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Side Dishes

Warm Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe Is Picnic Perfection — Ready in 20 Minutes

Cooking cherry tomatoes just until they burst adds extra flavor to this irresistible dish

When you’re grilling up a feast, the ideal accompaniment is a side dish that complements the main course and melds together lots of zesty flavors. In other words, pasta salad! Instead of a chilled version, we created a dish best served warm. Not only does a little heat help the flavors marry, but the crumbled goat cheese melts beautifully into the mixture. We even cooked the cherry tomatoes just until they burst to give this warm rotini pasta salad recipe some extra tanginess. Try it at your next picnic and let us know how you liked it!

Quick trick: Olives are a key ingredient in this pasta salad, but cutting out the pits with a sharp knife can be difficult. To simplify the task, place olives on a cutting board, then gently press each one with the flat side of a chef’s knife. The olive will split, then you can slide the pit right out. 

Related: Avoid Serving Dry Pasta Salad At Your Next BBQ With This Easy Trick

Yields

4 servings

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. quick-cook rotini pasta
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2–3 lemons
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • ⅓ cup kalamata olives
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced

Instructions

• Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add tomatoes. Cook until just tender, about 5 min.; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook until bursting, 5–7 min.

• Meanwhile, coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add tomatoes. Cook until just tender, about 5 min.; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook until bursting, 5–7 min.

• Grate 2 tsp. zest and squeeze 3 Tbs. juice from lemons. Crumble cheese. Pit olives. In large serving bowl, mix oil, lemon zest and juice, 1⁄4 tsp. salt and 1⁄4 tsp. pepper. Add pasta, tomatoes and remaining ingredients; toss until combined.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 485
  • Fat: 28 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 7 gram
  • Protein: 13 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 48 gram
  • Fiber: 4 gram
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg
  • Sugar: 4 gram
  • Sodium: 456 mg
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