Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad

  • EllenDeller Posted: 03/07/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    One of the best pasta salads I've ever made. My only changes: 1/2 the red onion, substituted pepper jack cheese, and used 50% more cheese and hard salami than the recipe asks for because I was using it as a main dish. Doubles easily too. Great bright flavor would go with almost anything.

  • jumaha20 Posted: 08/02/10
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    Yum yum! I usually skip the salami and add artichoke and cucumber. I have also used whole wheat spaghetti broken into small pieces in place of the acini de pepe. Turns out great and I appreciate that the recipe is versatile. I have a feeling I will be making many variations of this in the future!

  • sunnys Posted: 05/22/10
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    Great idea using pepper jack cheese. I also used orzo and I also used some rancho gordo beans. I also used grape toms cut in half. Parsley, I used flat leaf kind. A great dinner, raves all around.

  • skspillman Posted: 04/03/09
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    This salad is very good--the flavors go together so well! This is definitely not your standard salad--so flavorful. My grocery store didn't have acini de pepe, so I used large pearl couscous, and it worked great. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and was very pleased--I will definitely make this again.

  • hmsktm Posted: 05/17/09
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    This is a great, light summery pasta dish. I served it over a small bed of lettuce to increase the veggies. I will definitely add it to my collection of weeknight suppers.

  • LynnieM Posted: 05/25/10
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    Such a versatile recipe! Great flavor! I add whatever veggies I have on hand....broccoli, cucumber, carrots, etc. I usually omit the salami. Super easy and always a crowd pleaser.

  • akdb69 Posted: 04/19/09
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    Tasty. We had to use ditalini pasta, as there was no acini de pepe. I am assuming it's light because it's not drenched in sauce, but it doesn't have to be, with the beans and capers and all.

  • loddiedoddie Posted: 05/31/09
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    This was very flavorful and easy! I made it for a quick lunch for myself, but based on the results I will be making this for family and friends. For the most part I followed the recipe; however, I only had sliced salami (for sandwiches) and chopped that up. I think bigger chunks of salami would be better. I think it would be fine without the salami, too. Definitely a keeper!

  • cranichik Posted: 06/13/09
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    Very good. I omitted the salami and added more cheese. BTW, I used monterey jack w/peppers for extra spice.

  • Daniellelee Posted: 06/27/10
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    Just made this for a light summer dinner, very easy and fresh. Just the right amount of everything. Did use ham as the meat though. Wouldn't change anything.

  • ahewisonsmith Posted: 04/16/09
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    This was good, and easy to make, and I will likely make it again. I used macaroni as the pasta, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. I felt the salami was lost, next time I may eliminate it completely, or maybe add cubed ham instead.

  • EmilyZ Posted: 04/07/09
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    This was quick and excellent. I threw in all the leftover veggies we had in the fridge (cucumber, bell pepper halves, etc.) and it turned out fine. I can't believe a dressing of cider vinegar and olive oil turned out so well; the capers and banana peppers really made it work. (Of course I added extra cheese and salami; how can you not?). I served with the suggested breadsticks, which were elevated to new heights with the addition of cheese (I used parmesan), sesame seeds, and pepper. Yum.

  • jewel104 Posted: 05/12/10
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    disappointing after reading all the reviews, and it took longer to prepare than I thought. I took other's advice and served on a bed of romaine heart lettuce and used both salami and chicken breast slices on top. Hoped it would taste better on day 2, as leftovers but not. Think it needs more and/of different seasonings, to make it 'pop' somehow?

  • amyNmatt Posted: 06/09/09
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    We really enjoyed this salad. Didn't include beans or meat, added extra cheese, cucumbers, and banana peppers. And for extra protein and fiber, we used quinoa instead of the mini pasta. Very good!

  • SCF211 Posted: 06/08/09
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    Really good! Left off salami and used grilled chicken breast on top. Used grape tomatoes and leftover grilled onions instead of red onion. Also used fresh oregano just because I had it. I could see this being a summer lunch staple. So easy it was almost done by the time the pasta was ready, oh yeah, used orzo!

  • tara31 Posted: 07/18/09
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    Simple and delicious. I served with the Southwest Tortilla Stack from Vegetarian Times. The only substitutions I made was pinto beans for navy beans and soy-roni for the salami to make it a vegetarian side dish!

  • DenverBeth Posted: 09/11/10
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    Keeper!! Made it exactly as written and wouldn't change a thing! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • crusnock Posted: 02/27/10
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    We doubled the salami and cheese, but other than that, made it as is. Surprisingly delicious! Great alternative to mayo-based pasta salad!

