Place the pasta salad in the dressing combination to dress it. Refrigerate for 8 hours after covering.
Ingredients Used On How to Make Pasta Salad Dressing
Olive oil gives the dressing a distinct depth of flavor. You can use any kind of olive oil you prefer. If you opt for a more savory sauce, you can use veggie oil or pistachio seed oil.
The most recommended are apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and rice wine vinegar. Adjust your vinegar according to your ingredients.
The ingredients that you put in your dressing bring its flavor. Try some chopped garlic or onions, fresh or dried herbs, and different spices. The ingredients in your dressing are also what brings it its flavor.
While it isn’t always appropriate, we consider that some dressings can be a little too sour at times. Adding sweetener will help balance out the acidity. You can use honey, syrup, or even regular table sugar. Avoid artificial sweeteners if you can as these can leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
Also not strictly appropriate, but if you want a more grand dressing, apply a tablespoon of mayo or Greek yogurt! This takes your pasta salad in a much more creamy direction. If you choose not to use dairy, puree your salad with ripe avocado instead!
Tips To Remember On How to Make Pasta Salad Dressing
Learning how to make pasta salad dressing is a bit straightforward but if you want to take this quest to the next level, here are some things that you need to take note of.
- Avoid oils that solidify when cold such as butter. You want your dressing to stay in liquid form. It should be runny and be able to coat your pasta evenly.
- Cut your vegetables according to the size of your pasta. It makes for easier eating and a more pleasant look. It also allows the dressing to coat evenly. For ingredients that have a stronger taste, like onions, it is better to cut them in the size of small dice.
- Control the amount of your vinegar. For pasta salad dressing, the acidity of the vinegar might ruin the freshness of the salad and overpower the flavor of the other ingredients. When mixing other ingredients in the salad with high acid content in the salad, lessen the acid in your dressing.
- Avoid heavily flavored meat on your pasta salad. Plain, boiled, and shredded meats like chicken, turkey, or tuna are your best options. You can also use cold cuts like ham or salami.
- Soft cheeses, such as mozzarella or feta, work best for pasta salad. If you want to use hard cheese, it is better to grate it first before adding to the salad.
- Don’t add all your dressing at once. Dress your pasta with half of the dressing while it is still warm. This helps the pasta absorb the flavor of the dressing. Remember to add the remaining dressing just before serving.
- Dressing based on olive oil works the best for pasta salad. It gives a rich flavor and texture without the heaviness of cream-based dressings. Try to invest in good quality olive oil for this dish.
Pasta Salad Dressing Options
The following restaurant-style pasta salad dressing pairs perfectly with fruits and veggies.
You don’t need a package or canned dressing to make the most flavorful chicken salad at home; you can easily buy all the ingredients in your local supermarket or a good online store.
- 4oz extra virgin olive oil
- 4oz white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning blend
- 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder, add more according to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Combine the ingredients and whisk them in a bowl. You can shake them up in a microwave-safe mason jar. Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes or an hour. Allowing the dressing to sit for a while will weaken the dry spices and flavor and enrich seasoning into the oil/vinegar.
- 4oz extra virgin olive oil
- 2oz red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons of fresh parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 grams of dried oregano
- 3 grams of dried basil
- 3 grams of salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
To retain moisture, place all ingredients in a resealable jar and mix thoroughly. Leave to settle while you prepare your salad, then shake once more before putting it throughout your pasta.
- 2oz of avocado oil
- 2 grams of lemon zest, add according to taste
- Fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon of plain Dijon mustard
- Freshly minded two cloves garlic
- Dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
Pour in some lemon juice and set it aside. Fill an entire mason jar halfway with lemon juice to generate 1/4 cup. Close the cover securely after adding the lemon zest and additional dressing flavors. To keep the dressing moist, give it a good shake before pouring it across the pasta salad.
The dressing of your choice brings everything in your salad together, and I hope you learned something from this article on how to make pasta salad dressing. Remember that when you’re making a salad, you’re striving for a harmony of flavors. Fresh but not acidic, packed but not sticky, tasty but not overwhelming, and fully seasoned – that’s how your dressing should be. The pasta salad dressing is one of the quickest ways to taste and adapt when preparing, so once you’ve found your sweet spot, you’re ready to go. Learn more about pasta salad here.