Our family isn't a huge fan of mayonnaise so I am always looking for side dishes and summer salads that don't contain it. This particular recipe is just a basic pasta salad and the lime flavor came from improvising! (A lot of my recipes are created from improvising in a pinch!). I usually add Italian dressing or a greek dressing but I was out of it and since it was 110+ degrees outside...I wasn't in the mood to go running out to the store and get all sweaty! I did have some leftover lime vinaigrette dressing in the refrigerator so I improvised. The results were great! My family loves the bold flavor of lime so this recipe worked great for us.
This recipe is VERY FLEXIBLE. You can add your favorite salad dressing if you don't care for lime vinaigrette or if you don't have it on hand. You can also leave out any of the ingredients you don't like and you can also add additional items like olives, peppers, cheese or whatever else you like in your pasta salad. I try to keep the salads colorful and tasty. I happen to love cucumbers and tomatoes so I add those to most of my pasta salads! I leave the chunks small enough to eat but large enough that people can pick out anything they don't like. You can even add grilled chicken, ham, pepperoni or salami to make it a main dish meal. I used gluten free elbow noodles but if you don't have a gluten allergy then you can just use regular noodles. I usually make my lime vinaigrette dressing homemade but I will say that Kraft Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Dressing is tasty and very quick for those that want to get the salad done fast or don't want to bother with making homemade dressing.
Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe:
- 1 pound of noodles (I used the gluten free elbow noodles from Winco grocery store bulk section - see my photo below but you can use your favorite gluten free noodles or if you don't have a gluten allergy then just use regular noodles. Any noodle shape is fine! I have even used spaghetti noodles for this recipe!) Cook & rinse noodles.
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes cut in half)
- 2 cucumbers, peeled & chopped into bite size chunks
- 2 green onions, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped onion of your choice)
- 1 tbs. minced garlic
- 1 cup corn (I used frozen corn, thawed but you can use canned corn or cooked fresh corn)
- cilantro, optional
- you can also add any other items you like including olives, peppers, cheese, meat or whatever else you like in your pasta salad. This recipe is flexible so you can add or delete whatever you want!
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- Juice & zest from 2 limes (in a pinch you can use bottled lime juice but you won't get the same delicious fresh flavor that only fresh limes give you!)
- 4 tbs. Agave Nectar or honey or sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbs. minced garlic