Tender penne pasta with spinach, parmesan, veggies, all tossed in a light and super flavorful greek dressing! It’s such a crowd pleaser, everyone will beg you for the recipe!
My friend Kelsi held a BBQ for a group of us for July 24th. That’s a holiday around here, p.s. – pretty comparable to the 4th of July as far as the festivities go. Parades, fireworks, burgers, brats, homemade ice cream, red white and blue jello…. the usual patriotic stuff. It’s a patriotic-ish holiday, but it’s actually Pioneer Day. The whole point is to celebrate the pioneers entering the Salt Lake valley in Utah and deciding to try to grow some corn in this blasted desert. Bless their hearts.
I brought the pasta salad. (insert cheesy grin here) I’m basically in love this with pasta salad. For beginners, I love Greek-inspired dishes and this one just speaks to me. The chickpeas give it a bit of Mediterranean flare and I adore those little beans. So good. I think it’s safe to say that penne is one of my favorite types of pasta, so it’s no surprise that it’s what I chose to be the groundwork of this salad.
And I know, spinach? Really?? Stop it. You will like it. I guess you could leave it out . . . (read: um, no. you can’t. never) and possibly my very favorite part of this pasta salad is the sundried tomato – parmesan combo. The flavors! They steal my heart. And feel free to replace the dressing with some of your favorite store-bought version. Either way, this salad is so quick, easy, and crazy delicious – a crowd pleaser for sure!!
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (garbanzo beans)
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped (dried, not packed in oil)
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine cooked penne pasta, cucumbers, chickpeas, red onion, spinach, and parmesan. Mix well to combine.
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat well.* Cover and store up to 24 hours in the fridge.**
**for best results, allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.
*recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens