No Fuss Pasta Salad

Recipe and photograph by Kimme Hargrove

Get your kids in the kitchen to help make this simple pasta salad that really only requires chopping and mixing! Bonus: it’s actually better when made ahead of time because it allows it time to chill. Enjoy it as a side dish or light lunch, or serve with grilled chicken for a main course dinner. To feed a large crowd, this recipe can easily be doubled. Visit for more recipes your kids can help with.

16 ounces pasta (bow tie, rotini or penne)

6 ounces salami (peppered, Italian or Genoa), cut into quarters

6 ounces pepperoni, cut into quarters

1 bell pepper (any color), chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls or crumbled feta cheese

1 cup prepared Italian dressing

1 tablespoon dry Italian dressing mix

Salt and pepper, to taste

Other optional additions:

Black olives

Artichoke hearts

Red onion

Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked and drained, run cold water over pasta to cool. Be sure pasta cools completely before mixing the salad.

In a large bowl, gently stir all ingredients until combined. Chill, and serve cold as a side dish or light lunch.

To serve for dinner, top pasta salad with Italian Grilled Chicken. Recipe below.

Italian Grilled Chicken

4 (4-6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat.

Pound chicken to ½-inch thickness. Season liberally with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook chicken about 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Slice into strips about ¼-inch thick, and lay over plated pasta salad to serve. Or, for a to-go option, dice the grilled chicken and mix into the pasta salad.

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