5 Reasons Why This is My “Pasta and Present” Go-To Salad!

Posted on Aug 6 2014 - 4:22pm by Brenda Meehan

Practically Perfect Planner wants to know what YOUR “go-to salad” is! Everyone has one good ol’ standby that they always go back to…wouldn’t it be salad-tastic to have a Practically Perfect Planner go-to-guide to all of our #1 go-to dishes in one place? 3P is at it this week….building a “best of” list for fresh favorites. Be sure to share your go-to recipe in the comment space below or on Facebook to add to the “recipe book” this week. Now 3P reader, we really need your help, our goal this week is to see how many of your recipes we can round up for this virtual recipe book! Whether your salad favorite is easy, has unusual ingredients, is a one-dish or a side-dish…we want to hear from you. We’re foraging for fruits, veggies, pastas, potatoes and more! 

I’ll get our go-to salad week going with my “Pasta and Present Favorite, Easy Pasta Salad”! Many years ago, a long-time pal Tracey brought this one-plate dish to a girlfriend outing and since then…this comfort food creation has been a staple at many of our gatherings whether with friends or family! My 5 reasons for lovin’ this delicioso dish:


1. Only 6 ingredients are needed, and I usually have them on-hand.
2. Everyone LOVES it!
3. Versatility: it can be a comforting one-dish meal, or complimentary side to be served warm or cold. 
4. Tastes just as good the next day, so making it ahead is a cinch!
5. It’s pasta salad with a bit of an attitude…something different.


Here’s the how to on my go-to:

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

–  10 ounces Thinly Sliced Ham
– 2 Roma Tomatoes Chopped/Diced
– 1 large Green Bell Pepper Chopped
– 1 lb Cooked Spaghetti
– 1 cup Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing
– 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

**Being the veggie lover that I am, I add extra tomato and green pepper! And optional Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper to taste**

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, ham, green pepper, tomatoes and spices. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese generously on top, and serve immediately…or allow to marinate in the fridge. This can be served cold or warm!
**Note: if you’re serving the next day, a touch more dressing may be needed.**

So now the ball is rolling, and we’re getting really excited to kick this week off. We can’t make our go-to-salad guide without you, and your vital input! Be sure to share this post, add a comment with your go-to salad…and get your girlfriends, husbands, and family going too! 

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Marlene Harbin August 8, 2014 at 8:15 am -

    This is a keeper and I think I have had it before. Yum!

    • Jessi Meehan August 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm -

      Thank you! Isn’t it delicious, Marlene? What’s YOUR go-to-salad? We’ll share your recipe in our Go-To-Salad Guide!

  2. Courtney August 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm -

    Here’s a link to my fav salad! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dressing! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/southwestern-avocado-and-black-bean-salad-recipe.html

    • Jessi Meehan August 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm -

      You rock, Courtney! Thank you! The dressing sounds super delicious…can’t wait to feature it and try it! 😀