Chilled Pasta Salad

by Jenn on July 15, 2010

in Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Salads,Seafood

Pasta Salad

I tend to lose my appetite easily when it is grossly hot outside like it has been this week, tending towards fresh fruits and greens over carbs & meats.  There’s just one problem with desiring such lighter fare day after day – I don’t consume enough calories and then I am hungry.  So how to eat something more substantial when I don’t feel like anything heavy?  Why of course, a chilled flavorful pasta salad!

Unfortunately, pasta salads for me often invoke images of mayonnaise laden macaroni concoctions at a sweltering hot picnic brunch that leave my stomach in that “sunken” feeling after eating, like a giant boulder decided to take up residence in my tummy.  It’s usually not an awesome experience.  However, thanks to my friend Stacy over at Little Blue Hen, her Greek pasta with colorful visions of artichoke hearts and olives was exactly the inspiration I needed.  A light olive oil and vinegar dressing and some great bright flavors sounded perfect to me.

Most everything I had already in my pantry too, which means I didn’t have to go back out in the heat to the store to buy things.  Not that going to the store is an issue, but climbing the freaking hill back up to our apartment is.  Did I ever tell you that I am a complete wimp in the heat (especially if there is no A/C to be had)?  There’s a reason why most of my work & travels have been to cooler regions, or why my husband and I chose the chilly windy New England shore in the Autumn rather than a tropical Caribbean island for our honeymoon.  A beach all to myself on a day where the high is 50ºF with 30 knot winds?  Now that’s my kinda vacation:


Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was the perfect remedy for the incessant heat here en Suisse- adding in beans and tuna not only added new flavors to the salad, but also some valuable calories and protein to my day in a way that still felt light and refreshing.  Simple and easy, filling, and yet not too heavy on a hot day.  Just what I needed :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Inspired by Greek Pasta from Stacy of Little Blue Hen

Ingredients (4 -6 servings):
8 oz. spiral pasta (GF if need be)
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts (packed in olive oil)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (packed in olive oil), sliced
1/2 cup garlic stuffed green olives, pitted and quartered
2 cups borlotti beans, cooked, drained and rinsed
1 can tuna, drained
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs. cider vinegar
1 tbs. Italian herbs
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated padano cheese (or parmesan)

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions and then put drained pasta in a large bowl.
2. Add in artichoke hearts, red peppers, olives, beans, and tuna.  In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar and herbs together, then pour on top of pasta salad and add salt & pepper.  Mix with a large spoon to bring everything together.
3. Chill in the fridge at least 2 hrs or until cold.  Serve on bed of romaine lettuce if desired, and sprinkle with cheese.



Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) July 16, 2010 at 12:24 am

I wish I could lose my appetite with the heat. I need to get into a posh frock in 6 weeks time and seriously have to cut down somewhere.

That pasta looks lovely. I do like beans and pasta together.

Jenn July 16, 2010 at 2:26 am

Ooh what is the special occasion? Good luck and thank you!

Steve July 16, 2010 at 2:22 am

I agree it’s defiantly hard to get up to cook in the heat.
I also have horrifying memory of pasta salad from my youth at family picnics. There was always one aunt that brought one covered in unidentifiable sauce that you politely took and then accidentally slipped off your plate into the grass.
This dish I think I’d be coming back for seconds and the ants would have to fend for them selves.

Jenn July 16, 2010 at 2:31 am

There are definitely certain picnics that come to mind where I have very similar memories of sliding maybe that same stuff onto the grass! This version is doing everything it can to not be that pasta salad!

penny aka jeroxie July 16, 2010 at 7:37 am

I love chilli pasta. YUM!

Jenn July 16, 2010 at 7:51 am

Hmm well this has no chiles or chili flavors in it, but the idea for a pasta salad like that def. sounds intriguing….

Rosa July 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

I am just like you. The heat makes me lose my appetite. I also eat lots of chilled salads! Yours looks so delicious and refreshing!



Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thanks! Ha last night I just ate fruit for dinner…and now I am hungry!!

Heather @CeliacFamily July 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Looks great. I rarely make pasta anymore because my kids won’t eat it, but I think it’s time to make it for my husband and me. Sounds like a great meal for a hot summer.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thanks! Yep, you deserve to make it for yourself!

Valérie July 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I am also gravitating toward lighter, cold meals these days – and pasta salad is definitely a good option! I love all the veggies you incorporated!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

Thanks! I love light meals like this in the summer!

Kim-Cook It Allergy Free July 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Now that is MY kind of salad! We do the same thing here in AZ with the 100 + temps – eat lots of fresh produce, but then end up hungry later! This salad looks hearty and filling.
PS I love the quiet mystery of a cloudy cold day at the beach as well (friends all think I am weird).

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

Glad I’m not the only one who likes cold days at the beach!

Christine July 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I’m with you on the whole heat thing. I’m so glad that our bedroom is in the basement as it means that we can actually sleep when it’s so hot elsewhere in our condo. :)

I think this salad would be really delicious! Perhaps I will have to try it the next time it’s 25+C.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:19 am

Oh you are lucky! We bought a fan last week and that’s done wonders for helping us sleep, even when it’s been warm…

Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread July 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I can totally relate about the heat issues and appetite! Lately it seems all I want is a light lunch and dinner but then when the sun goes down my tummy screams murder to me! I am loving the sounds of this pasta salad, the flavour combo is perfect! I’m saving this to make later this week!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:19 am

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it!

gfe--gluten free easily July 22, 2010 at 2:51 am

I’m a wimp in the heat, too. This salad looks great, Jenn. Mr. GFE doesn’t go for salads nearly as much as I do though. :-(

Your landscape photos looks like paintings. Amazing.


Jenn July 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

Thanks so much Shirley!!

Ariane July 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Hey Jenn, do you think swapping out the borlotti beans for would work? I was thinking great northern, chickpeas, or maybe black eyed peas.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Yeah, I’m sure you can add whatever you like – borlotti was what I had in the cupboard :)

Magic of Spice July 23, 2010 at 6:39 am

Oh I love this type of pasta salad:)

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