Are you bored of traditional pasta salad? Yawn at the sight of the proverbial bowl of rotini with Italian dressing at your annual picnic? Well, today I’m going to give you a recipe for a pasta salad with a twist. An Asian twist!
This pasta salad is slightly sweet and full of good-for-you veggies. And if you use gluten-free ingredients like I did, even better!
With the weather beginning to get warm, you will likely have plenty of picnics and gatherings coming up, and lots of opportunities where you’ll need to bring a dish to share with others. Why not try this delicious recipe? You’ll be glad you did.
Once a week, on Fridays, my large family gets together at my mom and dad’s house for Family Night. There are almost 30 of us altogether, and with most of that number being children and teenagers, it is always a boisterous and fun evening!
We all sit together in one room at a super-long table, so there are many conversations going on, kids are playing tag around the table, jokes and loud laughter are abundant, and somewhere, someone is playing the piano.
And since my mom and every one of my sisters are amazing cooks, it is definitely the place to be on a Friday night!
The house is full of tempting smells and lots of laughter!
Dinner is always potluck, with a theme that is different every time. I am regularly looking for new healthy recipes that will be fun and universally enjoyed. Plus, if I bring something that I can eat, I don’t ever have to worry about going hungry, even if all there is to eat is meat! :)
A couple of weeks ago, we decided on an Asian food theme, so I immediately began looking for recipes that would fit the bill.
When I came across a recipe for an Asian pasta salad, I HAD to try it. In looking more closely at the ingredients, I found that it wasn’t as healthy as I’d hoped, so I did some experimenting and came up with this much healthier and still absolutely delicious recipe for pasta salad. And now I’m going to show you how to make it!
Asian Sesame Ginger Pasta Salad
Here’s how you make it:
Boil 8 oz. of spaghetti noodles (I use gluten-free), snapped in half, according to the package directions. Drain and set them aside.
Meanwhile, thaw ½ cup of frozen edamame and combine with some thinly sliced cabbage, (I used a bagged slaw mix) green onions, avocado, shredded carrots, (again, I used pre-shredded, bagged carrots) and cilantro.
You can also add an 1/8 cup of sliced almonds, if you’d like. I actually got some to put in, but completely forgot to add them for the photos. They are a great, crunchy addition, and they add an extra dose of healthy, too!
Add salad ingredients to the cooked spaghetti in a large bowl.
For the dressing:
In a small bowl or mason jar, combine olive oil, (or your favorite healthy oil) rice vinegar, soy sauce (I use gluten-free) brown sugar, minced garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and water and whisk together.
You can also vigourously shake the ingredients together in your jar, but using a whisk blends the dressing a little better, keeping it from separating as much.
A note about sesame oil:
You may omit the sesame oil if you’d like; it will still taste good, but it does add such a great nutty flavor. Also, sesame oil is so good for you, full of antioxidants, magnesium, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. If you want to find out more about this amazing seed (and the oil that is made from them), you can go here for more information.
Plus, if you leave it out, it would have to be called ginger salad and that just doesn’t have the same ring. :)
Add dressing to salad ingredients (to taste) and toss gently to coat. You can serve immediately while it’s warm, or cover and chill for a few hours before serving.
To make it more filling or to turn this pasta salad into a main dish, try adding some thinly sliced, cooked chicken or beef.
You can make this sweet and savory dressing ahead of time, and if you don’t use it all on this pasta salad, it is excellent on a mixed greens salad!
Have a great week, my friends!
Asian Sesame Ginger Pasta Salad
This sweet and savory sesame ginger pasta salad is quick to make and can be made more filling with the addition of thinly sliced, cooked chicken or beef.
- For the salad:
- 8 ounces spaghetti noodles snapped in half (I use gluten-free)
- 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage (or slaw mix)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ½ avocado, thinly sliced
- ½ cup shelled edamame (I thawed frozen edamame)
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 cup sliced almonds, optional
- Sesame ginger dressing:
- 1/8 cup oil
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- 2 T. soy sauce (I use gluten-free)
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 2 t. or two cloves minced garlic
- ¼ t. ground ginger
- 1 t. sesame oil
- 1 T. water
- Step 1 Boil spaghetti noodles according to package directions, drain and place into a large bowl.
- Step 2 While noodles cook, assemble the rest of the salad ingredients, then add to the bowl with noodles.
- Step 3 In a small jar or bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together.
- Step 4 Pour dressing (to taste) over salad, and toss gently to coat.
- Step 5 Serve immediately while warm or cover and chill for a few hours before serving.