RECIPE: Any great cold pasta recipes for lunches?

bnicebkindFebruary 3, 2009

I am looking for really, really good cold pasta recipes that can be made ahead, and would work great for packed lunches. What are your favorites?

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This one is really good!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
from Cooking Light

4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

3 cups (about 12 ounces) skinned, shredded roasted chicken breast (such as Tyson's)
3 cups cooked penne (about 6 ounces uncooked tubular-shaped pasta)
2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup fat-free Caesar dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredents in a large bowl; toss well to coat.

Note: To lower the sodium in this dish, use plain cooked chicken in place of the commercial roasted variety, which is fairly high in sodium.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 1:21PM
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This is a Weight Watchers recipe that I like:

Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe  2 servings, 7 points each serving
3/4c uncooked elbow pasta  cook in boiling water until done
6 oz can tuna, water packed, drained
2 TB low fat mayonnaise or 1 TB regular mayonnaise
chopped bell pepper, onion, celery, grated carrot
tiny bit of sweet pickle relish or 0 points chopped dill pickles
sprinkle with dill weed if using dill pickles
~ mix it all together, chill; makes a good sized portion!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 1:54PM
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If you want to splurge on shrimp, this is really good. You can halve the recipe:
1 lb shrimp, cooked, peeled & deveined
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded & chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 TBL fresh lemon juice
1 TBL Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
15-20 pasta shells, cooked & drained

Chop the shrimp coarsely. Combine the cucumbers & shrimp in a bowl & toss. In a sepearate bowl, combine the cream, lemon juice & mustard. Add salt & pepper to taste. Gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Toss the shrimp & cucumbers with 1/2 of the dressing. Fill the shells w/the shrimp mixture & refrigerate. Pour the remaining dressing over the shells just before serving.~~Food for Thought

3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
Dash of hot sauce
1 cup seeded & diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced red onion
2 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup parsley, minced
6 TBL spicy BBQ sauce
1 lb cheese tortellini, cooked
Shredded lettuce
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Cheddar

Combine all ingredients up to tortellini in a large bowl; add cooked tortellini, tossing well. Chill. Place shredded lettuce on a serving platter; top w/pasta mixture & sprinkle w/Cheddar.~~What Can I Bring?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 6:46PM
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It's not a pasta salad but I often back this salad as a side dish for my lunch.


1 pound whole carrots, peeled and trimmed
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

Place the carrots in a pot of cold water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until soft but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water.

Meanwhile, place the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil and then the remaining ingredients except parsley.

Cut the carrots into bite-sized dice. Add to the dressing and toss. Stir in parsley. Season with additional salt or spices to taste.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 7:13PM
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My favorite!
Cold Noodle Salad
12 oz linguine
2c snow peas, cut in thirds
1 carrot, julienned
1/2c chopped green onion
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3T Rice vinegar
2 1/2 T sesame oil
2 1 /2 T soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes`
Cook pasta and add carrots and snowpeas during the last 3 minutes. Drain well. Combine all dressing ingredients stirring til sugar and salt dissolve. Mix all together and serve at room temperature.
Hope you will try it and enjoy it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 7:52PM
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AngÂs Pasta Salad

Cook about 1 and 1/2 cups of Rotina (multi-colored spiral-shaped pasta) according to package directions. Rinse and drain well.
Cook 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I sprinkle with seasoning salt and throw them on the grill).
Chop chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and add to drained pasta.
Rinse and drain one can of dark red kidney beans and add to pasta/chicken.
Drain one can of black olives. Cut each olive in half and add to pasta/chicken.
Pour in about 1/2 a bottle of Italian dressing (shake well)
Add extra chopped garlic (to taste)
Add fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Add about one cup of Parmesan Cheese (not the dry stuff in the green can!)
Mix well and refrigerate overnight

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Ginger, I am so intrigued by the dressing for the shrimp salad you posted. Do the cream & oil blend together without separating? Is it a one time use dressing or could extra leftover dressing be kept in the fridge for later use? I don't have shrimp around right now, but it looks like it could be used in any application where a creamy dressing is desired. What do you think?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:03PM
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They blend together but you whisk like crazy when you make it & whisk it again with a fork if you've kept the dressing for a while. I've never kept it more than a day but I would assume it would be OK.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 5:47AM
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Thanks for the info. My husband came home with some crab meat today. I always have heavy cream around, so I may give this a try with the crab.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:42AM
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Heres one that was given to me years that is my MOST requested dish when going to partys or cookouts, and my very picky DD loves and will eat this for breakfast,
I'm posting the original recipe and next to it what I changed to suit my taste!
1. 1/2 box of tri color corkscrew pasta (I use barilla)
2. 1/2 chopped green pepper(I use yellow)
3. 3 or 4 roma tomatoes cut small (I use grape tomatoes cut in half)
4. 2 0r 3 green onions chopped
5. 1/2 can black olives ( I use pitted greek)
6. 1/2 bag salad spinach
7. 1 container crumbled feta cheese (I use half for this size, all of it when I double which I usually do)
Now for the dressing
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup redwine vinegar(I use balsamic)
3 tab. lemon juice
1/8 teas. ground oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Cook your pasta to all dente
add the rest of veggies,olives and feta
whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad the mix well,
Make this a few hours ahead of when your going to eat to let the flavors blend , give it a stir before
I always print out a couple copys of the recipe because a few people ALWAYS ask for it

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:45AM
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Shambo, I bet it would be good (maybe better) with the crab. Post how it turned out.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:50AM
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Wow - what great pasta salad recipes! I've copied all of them. Here's one from an old recipe swap site that no longer exists, that's supposed to be the kind of pasta salad people buy in delicatessens:

The Store Cold Ziti Salad with Tomato and Peppers-:Bert Green Serving Size : 8

1-1/2 tablespoons Salt
1 pound Ziti pasta
1/4 cup milk
1 red onion
2 tomatoes
6 sweet pickles
2 small green peppers -- seeded
1 large shallot
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 packets George Washington brown bouillon powder
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pickle juice
1/4 cup fresh dill -- roughly chopped
Salt and pepper -- to taste

Bring a 4-qt saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbl salt, then add the Ziti. Boil to al dente. Drain. Rinse in cold water. Drain again. Place the cooked Ziti in a bowl. Add enough milk (about 1/4 cup) to thoroughly moisten the Ziti and toss.
Chop the onion, tomatoes, pickles, and peppers into 1/4-inch cubes. Reserve a large tablespoon of each for garnish. Mince the shallot.
Beat the sour cream and mayonnaise together with a whisk until creamy, and add the bouillon, 1/2 Tbl salt, and the pepper. (Thin with milk if necessary). Pour over the Ziti. Add the shallots, tomatoes, pickles, green peppers, vinegar, and pickle juice. Mix well. Garnish with the reserved vegetables. Cut fresh dill over all. Serve chilled.

Posted at GailÂs Recipe Swap (now dismantled by epicurious)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 11:12AM
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Thank you! I can't wait to try them.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:13PM
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