I love making big salads in the summertime that are easy to pack up to take to the pool, a picnic, or outdoor concert. But instead of using greens as my base, I use hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, quinoa, and grains that will hold up well the next day.
Here are a few of the summer salads I’ve made in the past:
- Quinoa Salad with Strawberries, Chickpeas and Mint
- Summery Pasta Salad
- Greek Millet Salad
- Deviled Eggs
- Orangey Bean Salad
- Summer Pasta Salad
Today’s recipe revolves around my favorite pasta shape: the wagon wheel. (Please sing this whole post to the tune of the song!)
When I was in high school, I used to make butter + parmesan wagon wheel pasta before my soccer games, and the energy it gave me was evident on the field. The first time I had this before a game my coach actually said to me: “Katherine, what did you eat for snack?!” I found these slightly smaller wheels at Whole Foods and got them to share with Mazen.
I used some of my favorite summertime vegetables in the mix: zucchini, squash, and red pepper. But you can mix and match with whatever you like!
Artichokes make any pasta THIS much better, and shrimp pulls the dish through with the protein (but feel free to use chicken or beans!) The sauce is a simple lemon parmesan with a touch of roasted garlic.
This dish comes together in a flash and makes a lot! Boil your shrimp in the last few minutes of pasta cooking, and sautee the veggies and garlic on the side.
Then toss everything together in the big pot with the sauce ingredients.
You’re ready to rock in about 20 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled, with an extra drizzle of olive oil or parmesan cheese to taste.
Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad
- 1 lb frozen peeled shrimp
- 1 lb wagon wheel pasta or whatever you like!
- 1 zucchini cut in half and sliced
- 1 yellow squash cut in half and sliced
- 1 red pepper cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 can artichoke quarters
- For The Sauce
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tbsp reserved pasta water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water so it tastes like the ocean!
- Add pasta and cook until al dente.
- Add the shrimp when pasta is almost done and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pink. Drain pasta and shrimp, reserving 1/4 cup of starchy pasta water.
- Meanwhile while pasta cooks, add some olive oil to a pan and add veggies and garlic. Cook together for 7-10 minutes over medium heat until veggies are tender to your liking.
- Add everything to the big pot, including artichokes and sauce ingredients, and stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with additional parmesan if desired.
*Raises hand: guilty of picking out the artichokes!* Use 2 cans if you love ’em like I do 🙂