  • CaliMommy Posted: 03/28/10
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    I LOVE this dish. I've made it many times and I never tire of it. I use reduced fat cheese and I add extra banana peppers (I like the bite). I usually eat this as a main dish, but we've also used it on the side with grilled meats. Making it this year to put on the Easter buffet.

  • Ohsusannah Posted: 04/21/11
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    My husband took one bite and raved about this pasta salad! I've made it several times since, and I agree with the reviewer who said it took longer to make than she expected. I didn't change anything in the recipe (I'm just not that creative in the kitchen) and thought it was perfect. The second time I made it I had a bit of the uncooked pasta left over and didn't want to waste it because there was so little of it so I cooked it all. Well, I'll never do that again! I had teeny tiny pastas all over the kitchen!

  • Belladonna714 Posted: 04/21/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This was sooo yummy! I used ditalini pasta, sweet onion, pepperocinis, reduced fat cheese, and no sodium added beans. The flavor had so much depth! I can't wait for lunch tomorrow! Will definitely make this again and would serve it to company in an instant. This would make a great side dish to take along, like for a BBQ.

  • karaboo Posted: 04/25/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Made this for Easter as a side item. followed other reviewers' directions and skipped the salami. It really didn't need it. It was also delicious without the pasta and a healthier side. Such great flavor! tasted like you took a bite out of an Italian deli sandwich. Yum!

  • dmloss Posted: 04/25/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I thought this recipe was good, but I felt something was missing. I followed the recipe exactly except added 2 oz of salami and used orzo because my supermarket didn't have acini di pepe. I will make again, but I think I will double the cheese and use red wine vinegar instead of cider vinegar. I think the cider vinegar was too dull.

  • Mleigh Posted: 07/14/11
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    As others have noted, the proportions seemed a little off. I understand the concept of using high-fat ingredients as a flavorful garnish but the amounts of salami and cheese called for in this recipe were miniscule! Boyfriend also would have liked more banana peppers and fewer capers. At any rate, the salad is tasty and easy to pull together so I increased the amount of salami and cheese (modestly), decreased the portion size, and rounded out the meal by serving the pasta over lettuce with fresh fruit on the side.

  • Peggspark Posted: 07/29/12
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    This is a wonderful recipe, easy, fast and filling. Great for a summer evening with plenty of leftovers for lunches later in the week. Will definitley make again.

  • Joydriven Posted: 06/10/12
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    Forgot the beans! Was vey good and much better than usual pasta salads. Subbed jalapeños for bananas. Would definitely make again. Next time will try subbing mozzarella for the jack. Definitely Italian sub flavor going on!

  • joskid Posted: 06/15/12
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    I think this is an awesome pasta salad. Just the antipasto pasta salad I was looking for! I made this pretty much as written. I used all the ingredients in the amount called for. What I did do was seed the tomatoes before chopping. Didn't rinse the capers. Sliced the sliced banana peppers so they would better dispersed throuout the salad. I thought the salami and jack cheese quantities were a bit low, but I didn't change that and I think the subtle taste you get, per bite is perfect! This is the first time I have ever used acini de pepe pasta. I love it! I will be keeping these ingredients handy in order to make this on a regular basis!

  • seaside725 Posted: 12/13/12
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    I agree with the reviews that there needs to be some more pop in this salad. I found it a bit bland. On the other hand I thought the Asiago breadsticks were wonderful.

  • daneanp Posted: 03/05/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Really good, unique. I couldn't find navy beans (c'mon Safeway!) so I used white beans. I couldn't help but think some artichoke hearts would add something. Maybe next time. This would be a great salad to take to a picnic or BBQ party.

  • acmeinecke Posted: 09/21/13
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    I also forgot the beans, and I didn't have banana peppers, so I left those out too. I tasted it as soon as I finished making it and thought it was just ok. It sat in the fridge until dinner that night and it is now one of my favorite pastas (I'm sure it will be even better when I make it with the beans and peppers too). It is definitely better once it has a chance to chill for a bit. I'll certainly make a double batch next time so I have some for lunch the next day too.

  • Azcolleen1 Posted: 09/11/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    My family loved this. I added cilantro instead of plain parsley, and lemon olive oil instead of EVOO.

  • Webgirl Posted: 02/02/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Very tasty. Skipped adding the navy beans and it was still delicious.

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