Now that spring is here and the weather is warmer, everyone is ready to get outdoors. From picnics and barbecues to family gatherings and cookouts, it’s so much fun to eat al fresco! Everyone wants great food, but who wants to be stuck inside cooking all day? Not us! That is why we love this pepperoni pasta salad. It’s the perfect make-ahead side dish and goes well with pretty much any meal.
Pepperoni pasta salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
1 box tricolor pasta twirls (12 oz.)
1 cup pepperoni
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup balsamic or Italian dressing (depending on your preference)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Rinse pasta with cool water and set aside.
3. While pasta is boiling, slice pepperoni into halves, and then quarters.
4. Saute pepperoni in frying pan until crispy.
5. Drain grease from pepperoni by placing cooked pepperoni on a paper towel-lined plate.
6. Combine pasta, pepperoni, feta cheese, and dressing in a large mixing bowl and stir until well coated.
7. Chill until ready to serve.
Note: You might be thinking that you can skip the sautéing of the pepperoni, but trust us, that step is important. Not only does it really help bring out the flavor of the pepperoni, but the crispy pepperoni are a great contrast to the creamy feta and the soft pasta
Perfect as a side or all alone
This tried and true recipe has been a favorite among our friends and family for years. It goes great with burgers or grilled chicken, is a nice addition to basic sandwiches, or can even hold its own and be eating as main dish, too. We love it for lunch and to make it more of a hearty meal on it’s own — try adding grilled chicken slices. The possibilities are endless for this perfect pasta salad!
What are your favorite make-ahead side dishes for spring and summer?
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