Summer pasta salad

I was at the grocery store today, running through a list of what sounded good to me to eat this week when I realized that we are well and truly into the realm of summer food. Salad (we're having this one tonight - remind me to take a picture!), wraps, filled pitas... basically anything that calls for lots of fresh veggies and keeps us out of a hot kitchen!

Anyway, thanks to a few pregnancy cravings, I dreamed up this little number a few weeks ago, and have been thinking about it ever since, so I thought I'd share.

Quick, healthy and tasty: the dinner trifecta!

Summer pasta salad

You will need
  • 5 oz./150 g. pasta of your choice. We used shells, but only because Espen chose them. 
  • 2 bell peppers. Different colors are nice for flavor and color variety. 
  • 1/2 cucumber. I get the English/euro version because they're never bitter and you don't have to peel them. 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked cubed ham, depending on how carnivorous you're feeling. 
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes. We halved them to make them more toddler friendly. 
  • 1/2 cup diced cheese. We used extra sharp white cheddar (Tillamook), which was crazy delicious. 
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped. 
Note: This salad is very customizable, and these amounts and ingredients are really just jumping off points. If you want more cherry tomatoes, then you shall have them, my love. 

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet, drain and cool. I just rinsed my pasta in cold water for a minute. 
  2. Chop and dice all your veggies and cheese. 
  3. Mix your veggies, ham and cheese with the pasta. 
  4. Toss with chopped basil. 
Done! I think this dish is delicious on it's own, but it also pairs really well with some hot, crusty garlic bread. Mhmmm. 

Are there any summer meals that you especially enjoy? Do you eat differently with the seasons? 


  1. This might be a really dumb question - but do you use any dressing? Like ... Italian? It looks super yummy!!


  2. that looks so yummy! I'll definitely try it (minus the ham) its been the same here too, I may have eaten a significant amount of avocado :)

  3. Yum, yum, YUM.

    *leaving the computer to go ravage the kitchen*

  4. Ari,

    I thought about adding dressing when I was making this, and you totally could. However, I wanted something super light to really bring out the flavor of the vegetables and the cheese on their own. A little fresh basil was just enough of a flavor enhancer for me.


    In fact, I think avocado would make an excellent substitute for the ham in this salad. Oh yum!


    Tell me what you think if you make it :)


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