A while back, my aunt and her family came over for dinner and she brought this pasta salad. I never was a big pasta salad person because they usually have too much mayo, not enough flavor, and are just too uninspiring for me.
So I tried her pasta salad because I didn’t want to be rude. I should’ve known. My aunt is a pretty amazing cook and I don’t know why I ever doubted her abilities with even a pasta salad. Ever since I’ve started making this salad, I’ve had to remind myself I can’t eat it for every meal …. or can I? It’s just so delicious, healthy, and fresh!
There’s crunch from the bell peppers, sweet from the juicy, plump raisins which take in all the juices of the dressing, and a hint of spice from the cayenne.
I’ve altered it slightly, but like my aunt says, there is no wrong way to make this – it’s that easy and delicious!
One of the changes I made is adding pan roasted corn seasoned with paprika. This makes for a delicious side for any meal, and a great addition to this pasta salad.
I changed up the dressing ratio slightly too. I added a little more yogurt to the mix as it makes the raisins more plump.
This recipe is great for big gatherings, potlucks and summer BBQ parties. I tend to make it the day before because as it sits in the fridge cooling, the dressing saturates into the pasta emphasizing all the spices in every bite you take.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. Try it out and let me know!
1 lb package of rotini pasta
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 14oz can of black olives, drained, rinsed and sliced
1 14oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup raisins
1 ½c corn
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp EVOO
For the dressing:
2 ½c yogurt
1 c light mayo
1 package Italian seasoning
Cook pasta per package instructions.
While you’re boiling your pasta, dice up the bell peppers, cucumbers, slice up the olives, and drain/rinse the beans.
On the side, heat up the oil and add in the corn. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, then add in the salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well, turn off the stove and let cool to room temp.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, all the veggies, the beans, the cooked corn, and raisins.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, mayo, cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning. Whip it until the dressing is a creamy consistency; add it in with the pasta and veggies and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper per your flavor profile.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve cold.