This delicious Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella is a glorious combination of some of my very favorite ingredients and perfect for all your summer gatherings. This gorgeous pasta salad is tossed with a super delicious and easy dressing that will quickly become a staple in your home. Enjoy!
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This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.
There is quite literally nothing like a pasta salad during the summer months. I swear we make them a couple times a week and are constantly bringing them to family functions, potlucks, and other gatherings. There is no end to the possibilities when it comes to pasta salad. I love mixing it up with new ingredients and new dressings and today’s zucchini pasta salad is my new favorite.
I loaded this salad with all kinds of goodness: fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, red onions and zucchini spirals. It took me hardly anytime at all to pull together and looked absolutely gorgeous when I served it.
I used a blend of fresh, frozen, and jarred ingredients which is a lovely combination that results in a whole lot of deliciousness without a lot of effort.
I had fun using one of my new favorite products, Green Giant Veggie Spirals™. They come in four varieties – Beets, Carrot, Butternut Squash, and the Zucchini that I used in this recipe, and they’re all are available at Walmart. I’ve stocked up on all 4 varieties and they make a quick, tasty and fun addition to dinner. (My favorite are the beets!! SO good!)
I love that the veggies are precut and ready to go. You can microwave, sauté, or boil – whatever works for you. These packages are just the vegetables – no sauces, no seasonings, so you can prepare them how you like. I have been using the microwave most often but since I already had to boil the pasta for the salad, I just popped the zucchini into the hot water and let it cook for 1 minute. Super easy!
We’ve got zucchini Alfredo on the menu for this coming week and I can’t wait to use these Green Giant Veggie Spirals for it – it’s going to be delicious and fast.
The dressing is one of my personal favorites and I use it frequently on salads for lunch throughout the week. It’s a simple combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and some seasonings. I love that it lets the salad ingredients really shine through.
Make sure to cool the pasta and zucchini too – you don’t want to overcook it. A quick ice bath does the trick. Toss the remaining ingredients in the bowl, pour about half the dressing on the salad and give it a toss.
I like to chill the pasta salad for a couple of hours before serving. I give it another quick toss with the remaining salad dressing right before serving.
Tips for the Best Pasta Salad
- Two words: ice bath. The trick to perfectly cooked pasta is both cooking it to al dente and then tossing the pasta in an ice bath to keep it from cooking further. Nothing is worse than a mushy pasta salad!
- Twice is nice. Toss the salad with half of the dressing before chilling, and then again with the remaining half when you’re ready to serve. It gives the pasta salad a fresher look while allowing all those flavors to really meld together.
- Reserve a few mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes, etc. to toss on top of the salad. I like to add a couple lemon wedges to mine as well to accentuate the lemon juice in the dressing. Adds a nice bright punch of color.
How to Make the Best Pasta Salad
Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella
- 16 oz short pasta (penne, rotini, fusilli, etc.)
- 12 oz zucchini spirals
- 8 oz jar sun dried tomatoes, drained
- 15 oz jar marinated artichokes, drained
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, drained, quartered or halved
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Remove pasta with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath.
- Add zucchini spirals to boiling pasta water and cook for just 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a separate ice bath.
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Place cooled pasta in a large bowl and add cooled zucchini and remaining salad ingredients.
- Toss with half of the dressing. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Toss with remaining dressing and serve.
More salads to try: Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola, Walnuts, and Mint, Creamy Cilantro Lime Southwestern Pasta Salad and this yummy 7 Layer Salad!
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Disclosure: This recipe is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Mom On Timeout possible!
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