Monday, August 8, 2016

Fast and fresh ranch pasta salad

This fast and fresh ranch pasta salad with crunchy summer veggies and chicken makes an easy, healthy weeknight meal or potluck dish.

fast and fresh ranch pasta salad from

I originally created this recipe while we lived in Vermont. And were once again in the midst of moving.

I know, it's like deja vu, right? But don't worry. I'm not moving again. (You hear me, universe? I. AM. NOT. MOVING. AGAIN.)

But, as you can imagine, moving has a way of cutting into the time (and energy) available for cooking dinner. As does hot summer weather, which we've been experiencing here in Maryland in full force over the past few weeks.

So, just as I did back when we were moving, I've lately been keeping my menu planning focused on quick and easy recipes -- especially the low- or no-cook kind.

Case in point, this easy, fast and fresh ranch pasta salad, which you can throw together in the time it takes to cook a pot of pasta, yet is cool, full of fresh veggies and very satisfying. Plus, it will leave you with lunch leftovers that you don't even need to reheat.
fast and fresh ranch pasta salad from

If you're seriously pressed for time, you can use bottled ranch salad dressing this pasta salad recipe. But I'm here to assure you that you will be happier and healthier if you try making my homemade ranch dressing, which is super-easy and super-fast. You'll never go back to bottled, trust me.

As you can see from the photos, I often make this easy pasta salad into a meal by adding chicken, although you may omit it if you choose. It's fast and delicious both ways.

Also, feel free to use whatever small pasta shape you choose; I use orecchiette because the peas tend to nestle in the little indents and look really cute.

What's your favorite cool, quick and easy low- or no-cook summer dinner recipe? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

fast and fresh ranch pasta salad from

Fast and Fresh Ranch Pasta Salad

Enjoy this salad as an easy weeknight dinner or crowd-pleasing potluck dish.

10-12 ounces pasta (I like to use orechiette)
1 cup shelled green peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup thinly sliced radish
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (optional)
1/3 cup sliced green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup homemade or bottled ranch dressing
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cool water and place in a large bowl. Add the peas, radishes, onion, dill, garlic and chicken (if using) and gently mix. Add the dressing and stir until well-coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-- print recipe --

1 comment:

  1. Liz can make her own dressing....this sounds great to me! And I'm sure we all prefer you showered. ;-)