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RECIPE: Very Veggie Pizza Pasta Salad

Very Veggie Pizza Pasta Salad

  • 1 box (16 oz.) whole wheat penne (or rotini, shells or bow ties)*
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half (an entire pint container)
  • 1 can large black olives, cut in half (roughly 1 1/3 cups)
  • ¾ to 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 can (14-15 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • 1 block (8 oz.) mozzarella cheese, cut into tiny ¼-inch diced pieces
  • 1/3 to ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crushed red pepper, if desired
  • ¾ to 1 cup (or more) favorite Italian Vinaigrette
  • (Kim loves & uses Good Seasons Italian Dressing)
  • Optional: ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions. After draining, place in extra large bowl. Lightly stir in all vegetables, from bell peppers to artichoke hearts, plus diced mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Add a little crushed red pepper if desired and toss/stir lightly. Pour favorite salad dressing over all and toss lightly again. Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Refrigerate leftovers in tightly covered container.

*This makes a very-large Party-size batch. For a typical family meal, you might want to cut the recipe in half. Makes at least 18 cups salad (18-20 servings)

Recipe by culinary dietitian & nutritionist Kim Galeaz, RDN, CD