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spring pasta salad

Five Ingredient Spring Pasta Salad

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pasta see notes on pasta
  • 8 ounces deli ham
  • 8-12 ounces frozen peas and carrots you can sub any frozen veggies you like
  • 1 ½ cups cheese we used mozzarella and cheddar
  • 1-2 cups salad dressing we used Caesar Italian and ranch dressing

Instructions
 

  • Cook noodles according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, cut the ham and cheese into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  • When noodles are cooked, drain and rinse noodles in cold water. Place the noodles into a large bowl and stir in the frozen vegetables. Allow vegetables to thaw for five minutes in the pasta.
  • Stir the ham and cheese into the pasta salad mix. Mix until combined. Add the salad dressing (start with ½ cup caesar italian and ½ cup ranch), stir. Add more salad dressing if needed to taste.
  • Serve salad immediately or cover and store in refrigerator. Salad will keep for up to two days. If stored, you may need to add additional salad dressing prior to serving as the noodles will absorb some of the dressing.

Notes

Serving This Salad
This pasta salad has been a crowd pleasing favorite for many years in our home. Boasting only five simple ingredients (noodles, meat, veggies, cheese and salad dressing) it's ready in under 20 minutes! This salad can be:
Made ahead of time and saved for dinner!
Have the pasta changed out---use this pretty spring time pasta we used for spring, or other colored noodles for different times of the year. This is a fun and colorful pasta salad!
Made easy for different food allergies. I'll make gluten free noodles for me and regular noodles for the husband and kids. It's simple to adapt and adjust this salad.
Serve it at events, parties or potlucks!
Eat it as a main dish or side dish. It's the perfect easy spring or summer meal!
What Type of Noodles Do I Use?
Wheat Noodles
There are several types of fun noodles you can use for this recipe. All of these are naturally dyed pastas. Some of our favorites are:
* Barilla Tri Color Rotini pasta
* Wacky Mac
* Shaped Pasta--dinosaurs, farm animals, cartoon characters, etc.
* Torino Farfalline Pasta (pictured in recipe)
Gluten Free Noodles
One thing I was a little saddened to see was that these fun noodles are REALLY hard to find in gluten free and had to order them most of the time.
* Orgran Gluten Free Animal Shaped Pasta
* Tolerant Kids Gluten Free Plant Based Pasta Shapes
* Gluten Free Tri Color Pasta
What Salad Dressings to Use?
There are several salad dressings we use but we mix a Caesar Italian and Ranch dressing. You can choose whatever dressing you like but these have always been our favorite flavors.
Ranch Dressing:
Hidden Valley Ranch
Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing (Dairy Free, Vegan)
Caesar Italian:
Fody Foods Caesar Italian Dressing (Dairy Free, FODMAP friendly, Vegan)
Bernstein Light Fantastic Cheese Fantastico
Food Allergy Substitutions: 
Gluten Free: All you need to do to adapt this recipe to be gluten free is to change out the noodles with one of the suggestions above.
Vegan: This meal can be made with dairy free cheese and a vegan deli meat alternative. We also gave some suggestions above for vegan salad dressings that can be used in this recipe.
Dairy Free: Simply substitute the salad dressing for dairy free dressing and the cheese for dairy free or lactose free cheese.
FODMAP: Use a garlic and onion free salad dressing along with gluten free pasta.
Keyword dairy free, fodmap, gluten free, pasta, salad