Spicy Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This dish is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a refreshing side dish for your next summer barbecue. Loaded with fresh vegetables, herbs, and crumbled feta cheese, this pasta salad is not only delicious but also healthy and satisfying. Plus, with a little kick from jalapeños, it adds just the right amount of spice to wake up your taste buds. So, let's get cooking!
To make the most of our this delicious recipe, here are some tips to consider while cooking:
Use high protein pasta: I love using high protein pasta because it's a great way to add extra protein to my meals without compromising on taste or texture. You can use any type of pasta you like for this recipe, but I recommend using fusilli because its spiral shape helps hold onto the flavors and ingredients.
Chill the pasta before adding the other ingredients: To prevent the vegetables and herbs from wilting and becoming soggy, it's important to let the pasta cool down before adding them to the bowl. You can speed up this process by placing the cooked pasta in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Add a variety of fresh vegetables: For this recipe, I used grape tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and red onion, but you can use any vegetables you like. Bell peppers, olives, and artichoke hearts would also make a great addition. Just make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy eating.
Don't skip the fresh herbs: Fresh herbs like basil and parsley add a burst of flavor and color to this dish. Make sure to chop them roughly to release their oils and aroma. You can also use other herbs like cilantro or mint if you prefer.
Adjust the spiciness to your liking: I added two jalapeños to this recipe, but you can adjust the amount of spice to your liking. If you prefer a milder flavor, remove the seeds and white membrane from the jalapeños before mincing them. If you like it extra spicy, add more jalapeños or use a spicier pepper like serrano or habanero.
Follow the instructions above to prepare the pasta and vegetables, and don't forget to toss everything together with the olive oil and lemon juice for a flavorful and healthy dish. You can also serve this pasta salad with grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal. And, if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Ingredients (serves 4)
7 oz (half standard 14 oz. box) of Fusilli Pasta (I use high protein pasta)
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
3 Mini Cucumbers, diced
1/2 Small Red Onion (if using a large onion, use 1/4 of the onion), thinly sliced
2 Jalapeños, pitted and minced
1/3 Cup ( approximately 10 leaves) Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
1 Cup Crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, juiced
Prepare the pasta al dente per box instructions. Once cooked al dente, strain the pasta water and allow the pasta to cool. To speed up this process, place the cooked pasta in the fridge for 30+ minutes.
Prepare the vegetables: halve the tomatoes, dice the mini cucumbers into pea sized pieces, slice the onion into thin strips, and mince the jalapeños. Roughly chop the basil and parsley.
Add the vegetables and herbs to a large bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to fully combine. Add the cooked and cooled pasta and the feta cheese. Toss to full combine and enjoy!
Storage: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.