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Picnic Pasta Salad

Picnic Pasta Salad

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

8 to 10 minutes


6 to 8



Picnic Pasta Salad Recipe
By Chef Linda

Something about summer screams “pasta salad!”. The riot of colors, the easy make-ahead nature, the flexibility to add what you’ve got on hand, and the decadence of putting pasta and mayo together–oh yeah, it’s worth screaming about. This Picnic Pasta Salad leans into the spicy side of life. Ideally, you make it with heaps of chopped spicy dill pickles, but if you can’t find them, regular dill pickles and a good dose of crushed red pepper flakes will do the trick. A well-stocked pantry would have most of the ingredients here so it’s the perfect dish to make when you’ve got a crowd coming and no time to hit the grocery store. There’s nothing hard and fast here about the recipe; adjust it, persuade it, make it your own, but whatever you do, you should make it soon.

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    16 ounces elbow macaroni

    1 cup vegan mayonnaise

    ¼ cup prepared yellow mustard

    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, about 2 lemons

    2 tablespoons real maple syrup

    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    1 teaspoon coarse salt

    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    3 to 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced, about 1 cup

    1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, chopped, about 1 ½ cups

    3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts, about ⅓ cup

    1 (16 ounce jar) spicy or regular dill pickles, drained and finely chopped, about 2 cups

    ⅓ cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, or parsley)

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    Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water, according to the package directions; best to cook pasta slightly “al dente”, or with a little bite to it so it doesn’t become too mushy after adding the dressing. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add in celery, roasted red peppers, scallions, and pickles. Stir in pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. Pasta will absorb dressing as it chills.

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