Pasta Salads are a Summer Staple

Are you in need of some new recipe inspiration? Looking to add more plant-based meals to your repertoire? Don’t feel like spending a ton of time on meal prep in a hot kitchen this summer? One-dish pasta salads are the perfect summer dish! Pasta salads are fantastic for many reasons: 

  1. They are great for feeding a crowd (think summer potlucks, parties, cookouts)
  2. They can be a one-dish complete meal-meaning they can be nutritionally balanced with protein, carbs/fiber, fats and flavor. 
  3. You don’t have to turn on the oven
  4. They can be made ahead of time and are perfect for lunch leftovers 

These two recipes are vegetarian and full of plant-based protein. But you can always boost the protein by adding chicken or shrimp. Enjoy!

Lemon Orzo & Feta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and let cool. Toss with remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Can be made a day in advance and stored in refrigerator. Makes ~4 servings. 

Pesto & Peas Pasta Salad 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Banza shells (or any pasta of choice)
  • 1 bunch fresh or frozen asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (~8-10 spears)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pesto 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Cook pasta according to directions. When there is 5 minutes cooking time left, add peas and asparagus to boiling water and pasta. When al dente, drain and rinse pasta and veggies in a colander. Transfer back to pot and add in pesto, artichoke hearts and seasonings. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Keep in refrigerator. Makes ~4 servings. 

Note: we love Banza pasta because it is packed with protein (25 grams per serving!) and fiber because its made from chickpeas, comes in a variety or shapes, and holds its texture nicely unlike most gluten-free pastas. 

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