Hot Pasta Picnic Salad

Heather England


I usually double this recipe. I use half for dinner, pop the rest in the fridge in an airtight container for a picnic later in the week.

I really love a meal I can change with my seasonal tastes. In the summer I "do it up right" with fresh ingredients from my local farmers market but the weather here in Michigan leaves me no choice but to use cans deep in the winter months.

pinch tips: How to Measure Ingredients


2 meals


15 Min


20 Min


Stove Top


1 box
bow tie pasta, any brand will do
2 can(s)
del monte zucchini
2 can(s)
-14.5 oz- diced italian style tomatoes-any brand
1 pkg
hillshire farms polish kielbasa
2 jar(s)
* optional sliced button mushrooms -drained (whole is also an option)
1 can(s)
**optional sliced black olives -drained
***optional minced garlic
****optional italian seasoning
***** optional paprika, sweet mild

Directions Step-By-Step

Boil pasta as package directs for Al Dente

While pasta is boiling slice kielbasa into medallions---OR if you have to use smaller noodles when Farfalle (bow tie) pasta isn't available dice precooked sausage of choice.
Drain pasta and set to the side.
In the same pot you've just boiled noodles in : toss in kielbasa chunks and warm through. Its great if some get just a bit of color on them. If you don't have that much time, its perfect any way you can warm it.

Open all cans and stir into meat-liquids and all!

Add pasta and stir gently so the soft noodles don't break.
**Optional---Every now and again to make this a "winter" instead of summer dish, I add a 1/2 tsp. of minced garlic with my sausage while it warms, and if I have the time,extra diced white onion.

***Add in your family's favorite seasonings. Because this dish is almost all canned or precooked, you should not need to add salt. I have also found garlic powder does not do well in this dish, but a pinch of Italian Seasoning and Paprika does wonders.
** This dish get better after a day in the ol' chill chest. The tomatoes sweeten and the juice flavors the pasta.
(*Note: I use all different kinds of precooked sausage. Even leftover brat's or summer sausage*)

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta Salads, Salads
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Low Fat, Dairy Free
Other Tag: Quick & Easy