Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

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Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

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This Bowtie Pasta Salad is a delightful medley of flavors and textures that make it a perfect dish for gatherings, picnics, or even just a simple family meal. Packed with vibrant vegetables, savory bacon, and creamy cheeses, it’s a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to whip up.

Why Make Bowtie Pasta Salad

Bowtie Pasta Salad is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. It’s a great way to incorporate fresh vegetables into your diet while enjoying a satisfying meal. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, making it ideal for meal prepping or entertaining guests.

How to Make Bowtie Pasta Salad

  1. Prepare the Pasta: Cook the bowtie pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse under cold water to cool and drain well. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  2. Chop the Vegetables: Chop the English cucumber into bite-sized pieces and halve the tomatoes.
  3. Cook the Bacon: Cook the bacon until crispy, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool before crumbling.
  4. Mix the Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the Italian dressing mix with olive oil, mayonnaise, white vinegar, and water. Whisk until well blended. Stir in the chopped fresh dill, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the Salad: To the bowl with the pasta, add the chopped cucumber, halved tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon, and chives. Gently toss to combine.
  6. Dress the Salad: Pour the prepared dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until evenly coated.
  7. Final Touches: Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, or more dill if desired.
  8. Chill and Serve: Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. Stir before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Bowtie Pasta Salad as a side dish alongside grilled chicken, steak, or fish. It also makes a delicious standalone meal for lunch or dinner. Pair it with crusty bread or garlic breadsticks for a complete and satisfying meal.

Storage Info

Store any leftovers of Bowtie Pasta Salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Before serving, give it a quick stir to redistribute the dressing and flavors.

Some Techniques or Tips

  • For a lighter version, you can use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in the dressing.
  • Customize the salad by adding your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, olives, or red onions.
  • Make sure the pasta is completely cooled before adding the other ingredients to prevent them from wilting or becoming soggy.

Variation

You can make a vegetarian version of this salad by omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth instead of water in the dressing for added flavor.

FAQs about Bowtie Pasta Salad

  1. Can I make this salad ahead of time? Yes, Bowtie Pasta Salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the dressing.
  2. Can I use a different type of pasta? While bowtie pasta works well in this recipe, you can certainly use other shapes such as penne, fusilli, or rotini if preferred.
  3. Can I substitute the fresh dill with dried dill? Yes, you can substitute dried dill for fresh dill in the dressing. Use about half the amount called for in the recipe, as dried herbs are more potent than fresh. Adjust to taste.

For ingredients and comprehensive cooking instructions, please proceed to the next page or click the open button (>)โ€”and be sure to share with your Facebook friends!

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