Best Easy Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe
Pasta salads are a versatile and refreshing dish, perfect for picnics, potlucks, or even as a light lunch option. And if you’re a fan of smoky flavors and creamy cheese, then this smoked mozzarella pasta salad recipe is a must-try. It combines the richness of smoked mozzarella with the freshness of vegetables, creating a delightful blend of flavors.
– 8 ounces rotini pasta
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1 cup cucumber, diced
– 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
– 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
– 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, cubed
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the rotini pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool it down.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, and fresh basil leaves.
3. Add the cooked and cooled rotini pasta to the bowl, along with the cubed smoked mozzarella.
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. This will serve as the dressing for the pasta salad.
5. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad ingredients and gently toss until everything is well coated.
6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
7. Before serving, give the pasta salad another gentle toss to distribute the dressing evenly. You can adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
8. Serve chilled and garnish with additional fresh basil leaves, if desired.
Now that you have the recipe for this delicious smoked mozzarella pasta salad, here are some commonly asked questions and their answers:
Q1: Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
A1: Yes, you can substitute rotini pasta with any other short pasta like penne or bowtie.
Q2: Can I use regular mozzarella instead of smoked mozzarella?
A2: While smoked mozzarella adds a unique flavor, you can use regular mozzarella if you prefer a milder taste.
Q3: Can I add other vegetables to this salad?
A3: Absolutely! Feel free to customize the salad by adding vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or even roasted red peppers.
Q4: Can I make this salad ahead of time?
A4: Yes, this pasta salad can be made a day in advance. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Q5: Can I use a different dressing for this salad?
A5: Yes, you can use a different dressing if you prefer. A lemon vinaigrette or a creamy Italian dressing would also work well.
Q6: Can I make this salad vegan?
A6: Yes, you can make this salad vegan by using dairy-free smoked mozzarella or omitting the cheese altogether.
Q7: Can I add protein to this salad?
A7: Absolutely! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or even chickpeas can be added to make it a complete meal.
Enjoy this easy and flavorful smoked mozzarella pasta salad recipe that will surely impress your family and friends. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year, and it’s bound to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.