Bow Tie Pasta Salad

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Today we’re making bow tie pasta salad. This classic recipe uses garlic balsamic dressing and bow tie pasta. It’s loaded with veggies too!

This is a pin that shows the finished bow tie pasta salad in a bowl with the title at the top of the image pin a block.

Everyone enjoys pasta salad recipes for parties and family gatherings but did you know you can make these easy meal prep recipes for lunches, dinners that don’t require any reheating, and of course, side dishes?

I’ll even show you how I spice up my bow tie pasta salad recipe to make it perfect for a meal all on its own!

here we see into the bowl full of the finished bow tie pasta salad ready to be eaten.

What do I need to make bow tie pasta salad?

Here’s a list of the ingredients that you will need to make my version of this bow tie pasta salad. This is what is included in the nutritional breakdown for the recipe. If you makes changes, substitutions, or if you remove anything those values might change, just FYI!

  • 1 16-ounce box of bow tie pasta
  • 1 bottle of garlic balsamic dressing 
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • 1 cup mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli
A pin showing the bow tie pasta salad in a bowl ready to eat.

Can I substitute something for the mushrooms?

I don’t think the mushrooms have an overwhelming flavor in this bow tie pasta salad recipe but if you really don’t like them or have an aversion to their texture you could substitute more vegetables like fresh tomatoes or more celery and carrots.

You could also add some fresh avocado to the recipe, though I’d add that when I was eating each portion as avocado doesn’t keep quite as well as other vegetables for a week in the refrigerator.

Atop down view of the finished bow tie pasta salad in a dish with utensils ready to serve.

How to make classic bow tie pasta salad:

This recipe is pretty straightforward. There’s not much in the way of tips or tricks. I will say if you are making this one in advance you might want to keep some more dressing on hand. After a few days the pasta really sucks up the dressing and then you could add a bit more to each serving if you like!

One serving in a bowl ready to be devoured.
  1. Add pasta to 6 quarts of lightly salted water. Cook according to the instructions on the bag. Remove pan from stove and drain the water. 
  2. Rinse and dice celery and set aside.
  3. Rinse and shave carrots into julienne strips and set aside.
  4. Rinse and cut peppers into rings and set aside. 
  5. Add pasta into a large bowl and chill in the fridge. Once pasta is completely chilled, remove from fridge.
  6. Add veggies on top of the cooked and chilled orzo pasta.
  7. Pour your balsamic dressing onto the salad and using a large spoon, toss all the ingredients until well incorporated.
A look into the large bowl full of the finished pasta salad.

How to turn pasta salad into a dinner recipe:

If you are like me and you need quick meal ideas you’ll love this trick to turn pasta salad into a dinner meal.

Add some protein! You can add whatever kind of protein you like, ham, chicken, tofu, even protein packed veggies will do the trick. I like to add either chicken or ham because once they’re cooked they don’t really require reheating to be flavorful and delicious.

Completed recipe for bow tie pasta salad in a bowl with a fork ready to eat.

Can I make this a gluten free bow tie pasta salad?

The only thing you should need to alter in order to make this a gluten free pasta salad is the pasta itself. Make sure to check your dressing, other than that everything on the list is naturally gluten free!

A serving of the pasta salad in a bowl ready to eat.

You can use whatever kind of pasta you want for this recipe, obviously the bow tie pasta works well but you could also use penne, rotini, or even orzo for the noodles!

A top down view of the completed recipe for pasta salad.

Are there any other delicious pasta salad recipes I should try?

I am slowly but surely building up a collection of the most delicious pasta salad recipes. These pasta salad recipes are quick, easy, and perfect for meal prep. Check out a few of them to see which is your favorite.

Printable Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe:

Here is the printable version of this delicious bow tie pasta salad recipe. If you can’t make this one today, or you just need a once sheet reference page for shopping or meal prep, this is an easy way to save the recipe for future use!

Yield: 12 Servings

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Today we're making bow tie pasta salad. This classic recipe uses garlic balsamic dressing and bow tie pasta. It's loaded with veggies too!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce box of bow tie pasta
  • 1 bottle of garlic balsamic dressing
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup red, yellow, and orange bell peppers
  • 1 cup mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli

Instructions

  1. Add pasta to 6 quarts of lightly salted water. Cook according to the instructions on the bag. Remove pan from stove and drain the water.
  2. Rinse and dice celery and set aside.
  3. Rinse and shave carrots into julienne strips and set aside.
  4. Rinse and cut peppers into rings and set aside.
  5. Add pasta into a large bowl and chill in the fridge. Once pasta is completely chilled, remove from fridge.
  6. Add veggies on top of the cooked and chilled orzo pasta.
  7. Pour your balsamic dressing onto the salad and using a large spoon, toss all the ingredients until well incorporated.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 90Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
I am not a medical expert. These calculations are provided as a courtesy.
Another pin showing the finished bow tie pasta salad recipe.

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