Monday, July 7, 2014

Ultimate Summer Pasta Salad

To me, 4th of July is the official declaration of summer. Not Memorial Day or June 21st as it is to most people. It just REALLY feels like summer on this day, with all the BBQ's and the smell of fireworks in the air. This year I made some festive cupcakes and the cutest jello shots shaped like watermelons.

I did not make this pasta salad for weekend festivities, but with all the summeriness I was craving a good pasta salad. I saw one similar on The Pioneer Woman Sunday afternoon, so I decided to use that one as a base to create a pasta salad full of fresh summer veggies and of course bacon and cheese :) You can use any combo of ingredients, adding broccoli and cauliflower would be delish in this too. This post is also full of some super cool "food-hacks" for cherry tomatoes and corn! 


  • 12 oz bowtie or other small pasta
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half (fun to use this method to cut them!) 
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 5 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mayo or miracle whip*
  • 4-6 tbs apple cider vinegar*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 5-10 basil leaves, chopped 

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile prep the other ingredients. 

Steam corn in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high until cooked but still has a nice fresh crunch. This is the best way I have found to cook corn in the microwave. Remove corn from ears. Cook and chop the bacon, cut the tomatoes and chop the scallions and cube the cheese. Throw everything together in a big bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper together. *You'll want to use the 1/2 cup mayo and 4 tbs vinegar if you plan to serve this right away. If you are going to refrigerate this for a few hours or overnight, use the 3/4 cup mayo and 6 tbs vinegar. Reserve 1/4 of the mixture to toss over everything once you remove it from the fridge as most of the initial sauce will have absorbed into the pasta. 

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water until cool. You do NOT want this pasta to be hot or it will melt the cheese and make everything else taste weird. 

Toss the pasta with the ingredients in the big bowl, then mix in the sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the chopped basil just before serving.


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