Meat-Free Fridays: Pasta Salad

This week went super fast- I can’t believe its time for another meat-free Friday post already! I had two late nights at work (ate dinner at the office) AND the store was out of tuna, so my weekly menu plan got all thrown off.

Now that the weather is starting to get nice, we’ve been eating a lot of pasta salad. Its so easy to throw together and it makes a great sidedish. I also like to make a lunch out of it.

I don’t really plan out my pasta salads- I just throw in whatever I have around. Some of my favorite things to include are endamame, peas, broccoli, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. And cheddar. There are always cubes of cheddar in my pasta salad. I just dress it simple with just enough olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking, red wine vinegar, and Italian seasonings.  What’s your favorite thing to include in pasta salad?

The pasta salad above includes:

  • 1/2 lb DeBoles whole wheat penne with jerusalem artichoke flour
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 oz extra sharp cheddar, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Meat-Free Friday Roundup

There are some great submissions to this week’s roundup!

  • Jenn from Bread+Butter made some great looking sweet and sour seafood recipe that I can’t wait to try! The breading on these look delicious, and she baked it instead of frying to keep it light.
  • 5 Star Foodie, Natasha, made a okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) inspired by something she ate on her recent trip to London. Its stuffed with shrimp and smokes salmon, and I’ve never seen anything like it!
  • Reeni from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, submitted a creamy Tuscan bean soup. The combination of cannelini beans, orzo, and spinach looks like it would be super comforting if you have a Spring cold.


  1. I wanna play too – is it too late for today? If not then I will be ready for next friday. This dish looks tasteeeeeee!

  2. Glad to a part of the round-up this week! =)

    How could a store be out of tuna?? I find that oddly suspicious. lol. That pasta looks delish. Perfect for summer days. I usually like to have some pieces of boccoli in my salad. Really yummy.

  3. listen mama, you have reached a whole new level of fancy with these photos! I’m in love. teach me yoda!

  4. Wow! This looks like our kind of meal. We have several meat free meals & love them especially when it’s hot outside. I’d love to join your meat-free Fridays. Will have to check in again! Great post & blog.

  5. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    Delicious pasta salad! I made one similar the other day but with mozzarella and my daughter complained about it (for some reason she decided she doesn’t like mozzarella), I think I’ll put in cheddar like in your recipe. Thanks!

  6. This has all kinds of delicious goodies in it. It looks so fresh and yummy. I love chunks of cheese in it.

  7. I love pasta salad! I try not to make it because I lack serious control with respect to portion size! Really, who eats a cup of pasta???!!! LOL!

  8. YUM! I am totally with Marisa on pasta and portion control issues. But this does look tasty!

  9. love pastas!! haha.. i suppose the one you’re showing now is reaaaaal GOOD!

  10. I like your style of making pasta salads! just throw things together and wing it! sometimes you end up with such a gorgeous combo!

  11. I’m a sucker for pasta salad, too, no matter what time of year. The whole wheat pasta with jerusalem artichoke flour is a new one to me. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for it in the stores. Does it give the pasta a different texture in some way?

  12. Artichoke flour? Never heard of it…it looks great and healthy. Should try to find it.

  13. Dear lauren!
    Cold pasta salad is somthing becoming very popular in Japan, especially in warm seasons!
    TheMissus is always shouting for them! LOL

  14. This looks more like pasta rocks Friday! This pasta really rocks!

  15. mmm I love pasta salad. yum yum yum. I like the cheddar cube idea!! I’ve never had it before but it makes a lot of sense and sounds good.

    even more, I like the “throw in whatever” pasta salad concept. Pasta salads are so good I always think they take some planning– but you’re right. You’ve always got at least some of those ingredients in the fridge… so as long as you’ve got the olive oil and the red wine vinegar, you’re good! maybe I’ll make some this week :)

  16. doggy- sorry you missed it. Send me something for this week though- I’d love to hav you join in!

    jenn- to be fair, I was looking fo tuna steak. They had plenty of cans… still crazy though!

    Mo- I’ll send you an email :)

    Dee- thanks! And thanks for stoppign by!

    Marisa and Carol- if you bulk it up with lots of veggies, 1 serving of pasta can seem like a lot more than it is! I used to have problems with it though, so I would easure out however many servig I wanted to eat and just cook that much.

    Sophia and Andrew- thanks!

    Carol- I love it! It does have a slightly firmer texture than white pasta, but i don’t find it to be as toothy or grainy as normal whole wheat flour.

    Juliana I really reccomend it if you can fidn it. thanks for stoppign by!

    Robert- interesting that its so popular there! I didn’t think the Japanese were big on pastas (but what do I know? lol)

    Katherine- haha. thanks! it does rock!

    Sarah- The cheddar is SO GOOD! I pretty much refuse to eat pasta salad without it! And yeah, you really don’t need to overthink it, its really easy! Pretty much anything works in it!

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