We're a few days into our week long theme of the ocean over here and we're really having a fun time of it! Since we're not big on seafood in this house, coming up with clever non-fishy ocean themed recipes has proved to be... well... a little challenging. It's also been so very worth it too though!
The inspiration behind this pasta salad actually came from one of my daughter's cook books. I had to do a lot of tweaking to the original though to suit our tastes. So much so, that by the time I was done with it... it's basically a whole new recipe.
As with the Skinny Spinach Dip (AKA Seaweed Dip), this recipe is kid-friendly to make and eat! of course, there will need to be some adult supervision (especially when it comes to cooking the noodles and the chopping.)
This pasta salad is actually really easy to toss together. That's basically because that's literally what you do; toss everything together. To help healthily this dish, I lowered the original amount of noodles and dressing while giving a much needed boost to the amount of veggies in it. Why YES, there is bell pepper in this dish, but I promise that it's a much desired taste and texture. Plus, it's a sweet pepper and shouldn't be 'scary' to the kiddies.
I like this pasta dish served cold and love that it's great as either a side dish or an appetizer.
We've ended up eating it for dinner more than once, mostly because it's so good that once you have one bite, you'll want a decently sized bowl of it - which is totally fine since it's full of those veggies.
TheSkinnyFork.com This Seashell Pasta Salad is kid-friendly and loaded up with plenty of veggies. Plus, is so quick and easy that the kids can even make it! Perfect for any beach picnic. Prep Time: 10 Minutes • Cook time: 8 Minutes
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: About 1 Cup • Calories: 367 • Fat: 17 g • Saturated Fat: 4 g • Carb: 45 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 9 g • Sugar: 4 g • Sodium: 45 mg
• 12 Oz. Dry Pasta Shells
• 1/2 C. Diced Red Bell Pepper
• 1/2 C. Shredded or Chopped Carrots
• 1/2 C. Halved Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
• 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesean Cheese (+ Extra for garnish.)
• 2 Tbsp. Chopped Chives
• 2/3 C. Italian Salad Dressing
• Salt & Pepper to Taste
Cook the pasta according to directions on their package. Once the pasta is done, drain it and transfer to a large bowl. Add in the 1/2 C. diced bell pepper, 1/2 C. shredded carrots, 1/2 C. tomatoes, 1/4 C. cheese, and 2 Tbsp. chives. Stir to combine. Pour the 1 C. dressing into the pasta salad and stir to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place the bowl in the fridge to chill until ready to enjoy!
Nutritional Claims: Low Sodium, Sugar Conscious, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Red Meat Free, Crustacean Free, Celery Free, Mustard Free, Sesame Free, Lupine Free, Mollusk Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher