Have you ever played the picnic game? I can remember playing on the first day of school, as an icebreaker. I never could come up with anything fun that started with a “N” like my name, besides… napkins. But hey, you totally do need napkins, right? I was such a practical eight year old 😉
Today we are celebrating International Picnic Day by bringing you a basket packed with goodies from A to Z, in the style of the picnic game! Drop by the Sunday Supper Movement to see the whole picnic spread out on our virtual blanket.
I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…
Asian Chicken Salad from Try Anything Once Culinary
Beautiful Beet Salad from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Chicken Muffuletta from Marlene Baird
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups from The Dinner-Mom
Elote from Peaceful Cooking
Fennel Slaw from FoodieTots
Greek Farro Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Honey Porter Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Skewers from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
…and Italian Pasta Salad!
I originally wanted to bring my Antipasto Skewers for today’s picnic, but Dionne beat me to the letter “A”. So instead, I decided to share my favorite Italian Pasta Salad recipe.
I love pasta salad for a gazillion reasons. I mean first of all, pasta. Then you can really add whatever ingredients you want from there, so while I do share a recipe below, you can add extra veggies (tomatoes, cucumber, spinach?), meats and/or cheese however you like.
To me what makes this an Italian pasta salad are the meats I use, as well as the ridiculously easy dressing. I used to love the boxed salad kit with dressing until I discovered a homemade version from Peas and Crayons. I use this dressing for marinades, and grilled chicken salads, as well. It’s easy, fresh, and so so good!
I recommend making this pasta salad the night before you plan to eat it. I think cold dishes like this are tastier the longer they chill (same goes for my mom’s potato salad) . If the pasta soaks up the dressing, which happens to me most of the time, you can make a second batch and add a few tablespoons. All that will do, is enhance the flavor that much more–promise!
Huge thank you to Heather for organizing such a fun day!
- Pasta Salad:
- 1 box tri-colored pasta, cooked to package directions
- 4 oz can sliced black olives
- 4 oz green olives
- 1 8 oz package mozzarella balls (at my grocery, these were by the deli in the specialty case)
- 1 6 oz package of pepperoni or salami (sometimes I use 3 oz of each)
- Italian Dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 TBSP mrs dash italian seasoning [this blend tastes AMAZING]
- 1/2 TBSP of garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- freshly ground black pepper, if desired, to taste
- Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together and allow to infuse for at least an hour to soften the dry herbs and marry the Italian flavors.
- Salad: To a bowl, add your cooked pasta, veggies, meat, and cheese. Add dressing and mix together. Allow time to chill for best flavor.
What are some of your favorite picnic eats?