Pasta SaladBarbecue season is officially in full swing and cookouts are notorious for featuring unhealthy food.

Instead of picking up another bag of potato chips or plate of cookies from the store, make a delicious, fresh veggie pasta salad.

Growing up, my mom would make boxed pasta salads. Over time, she began to branch out and put her own spin on them by adding in fresh vegetables, meat, and cheese. Now, she’s perfected it into this fantastic pasta salad — something I look forward to every summer.

The secret is Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning. For some reason this seasoning — combined with the chilled pasta, veggies and herbs — creates a pleasant blend of flavors.

Next time you’re tasked with bringing a side dish to a family barbecue, try making veggie pasta salad.

Veggie Pasta Salad (serves 8)

Pasta Salad Ingredients2

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Veggie Rotini Spiral pasta
  • 1 c. cucumber
  • 1 c. zucchini
  • 1/2 c. bell pepper
  • 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 c. mozzarella pearls
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Cook veggie pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, cut cucumber, zucchini and bell pepper into bite-size pieces.
  2. Drain pasta and allow it to cool — but don’t rinse. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper and tomatoes, along with olive oil and half of the mozzarella pearls, and mix gently.
  3. Add chopped parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano and Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning to the pasta and top with the other half of the mozzarella pearls.
  4. Cover and chill in refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

Veggie Pasta Salad2Note:

You can swap out zucchini for squash or add in other vegetables like olives. You can also include cut-up meats like salami or ham, or take out the mozzarella pearls to make this a vegan dish. I use Johnny’s Garlic Spread & Seasoning because it’s great on just about everything, but you can use any garlic seasoning.

Nutritional information (per serving):

  • 141 calories
  • 5.3 g fat
  • 21.8 g carbohydrates
  • 0.9 g dietary fiber
  • 0.8 g sugar
  • 5 g protein

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