This pasta salad recipe is a healthy side dish for summertime BBQs and family picnics. It’s packed with veggies and flavor that the toddlers and adults in your life will love. This pasta salad recipe also happens to contain valuable vitamins and nutrients. One of the main ingredients in this recipe is asparagus. Asparagus provides antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and several minerals including zinc and manganese. In addition, asparagus is a heart healthy vegetable that rich in fiber and aids in digestive support. For more information on all of the nutrients your child needs, check out our nutrient chart.
To make this recipe, here is what you will need:
1/3 cup pasta any fun shape your child likes
1 cup asparagus, chopped
18 grape tomatoes, halved
1/8 cup red onion, diced
1- 5oz mozzarella ball cut into cubes or 1/3 cup small mozzarella balls
½ cucumber peeled and seeded and cut into small chucks
4 black olives sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey*
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
*Honey is a great ingredient for children after they reach 1 year of age.
Chop the asparagus. When selecting your produce, look for thin stalks. The skinnier the stalks, the more tender they will be.
Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Depending on who you are serving this dish to, you can cut the tomatoes smaller. It is really a matter of what your toddler can handle. When in doubt, go for smaller pieces.
Peel, seed and cut cucumber into small chunks.
Chop the red onion.
Chop the mozzarella cheese into small pieces.
And slice the olives.
Cook pasta according to box.
During the last 5 minutes of cooktime for the pasta, add the asparagus to boil.
Combine the vegetables and cheese in a large bowl.
While the pasta and asparagus are cooking, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients: honey, soy sauce, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Drain and rinse the asparagus and noodles in cold water. Add them to the cheese and vegetable mixture.
Mix the dressing with all ingredients and gently toss together.
You can serve immediately or chill one to two hours before serving. These ingredients will make four adult servings or six child size servings. I thought that this recipe was best on the day it was made, but it can be stored up to three days in the refrigerator. The leftovers were good too!