One of the things I love about summer is how much easier it is to entertain. We live in a fairly small house so hosting gatherings in the colder months can be tricky simply because we don’t have a lot of room for people to circulate.
But our yard is huge, green and perfect for relaxing outside with family and friends. Even the party food is often as easy as lighting up the barbeque or pulling out a hearty cold salad made earlier in the day!
Recently I was browsing the Life Made Delicious website for new fresh ideas for summer entertaining and the Zesty Corn and Pasta Salad recipe reminded me of one of my own favourite summer pasta salad recipes: Mexican Pasta Salad.
This easy salad is hearty enough to act as a main dish on a warm summer day, but it’s also a fabulous party side dish or potluck contribution!
I love playing around with this original recipe a bit to keep it interesting or to make it a little healthier. One of my favourite variations is to use whole-wheat pasta to add extra fibre and nutrients to the meal.
I also often use our small-town butcher shop’s fabulous homemade sausage in place of pepperoni. And replacing the meat with black beans is a great way to create a healthy and balanced vegetarian version!
Cold salads are such a great choice for summer entertaining because not only do they minimize work once the guests arrive, but they’re also incredibly refreshing on a hot day. Try out this flavourful Mexican Pasta Salad or check out my incredibly easy Japanese Coleslaw Asian Salad for a slightly lighter choice, so that when that special gathering rolls around, you can spend it sitting down and relaxing with loved ones!
Mexican Pasta Salad
- 4 cups uncooked macaroni
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. ground cumin optional
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 lb. 250g chopped pepperoni
- 2 ripe tomatoes chopped
- 1 can Green Giant Peaches & Cream Whole Kernel Corn drained
- 4 green onions sliced
Cook macaroni with one tablespoon each of salt and oil for 10-12 minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, combine oil, vinegar, garlic and seasonings in large bowl.
Add pepperoni, tomatoes, corn and onions to dressing.
Drain macaroni but do not rinse. Add to pepperoni mixture and to together.
Cover bowl loosely and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Toss once more before serving.
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.