Made with whole wheat pasta, lots of veggies, and an oil and vinegar dressing, this Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad is a flavorful and light side dish for potlucks and parties.
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Growing up, we would have pasta for dinner at least twice a week. And since my mom is 100% Italian, sometimes we would have homemade gravy and meatballs too. It was pretty much the best.
So, naturally, I have a pretty deep-rooted love of pasta. I enjoy everything about it – the smooth yet gritty feel of dried pasta, the quick process of transforming it from rock hard to tender, and the neutral taste that serves as a blank canvas for whatever you have in mind.
I usually opt for a generous serving of tomato-based sauce and a fresh grating of parmesan cheese (or as we had growing up, Locatelli cheese). But I love pasta in any form. And in the summer, I really like it as a salad!
It’s kind of surprising that I don’t have a pasta salad on the blog yet, so that’s why I’m extra excited about sharing this veggie-loaded Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad with you.
This dish is lighter than your typical pasta salad. Instead of a creamy dressing, I used an oil and vinegar dressing and added fresh balls of mozzarella and shredded parmesan cheese.
How to Make Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil (be sure to add a little salt and oil to it too). Dump in the whole wheat pasta and cook it until it’s al dente. You can use a gluten free pasta if needed.
While that’s cooking, drain the artichoke hearts, chop the spinach and parsley, and whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt. Combine in a large bowl, add the mozzarella and parmesan, pop it in the fridge, and you’re done.
You can serve this dish right away, but I like it better after it’s been refrigerated for a while. It will store well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to five days, so you can make it in advance if you need to!
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Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
- 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 14 oz jar artichoke hearts - drained and roughly chopped
- 4 cups spinach leaves - roughly chopped
- 16 oz mozzarella balls - look for bocconcini or ciliegine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley - chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt - more to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over the stove and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, ~8 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately with cold water.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients, and whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt.
- Combine the cooked pasta, drained and chopped artichoke hearts, chopped spinach, parsley, mozzarella, parmesan, and the dressing in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 60 minutes before serving (you can keep it in there for a longer time too). You can also eat it right away, but I prefer it cold. Enjoy!
- This recipes makes a lot of pasta salad, so it’s best for a large crowd or party, but it also stores well and can be enjoyed for several days. If you want to make a smaller amount, you can cut the recipe in half.
- For more flavor, use marinated artichoke hearts instead of those canned in water.
Enjoy! – Lizzie