Strawberry-Spinach Penne Pasta Salad 

Strawberry Spinach Pasta salad 1

This pretty salad is cool and tangy-sweet, and the perfect side to your grilled chicken or fish. I like to use Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing, but you can choose your favorite brand or make it from scratch if you prefer. Double the recipe if you need additional servings.

Strawberry-Spinach Penne Pasta Salad 

with Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Serves 4

5 ounces penne pasta

1 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves

1 generous cup sliced strawberries

1 cup pineapple chunks

1/4 feta crumbled feta cheese

Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl and add in spinach, strawberries and pineapple. Toss to combine. Add about 3 ounces of the vinaigrette according to your taste preference. Sprinkle with feta and give it a toss. Transfer to a serving bowl, Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.

Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad2

Roasted Red Pepper Rotini Caesar

Spinach and rotini salad

Fast, fresh and delicious. The perfect summer salad for your Memorial Day celebration.

Roasted Red Pepper Rotini Caesar Salad
(recipe from Ronzoni Pasta)


1 12 oz. box Rotini pasta

1 (12 oz.) jar of roasted red peppers, sliced

4 cups of fresh baby spinach

1 cup of your favorite creamy Caesar dressing or creamy Peppercorn dressing

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander.
In a large mixing bowl, toss rotini, dressing, red peppers and spinach until well combined.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add parmesan before serving.

Shrimp with Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Shrimp and Bow Tie Pasta

We’ve had a relatively cool summer here in the Midwest this year, but today the heat is on with temperatures soaring into the 90’s. Warm temperatures are more than welcome after the winter we had, and on days like these, there is nothing better at mealtime than a cold pasta salad. This kicked-up shrimp salad is both spicy and refreshing and perfect for lunch or dinner on a hot summer day. Serve it with cold melon and a tall glass of ice tea for a true southern experience.

Shrimp with Bow Tie Pasta Salad

adapted from

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1/2 pound of dry farfelle (bow tie) pasta
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Vidalia, or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1 pound of  seasoned boiled shrimp  
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite Cajun or seafood seasoning to taste  (I used Old Bay)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt, or to taste.
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered.
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley. You can use dried parsley if you do not have fresh on hand.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard
  • 1/4 cup of milk

If using frozen shrimp, thaw and boil according to Crab and Shrimp Boil package directions. (I used Zatarain’s) After cooking, drain and run under cold water to stop from cooking further. Peel cooled shrimp and if using jumbo shrimp, cut in half.

Following package directions, cook pasta to the al dente stage. Drain and add a splash of olive oil, tossing to coat and prevent sticking. Set aside to cool.  Prepare onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and celery.

When pasta has cooled, transfer to a large mixing bowl.  To the pasta, add the shrimp, chopped vegetables, parsley and black olives. Toss to combine. Add seasonings, taste and adjust if needed. 

Prepare the dressing. In a small mixing bowl or 2 cup sized measuring cup, add the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Whisk until well blended. Add in the milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Pour over the pasta and blend well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.