I made this easy pasta as part of a sponsored campaign for Collective Bias and its client.
It is H-O-T where I am right now and that means two things. 1- I am spending as much time as I can at the pool, and 2 – My diet has just gotten a whole lot lighter! I am not a fan of spending a lot of time in the kitchen in the Summer time, and even if I did, eating heavy meals in 95 degree weather just doesn’t appeal to me at all. So instead of slaving away in the kitchen while I could be having tons of fun with my kids I have come up with this super easy pasta salad dish that is absolutely perfect to make ahead and just screaming for me to grab one and go for a quick meal. Oh, and did I mention it is chock full of fresh veggie goodness? Because it totally is.
Easy Take Along Pasta Salad
This easy pasta salad is perfect for busy days, stores well in the fridge and due to the layering of ingredients won’t get soggy before you have a chance to eat it! I am using Kraft Ranch Dressing for this one, but you can easily swap it out for Zesty Italian or any other flavor you like. These are great for meal planning and when you expect to be short on time, and you can easily swap out ingredients depending on what you are in the mood for. I am using 1 quart jars in this recipe, so the serving size is big enough for an entire meal but if you want to split it up or use a smaller dish go right ahead – it will still turn out fine if you don’t use my exact measurements! This recipe makes around three servings (jars), so adjust accordingly if you don’t want to have to store that much.
You will need:
- 4 cups cooked bowtie pasta
- 1 cup Kraft Ranch Dressing or Zesty Italian dressing (more or less depending on your preference)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup diced yellow pepper
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
- pepper to taste
Before you start you want to cook your pasta to al dente and then rinse it off to cool it. I am a huge bowtie fan but you can choose any kind of pasta you like. After that set it aside while you cut your veggies.
Once your veggies are cut you can divide them into thirds and start layering your pasta in the jar. Layering it like this keeps everything from getting soggy and helps keep it fresh – plus it looks super cute! Your first layer will be the dressing, so measure out 1/4 – 1/3 cup of of it and pour it into the bottom of your jar. Top it with 1 cup of pasta.
And then after that add your veggie layers.
Isn’t it starting to come together nicely? I love how crisp and fresh all these veggies look – and I feel fabulous eating them too! I was never a salad kinda girl, but I’ve been eating my vegetables dipped in Ranch dressing ever since I was a little girl. My mom used to say it was the only way I would eat them. (Funny since I’m now a vegetarian, huh?) And Kraft’s classic Ranch is even creamier, with more buttermilk and savory herbs than ever! But seriously, don’t you feel energized just looking at that beautiful broccoli?
Once you have all your layers in just top your jar and pop it in the fridge until you are ready to eat! Wasn’t that super easy? I am not going to tell you how long you can safely store these in the fridge before eating, but I have eaten them after a few days with no issues, so it is up to you how far ahead you want to whip them up. Once you are ready to eat just grab a jar, give it a few shakes, and pour it into a bowl. Doesn’t that look delicious?
One of my favorite things about this dish is just how easy it it to customize – you can choose any kind of veggies you like, add cheese, even add a protein like tofu or chicken and it will still taste fabulous. And you aren’t limited to just Ranch and Zesty Italian dressing either – the new Kraft Pourables have been reinvented with a new, better taste! There are TONS of great flavors to choose from like Mango Chipotle (YUM!) or Zesty Lime Vinaigrette. Talk about variety! #CollectiveBias #FoodDeservesDelicious