Perfect for a summer cookout or BBQ and loaded with veggies, ham and cheese then topped with a Zesty Italian dressing!
Our summer has been so fantastically full of family and friend BBQ’s and cookouts and I love it because that means I get to make all of my on-deck recipes that serve 6,000 people. This garden pasta salad is so freaking massive that I didn’t even have a bowl or pot in my kitchen that was big enough to mix it all! So if you’re looking to feed a crowd this dish is definitely a winner!
I’m a huge fan of pasta salads, especially in the summer, and I always tend to make the same two recipes over and over so I wanted to switch it up for our fourth of July cookout this year. This one still used our typical base dressing of Zesty Italian but had some new mix ins so I figured it would be a nice change-up without freaking my family out by straying too far away from our norm 😛
Side note…I totally read the original recipe wrong when Emily of Zen and Spice wrote .5 lb ham and ended up buying a 5 pound ham. I was thinking “this seems excessive but I’m going to trust her”…..and now I have 4.5 pounds of ham I need to use up. Oops! So any ham recipes are welcomed! (Although I am thinking I am going to have Andrew smoke it :P) I gotta start double checking recipes before I grocery shop!
GARDEN PASTA SALAD
To start this recipe you’ve got a lot of ingredients to chop, dice and cube! You’re going to chop 2 small broccoli crowns, dice 4 large carrots, a 1/2 lb cooked ham, and 1 cucumber, and cube 6 oz of cheddar cheese.
Next, boil a large pot of water and cook the sea shell pasta according to the package directions. In the last two minutes of cooking, add in the broccoli and carrots to slightly soften them. Drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool.
In a MASSIVE bowl, (or two separate bowls if necessary), mix together the pasta, broccoli, carrots, ham, cucumber and 1/4 bottle of Zesty Italian dressing (16 oz bottle). Refrigerate for about a half hour.
Once completely cooled, toss in the cheese and another 1/4 bottle of Italian dressing. Toss together and serve! Enjoy! 🙂Print
This garden pasta salad is perfect for a summer cookout or BBQ and is loaded with veggies, ham and cheese then topped with a Zesty Italian dressing!
- 1 (12 oz) package sea shell pasta
- 2 small broccoli crowns, chopped
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 1/2 lb ham, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 bottle (16 oz) Zesty Italian dressing
- 6 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
- In a large pot, boil water and cook 12 oz of sea shell pasta according to the package directions. In the last two minutes, add in 2 chopped small broccoli crowns and 4 diced carrots to slightly soften them.
- Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.
- In a MASSIVE bowl, (or two separate bowls if necessary) mix together the pasta, broccoli, carrots, 1/2 lb diced ham, 1 diced cucumber and 1/4 bottle of Zesty Italian dressing. Refrigerate for about a half hour.
- Once completely cooled, toss in 6 oz of cubed cheddar cheese and another 1/4 bottle of italian dressing. Toss together and serve!
Keywords: pasta salad, cook out food, BBQ side dish, make-ahead salad
**Recipe from Zen and Spice
What do you think? Did this recipe make the cut for you or did it crumble? What would you do differently? Leave a comment below! 🙂