Monday, August 20, 2012

Pizza Pasta Salad

I love cookouts, but I get sick of the same old side dishes: pasta salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, etc. My coworker recently made a pizza pasta salad for a work potluck, and I fell in love with it. It was simple and delicious. I decided to make it instead of my old standby of macaroni salad for a recent family cookout. I was afraid my family would miss the macaroni salad, but this pasta salad got rave reviews. So if you're looking for a quick and easy side dish for a cookout or party, look no further than this recipe.

Pizza Pasta Salad
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

1 pound any shape pasta
1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of your favorite Italian dressing (I used Ken's light Italian with Romano and red pepper)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
4 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
3/4 cup chopped or sliced pepperoni
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped fresh basil or green onions for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside to cool. Once pasta has completed cooled, add dressing, seasonings, cheese, pepperoni, and tomatoes. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving to allow flavors to meld. Top with chopped fresh basil or green onions, if desired. 

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