Want a versatile dish that is easy to make and healthy all at the same time?
Cold pasta salads are a summer must at my house. Perfect for a get-together, as a side dish for something hot off the grill, and (my personal favorite) in the lunch box!
Cauliflower has always been one of my favorite vegetables; this low-calorie veggie is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber.
If you have picky eaters, it’s easy to sneak in because it’s crunchy, doesn’t have a strong flavor, and it’s not green!
I’ve been making this particular pasta salad since I was a teenager because it was easy to make with my then-limited kitchen skills. The concept is similar to that of macaroni and potato salad; it has simple ingredients and is always more delicious after being chilled for at least 2 hours.
I even make a gluten-free version of this recipe now, using corn or quinoa noodles. It’s easily adaptable to meet your gluten-free needs.
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles or noodle of choice
- 2 cups diced cauliflower pieces, about ½-inch bites
- 1 large carrot, grated
- ½ cup mayonnaise or whipped salad dressing
- 1 cup canned, drained sweet peas or frozen sweet peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons Zatarain's Big & Zesty Garlic & Herb Creole Seasoning, or other Italian Herb Seasoning
- Optional add-ins: crispy bacon pieces, diced ham, diced sweet red pepper
- Cook the pasta per the package directions. Rinse, cool, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the noodles, cauliflower, and carrot.
- Add the mayonnaise, and mix until the noodles and vegetables are coated.
- Add in the peas and seasonings, then lightly mix once more. Add optional ingredients, if using.
- Cover and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours. Serve.