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Mediterranean Pasta Salad With Pepperoni And Feta Cheese

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Boil 1/2 whole wheat bowtie pasta till al dente. Stir in 1/2 cubed red bell pepper, 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved), 2 cups cubed cucumber, kalamata olives, 1/4 cup red onion, 1/2 cup diced pepperoni deli meat or salami, and a block of cubed Feta cheese. Top with dressing: 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove sliced fresh garlic, 1/4 tsp dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

I love a good refreshing, hearty salad, especially if they involve Mediterranean flavors. This pasta salad is full of flavor and is great for all kinds of occasions. It is truly one of my favorite lunches.

Start with your pasta. I use organic whole wheat bowtie pasta for that extra nutritional punch. I am not gonna lie, I have never really been a fan of whole wheat pasta, because of the flavor, but it really works here!

If you want to try a gluten free version, I have tried this with quinoa pasta and it was delicious! But, it needs a touch more dressing.

Boil your pasta until it is al-dente, just still slightly chewy on the inside – 6-8 minutes depending on your pasta. Then drain all the pasta into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Drizzle just a little olive oil over the pasta and mix it around to keep it from sticking together.

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Then toss in fresh tomatoes, diced cucumber, some red bell pepper, a teensy bit of red onion, and some Kalamata olives.

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Dice up some tasty salty feta cheese and throw it in. And for a little meaty goodness to bulk it up, cut up some of your favorite salami or pepperoni.

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For the dressing, I make use of my favorite Universal Salad Dressing1, and for this recipe I add some dried dill. Wait until you are ready to serve to pour the dressing over. The salt in the dressing can make some of the veggies look a little less than tasty.

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This Mediterranean pasta salad tastes great at room temperature, but my favorite way to have it is cold, straight out of the fridge.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad [Recipe]

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 whole wheat bowtie pasta
  • 2 cups cubed cucumber
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper cubed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • Handful of kalamata olives, diced or whole
  • 1/2 cup or 10 slices of salami or large pepperoni deli meat, cubed
  • Small block of Feta cheese, cubed

For The Dressing

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic chopped (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 tsp Dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and immediately run cold water over it until it has cooled completely.
  • Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine cucumber, tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, salami or pepperoni, Feta cheese, kalamata olives, and pasta. Toss to combine.
  • Top with dressing and again gently toss.
  • Serve chilled or at room temp.

If not serving immediately, do not add feta cheese and olives right away. They are salty and will make the other veggies go soft in a short amount of time.

All images courtesy: Chronicles of a cold Texan

References   [ + ]

1.The Best Universal Salad Dressing, Chronicles Of A Cold Texan.
Ashley Tukiainen
Star Expert

Ashley grew up with a love of healthy living. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 2007, And shortly after finished training and obtained a Reiki Master/Teacher certification. She opened her practice in Houston, Texas while working on other certifications. In 2014 she went to school to become a yoga instructor and now lives in Finland with her husband teaching yoga and dance and practicing massage therapy

Ashley Tukiainen
Star Expert

Ashley grew up with a love of healthy living. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 2007, And shortly after finished training and obtained a Reiki Master/Teacher certification. She opened her practice in Houston, Texas while working on other certifications. In 2014 she went to school to become a yoga instructor and now lives in Finland with her husband teaching yoga and dance and practicing massage therapy

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