Cilantro adds a wonderful fresh flavor to many salads and I have been adding it to my basic creamy pasta salad for a long time now. If you prefer, you can use flat leaf parsley instead…..but try the cilantro, it’s great.
As you can see in the picture, I chop my vegetables quite fine, using my food processor. That’s just a personal preference. I do it because I like the way the flavors blend together, but if you prefer chunky vegetables….. go for chunks.
Cilantro Pasta Salad is very adaptable! Add the veggies you like the best and I often cut up fresh tomatoes, when I can get good ones. I didn’t have any this time. I can’t wait until tomato season arrives! There are many options you can add to this basic recipe… corn, peas, dill, cheese, chopped broccoli and even shrimp, all go great.
I must make this salad at least 20 times during the summer. I love having leftovers in the fridge for lunch and it’s perfect to go with grilled burgers, steaks or chicken. The day I made the one pictured, I had invited a friend over for dinner. The weather has warmed up here in Michigan and I wanted to work out in the yard. So, in the morning I got the salad part ready, made the dressing and popped both parts in the refrigerator. I combined it while the steaks were on the grill.
Bottom line…. It goes with just about anything!
Great sized pictures for pinning on Pinterest
- for the salad
- 16 oz rotini pasta, cooked
- ¼ C red onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1 C)
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 3 large radishes, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 sweet green pepper, chopped ( I used, 1ea red, yellow and orange mini sweet peppers)
- ½ C cilantro + extra for garnish
- for the dressing
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- ¼ C sugar
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta and vegetables. Refrigerate. You can do this earlier in the day.
- In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients, stir well. Add to the cold pasta just before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers. If the salad soaks up the dressing and seems dry, add a little milk or buttermilk and stir.