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All your favorite summer flavors come together in one easy, hearty dish: pasta salad with sweet tea vinaigrette.
Pasta salad is one of my favorite summertime dishes. I love me some carbs, but I also love making those carbs guilt-free by tossing them with plenty of fresh vegetables and a light vinaigrette dressing. I love to have a batch of pasta salad in the fridge to eat on each day, but I also love to bring it to cookouts and get-togethers.
It’s a fairly crowd-pleasing recipe, and it can be made using any produce you want. I grabbed the veggies pictured when I bought the rest of the ingredients at Walmart; you can buy whatever sounds good to you.
I love sweet tea about as much as I love pasta salad. As a Southerner, I’m practically legally required to love the stuff, but I assure you it isn’t that hard of a task. What’s not to love? That’s why I considered it pretty ingenious to combine the two to create a pasta salad with sweet tea vinaigrette.
Let’s talk about the details of this pasta salad. I chose Barilla pasta; it’s the only brand of pasta I buy. I used a rainbow of my favorite vegetables, and I cut them pretty small- half-inch chunks- because I love for every bite to have a couple pieces of pasta and a couple different veggies.
For the vinaigrette, I started with a cup of Gold Peak Tea, the sweet variety, and whisked in a few classic vinaigrette ingredients: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt. The vinaigrette recipe makes more than you’ll probably need for this salad, but that just means you’ll have some left over to enjoy later.
As for the extra sweet tea? I recommend serving that alongside the pasta salad. It is summer, after all, and it doesn’t get much more refreshing than a tall glass of sweet iced tea.
Pasta Salad with Sweet Tea Vinaigrette
1 lb. Barilla pasta
3 sweet bell peppers
1/2 red onion (choose a shallot if red onions aren’t your thing)
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 c. Gold Peak Tea, sweet
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook pasta according to instructions on box. While the pasta is cooking, dice all the vegetables into half inch chunks. In a medium bowl or a small jar, combine the tea, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to combine. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and transfer to a large bowl to cool for a few minutes.
When the pasta is no longer steaming hot, toss it with the vegetables and Parmesan cheese. Give the vinaigrette one final shake or whisk to make sure it’s fully combined and pour desired amount over the pasta salad (you likely won’t need the entire batch of dressing; store leftovers in the fridge). Toss everything again to distribute the dressing. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Enjoy this pasta salad with sweet tea vinaigrette cold, warm, or at room temperature.
This salad gets better as it sits, so feel free to prepare it the day before your event.
The beauty of a pasta salad like this is that you can use whatever vegetables you prefer. I used my favorites, which I happened to have on hand, but you could throw in tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, olives, asparagus, etc. Use what you have and love!
Now’s the time to buy all the ingredients to make your own pasta salad with sweet tea vinaigrette! Using my all-time favorite cash back app, iBotta, you can earn $1 back when you purchase three Barilla blue box or pesto products. Additionally, coupons.com is offering a coupon for $1 off when you buy two 64 oz. Gold Peak Tea products (note that these are the big guys, not the smaller bottles I used here).
Looking for more summer recipe inspiration? Head here for tons of mouthwatering ideas.