Mediterranean Pasta & Kale Salad with Garlic Basil Dressing

Mediterranean Pasta & Kale Salad with Garlic Basil Dressing

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time for something refreshing in our bellies. This easy Mediterranean Pasta & Kale Salad with Garlic Basil Dressing is loaded with fresh kale, tender chilled pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and shredded Parmesan. It’s perfect for picnics and for when you need something lighter but still comforting.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad- Must Love Garlic

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  • Pasta– I used Rotini but use your favorite kind! Something with grooves or spirals works great for catching all of the dressing.
  • Fresh Kale
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes– dry or packed in oil. Dry sun-dried tomatoes have the texture of dried fruit and a bit more chew . The packed in oil version is a bit more tender.
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese

For Garlic & Basil Dressing:

Substitutions & Serving Suggestions:

  • Not a fan of tomatoes? Try substituting roasted red peppers.
  • Kale isn’t your thing? Try switching it out for a different leafy green such as spinach or arugula.
  • Don’t have a blender/food processor to make dressing? Try using jarred pesto instead.
  • Need a substitute for the white wine vinegar? Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice all work well.
  • Try adding Protein! This salad works great with some shredded rotisserie chicken.
Pasta Salad- Must Love Garlic

Equipment Needed:

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How to Make Mediterranean Pasta Salad:

  • Cook Pasta: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water before adding pasta. As the pasta cooks, it absorbs some of the water, so adding salt adds flavor to the noodles. Add the pasta to pot and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain pasta and allow to cool slightly before mixing into salad. It’s ok if it’s still a bit warm, just not hot.

  • Make Dressing: de-stem and add fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic cloves, and salt & pepper to a food processor or high-powered blender. Run on high until ingredients are fully blended. Taste dressing to check for desired saltiness. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.

  • Mix Salad: add a touch of oil to roughly chopped kale and gently massage leaves between fingers for 1-2 minutes. This tenderizes the kale. Add kale, sun dried tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, and pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to fully combine. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad- Must Love Garlic

Tips:

  • Before making dressing, give the fresh basil leaves a quick rinse to remove any dirt or bugs. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Massage kale in between fingers with a bit of oil for 1-2 minutes before adding to salad to tenderize the leaves and decrease some of the bitterness.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad- Must Love Garlic

Mediterranean Pasta & Kale Salad with Garlic Basil Dressing

Mediterranean Pasta & Kale Salad with Garlic Basil Dressing: fresh kale, chilled pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and Parmesan.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cool Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 cups

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Cheese Grater (if grating Parmesan)
  • Pot (for boiling pasta)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup pasta
  • 2 cups kale roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For Garlic Basil Dressing :

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil stems removed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook Pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain pasta and allow to cool slightly before mixing into salad.
  • Make Dressing: add all dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender. Run on high until ingredients are fully blended. Taste dressing and add more salt if needed. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.
  • Mix Salad: add a touch of oil to roughly chopped kale and gently massage leaves between fingers for 1-2 minutes to tenderize. Add kale, sun dried tomatoes, feta, parmesan, and pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Keyword basil, easy, feta, garlic, kale, parmesan, pasta, salad, sun dried tomatoes

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