I was having a massive pasta salad craving this week. I wanted a giant plate of pasta, Italian dressing, olives and loads of mozzarella. Now obviously this might be a great treat but not something to eat for lunch every day! So I set out to create a pasta salad that would satisfy my craving without negating my workouts. And I think this white bean pasta salad does the trick! I still get my pasta fix by using a gluten free option, and I get my Italian flavor from the kalamata olives and the creamy white beans. Add in crunchy green beans and fresh tomatoes and I can't stop eating this filling and flavorful salad. I like to serve it on a bed of fresh spinach to help round it out to a full meal for lunch. If I was making this as a dinner salad, I would also add in grilled chicken to making it a little more filling.
I hope you enjoy!
White Bean Pasta Salad
2 cans (15 oz) Great Northern beans, drained
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 stalk celery, diced very small
1 box pasta of your choice (I suggest quinoa pasta shells but any pasta will work!)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions and cool to room temp. Place green beans in a small microwavable bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for three minutes or until crisp tender. Drain and run under cold water until cool. Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the mixture is thick and combined. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve over a bed of fresh spinach.
BONUS PICTURE!!! This is what I see every time I take pictures for the blog! lol! Thumper and Flower love to watch me take pictures!