One of my most favorite places to eat, when we drive to Lincoln, is Valentino’s Grand Buffet. As odd as it sounds, I do NOT like their pizza, which some would argue is their main feature. However, I could go there and never eat anything except their delicious salads and bread. I know, I have a problem. The variety of textures and flavors available on their salad bar is almost dizzying and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one that I didn’t like. There are a couple that are absolutely phenomenal and I have spent a lot of time at home, trying to duplicate them. One of them is a yummy broccoli pasta salad and the recipe I’m sharing with you is my twist on that delectable side dish. When I make this, my family will actually sit down with a bowl in front of the TV, eating the leftovers as a snack. It is GOOOOOOD. 🙂 Measurements are going to be approximate and can easily be adjusted up or down for your own family’s preferences. I think it would be so easy to add other vegetables, too. With the addition of a little more protein, like diced chicken, turkey or ham (or even beans), this could go from a side dish to a meal.
Broccoli Pasta Salad
- 12 oz dry rotini pasta, boiled and drained
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets, blanched and cooled
- 4 slices bacon, fried crisp and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (pre-shelled, of course)
- 2 cups mayo or Miracle Whip
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 T. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
Mix cooked pasta, broccoli, bacon, bell pepper, onions, cheese and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together mayo, sugar and vinegar to make dressing.
Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Chill and serve. This salad will keep several days in the fridge and the leftovers are just as delicious as the first time it is served.
This post is linked to Grocery Cart Challenge’s Recipe Swap.