When I made this pasta salad for our Fourth of July get together, I really wasn’t planning on sharing it here because I was just making simple pasta salad. But I really loved the way it turned out with adding some chopped spinach and dressing it with a balsamic vinaigrette, so before we left the house to celebrate I quickly scribbled down the recipe and snapped a few pictures so I could share it with you here.
Love those kind of happy accidents!
The spinach lightens it up a bit so it’s not quite so carb heavy, and also stretches it so it’s perfect for feeding a crowd. You could also substitute a whole wheat pasta to make it even healthier. We have been enjoying leftovers, and it’s always nice to be have recipes on hand that are good for making in advance if needed.
I added about half the dressing this recipe makes to the pasta salad a couple of hours before serving, but then brought the extra dressing along too so everyone could add as much as they like. I tend to like my dressings on the light side. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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For the dressing
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 packet zesty Italian dressing mix
For the Salad
- 12 ounces rotini pasta, cooked
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped finely
- 1 cup black olives, halved
- 3 cups (packed) baby spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- sea salt to taste
For the Dressing
- Add all the ingredients to a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake well to dissolve dressing mix. Set aside.
For the Salad
- Cook pasta according to directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and then drain again. Pour pasta into a large bowl.
- Add carrots, peppers, red onion, black olives, and spinach and mix well.
- Add about half of the dressing, and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top, mix, and taste for seasoning. Add salt as needed. I added about 1/4 teaspoon.
- Refrigerate until serving. Serve with remaining dressing if desired.