Cranberry Walnut Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad is an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats. It’s cold and refreshing, plus it’s cheap to make in quantity and can be made up to 4 days ahead of time.

It is a favourite summer meal, although it may be eaten all year. This Cranberry Walnut Pasta Salad is a delicious fall side dish to serve at your next barbeque or tailgate party.

The best pasta to use for pasta salad

You may use any pasta you have on hand, but I like something with plenty of nooks and crannies.

I love using rotini in my pasta salad because the twisted, tiny noodles absorb the sauce and provide a flavor punch in every mouthful.

1. Rotini In my opinion, the best option for pasta salad is rotini. Because of the spiral form and greater surface area, lots of dressing sticks to every mouthful!

2. Farfalle, often known as bow-tie pasta, is another excellent choice for pasta salad. While it lacks the surface area of rotini, the folds serve the similar function in terms of pasta-to-dressing ratio. It also looks so nice!

3. Orzo While it is not the most popular pasta salad ingredient, it deserves to be used in specific recipes. Because orzo is quite short and similar in form to rice, it makes an excellent side dish.

How to make Cranberry Walnut Pasta Salad

1.Cook the pasta

The first step is to prepare the pasta. You want the pasta to be slightly shy of al dente. Once the salad is created, this will guarantee that your pasta remains firm and stands up to the dressing.

When your pasta is done, drain it and sprinkle it with olive oil to chill. This prevents the spaghetti from sticking together.

You want to let the pasta cool to around room temperature so you can make your dressing while you wait.

2. Make the creamy balsamic vinaigrette

Yes, creamy balsamic dressing is available on the shelves of your local grocery store. If you’re not in the mood to create your dressing, this alternative will suffice; nevertheless, I like to prepare my dressing from scratch.

I have more exact control over the components and taste. Plus, homemade vinaigrette usually tastes better than store-bought.

Begin with a medium-sized measuring cup or mason jar. My Cambro Camwear Measuring Cup comes in handy. They come in a number of sizes, and they contain measurement lines on the side of the cup, eliminating the need for several measuring cups.

In a measuring cup, combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix with an immersion blender. I use my Cuisinart QuikPrep, which is a great tool to have in the kitchen. It simplifies the preparation of dressings, sauces, and soups!

3. Assembling your pasta salad

All that remains is to assemble the salad after the pasta has cooled and the dressing has been prepared. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spaghetti and all of the salad ingredients.

Dress with the homemade dressing. Toss it around until everything is evenly covered.

Refrigerate the pasta salad for 2 to 3 hours to allow it to cool and mix the flavors.

Serve this pasta salad with:

  • Coffee crusted ribeye
  • Whole smoked chicken on a pellet grill
  • Grilled steak pinwheels
  • Grilled porterhouse steak


What are the five mistakes to avoid pasta salad?

5 Pasta Salad Making Mistakes to Avoid
Using the incorrect size and form of pasta.
The pasta may be overcooked or undercooked.
Not seasoning the pasta enough.
While the pasta salad is still warm, avoid seasoning it.
Making your pasta salad too far ahead of time.

Is it better to make pasta salad the night before?

Yes! I really suggest cooking this 8 to 12 hours ahead of time to let the flavors to develop. Simply store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Before serving, give it a thorough toss so the dressing doesn’t settle at the bottom of your bowl.

Should you rinse pasta when making pasta salad?

Pasta should never, ever be washed before serving heated. The starch in the water is what makes the sauce stick to the pasta. Only rinse your pasta if you’re intending to use it in a cold dish, such as a pasta salad, or if you’re not going to use it right away.

What is Italian pasta salad made of?

For the ultimate make-ahead side dish, combine tender pasta, juicy tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, salami, and mozzarella cheese in an Italian dressing.

When making cold pasta salad do you rinse the pasta with cold water?

or raw materials.When preparing cold pasta salads, it’s useful to rinse your cooked pasta since it lowers the temperature of the pasta, which is excellent given that it’ll be served chilled — typically with other cool and refreshing ingredients.

Why do Italians eat salad after pasta?

One of the major reasons salads are offered after a heavy meal rather than before it is to cleanse the palate, or the roof of the mouth. You’re undoubtedly aware that the flavor of your food might linger in your tongue for some time after you finish.

Are dried cranberries and walnuts good for you?

If you think in this manner, you are passing up a great chance to enhance the quality of your life: They are completely safe! Dried fruits are abundant in dietary fiber, which helps to speed up our metabolism. Nuts include a lot of unsaturated fats, which are good for our heart and brain.

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