NEVER MISS A POST! FOLLOW ME ON:hot pasta dishes with sauce, baked pasta dishes, pasta salads, and even in soups. So when Barilla asked me to try their new Ready Pasta I knew I had to give it a go! Who could say no to saving even MORE time in the kitchen?? If you’ve been following thebusybaker.ca for any length of time you’ll already know how obsessed I am with easy meal ideas that don’t sacrifice our family’s healthy eating goals. We love fresh, nutrient-dense foods and Barilla’s new Ready Pasta is the perfect ingredient to a well balanced meal that’s on the table in minutes, literally! Just 60 seconds in the microwave yields al dente perfection and all the traditional Barilla flavour you know and love. This Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing is packed with fresh in-season berries, lots of spinach, some nuts and goat cheese for added protein, and it’s topped with a deliciously easy-to-make poppy seed dressing. It’s great to enjoy on its own as a nice light lunch, but adding a grilled chicken breast on the side is a great way to increase the protein and make it a meal! Looking to up your pasta salad game? Here are my favourite summer pasta salad tips:
- Use a high-quality pasta – there’s nothing worse than glue-y or overly starchy pasta when you’re trying to pull off a fresh and delicious pasta salad. Barilla gets my vote for the pasta brand that holds up best in pasta salads!
- Keep it fresh – ultra fresh in season veggies and even fruits make the perfect addition to your pasta salads. Choose ripe produce and even fresh herbs!
- Add some protein – whether it’s grilled chicken, boiled eggs, seafood, nuts or even cheese, adding protein will go a long way to rounding out your summer pasta salad while also adding delicious flavour and texture!
- Dress it up – making your own dressing for pasta salad is easy! Just add equal parts fat (oil, mayonnaise, etc.) and acid (vinegar, lemon juice), fresh herbs, a touch of honey or maple syrup, sea salt, and you’re good to go. The sky is the limit!
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NEVER MISS A POST! FOLLOW ME ON:Barilla.ca for even more delicious pasta recipes! I hope you love this Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite way to enjoy pasta in the summer?? I’d love to know!
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For the dressing:
For the pasta salad
- 1 pouch Barilla Penne Ready Pasta (or 3 cups cooked regular Penne pasta)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 3 handfuls fresh spinach, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsley chopped
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- Add the vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, and salt to a mason jar and shake to combine.
- Prepare the Barilla Penne Ready Pasta according to package directions (it only takes 60 seconds in the microwave!). Let cool on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
- Add the Barilla Penne Ready Pasta to a serving bowl and top with the strawberries, spinach, nuts, and crumbled goat cheese.
- Pour the dressing over top and toss well.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.