Know anyone having a cookout anytime soon? Like, oh, tomorrow?
Yes, the Fourth of July and cookouts seem to go hand-in-hand. And this pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to your burgers, brats, chicken, ribs or steaks. It's even delicious all by itself. It's nice and cool...perfect for a hot summer day. Best of all, it's easy. If you can boil water, you can make this pasta salad.
Of course, there's always one key ingredient in pasta salad and that's the pasta. I prefer mine with some color, so I often opt for the Wacky Mac or some other tri-colored pasta.
Sometimes you can even find holiday pasta, like red, white and blue stars or red and green Christmas trees. I've seen them at places like Homegoods and Cost Plus World Market. They're fun for both cooking and decorating. Simply keep them on display in a sealed mason jar until you're ready to use them.
Cook your pasta according to package directions to al dente. Once the time is up, drain immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Then place your cooked pasta into a bowl.
Add some chopped red onion, bell pepper and sliced black olives.
These are my veggies of choice, but you're welcome to use whatever you like. But this next ingredient is what takes this pasta salad to the next level.
Imitation crab, which can usually be found in the meat section of your favorite market, is the key ingredient. Chop it up and stir in as much or little as you like into your pasta mixture.
Top everything with some Italian salad dressing (I don't recommend fat-free versions because without the oil the liquid ends up soaking into the pasta, making for a drier salad) and toss again.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. That means you can make it the day ahead. But when something is this easy, you really don't have to.
Colorful, tasty and simple, making this one of my all-time favorite recipes. Oh, and did I mention it's always a crowd-pleaser?
So tell me about your plans for the Fourth. Do you tend to celebrate at home or do you like to go somewhere? And how about the fireworks?
Three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children, two dogs and countless cattle. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining and sometimes adventurous manner. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at mindyobenhaus.com.