Spinach Pasta Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing Recipe

Recipes.net Team
Recipes.net Team August 1, 2020

This whole wheat pasta salad has a rich mix of flavors. It has a tang that brings wonderful body to chicken, fish and steak dishes. You can even serve it as a side dish or as a light lunch with crusty bread.

How To Make Spinach Pasta Salad with Lemon Balsamic Dressing

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Our earthy spinach pasta recipe serves a filling meal made of whole wheat penne pasta, spinach leaves, and mouthwatering mozzarella cheese.

Preparation Time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 47 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 12 mins
Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag spinach leaves, washed and drained
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, lightly peeled & diced
  • 6 oz Ciliegine Mozzarella, drained and cut in half
  • 10 oz sweet cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 12 oz roasted red peppers , in oil, chopped drained and reserve oil

Dressing:

  • 1 bulb garlic , roasted and cooled
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 2 lemon juice, fresh
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground cracked pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper oil

Instructions

  1. Wash spinach and set aside to drain well (tear apart large leaves and remove thick stems).
  2. Roast 1 bulb of garlic in a 400 degrees F oven.

  3. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact.
  4. Using a knife, cut off ¼ to a ½ inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

  5. Place the bulb cut side up on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, drizzle with about 2 tbsp of olive oil making sure to cover each clove and then bring the sides of the foil up and seal all around.

  6. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until cloves are soft and caramel colored.
  7. Let cool until you can touch it with your hand and squeeze out each clove into a cup or dish…let cool while you make the salad.
  8. Make pasta according to box, cook to “al dente” about 12 minutes.
  9. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to completely cool the pasta and stop the cooking process.
  10. Turn out into a large bowl, add cucumber, tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots and roasted red peppers, add the spinach and the fresh mozzarella and toss lightly.
  11. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a blender except the two oils, combine the two oils together and then slowly drizzle in the oil mixture while the blender is running and blend completely.

  12. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss well to coat.
  13. Chill overnight to serve the next day this will allow the flavors to blend and will slightly wilt the spinach.
  14. Serve along side grilled chicken, fish or as a light lunch with fresh crusty bread.

Nutrition

  • Calcium: 187mg
  • Calories: 452kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Potassium: 525mg
  • Protein: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 1125mg
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Vitamin A: 6699IU
  • Vitamin C: 52mg
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