Picnic Pasta

Picnic Pasta Recipe

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Kristjana Cook


This is truly a one-dish meal. Perfect for summer picnics, potlucks and church suppers or anytime you need a meal to make ahead. I invented this recipe a few summers back when deciding on a dish to take to a potluck. I was working hard to shed some new-baby pounds and wanted to bring a dish that I knew would be hardy, healthy and loaded with flavor - to keep me away from the inevitable potluck spread of high-fat dishes! It's my most-requested recipe from friends and the perfect meal to make and take. Enjoy!

★★★★★ 1 vote
8 - 10
20 Min
15 Min


1 box
penne pasta - i use "barilla pasta plus"
1 medium
yellow pepper, cut into strips the size of the penne
1 medium
cucumber, halved lengthwise,peeled, seeded and sliced to the size of the penne
1 box
grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium
red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c
chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c
crumbled feta cheese
2 c
well-chopped baby spinach
4 to 6 oz
light caesar dressing (i use about 1/2 a bottle of ken's steakhouse iight ceasar
poached, cooled and shredded chicken breasts (optional)


1Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente - firm to the bite. Drain, rinse lightly and cool by spreading out on a sheet pan.
2While pasta is cooking, wash and cut the vegetables and cilantro, and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
3Add the cooled pasta and mix well. If you are using the chicken, add this as well.
4Pour dressing over pasta mixture and stir well to combine. Remember you can always add more, but you can't take "too much" out! Add slowly and mix to make sure you don't over do it.
5Refrigerate for 1 to 24 hours. Garnish with a little extra feta and cilantro sprinkled on top, if desired. Looks great in a clear trifle dish or a big white pasta bowl.

About Picnic Pasta

Course/Dish: Pasta
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tag: Healthy