I’ve been all about cold pasta salads lately. Sometimes I think I actually like cold pasta salads more than traditional warm pasta dishes.
I love that I can make pasta salads totally customizable to whoever will be at the lunch/dinner table plus I can make them ahead of time and enjoy more of the outdoors. Summer sometimes seems so short up this way in Minnesota that I find myself clenching to it every way possible (which means less cooking and more playing) and make ahead meals are sort of my jam. Especially make ahead meals that do not require turning on the oven.
This pasta salad came about because I went grocery shopping unsupervised, without a grocery list, and with a cart. In my husband’s head, this would sound like trouble. To me, it sounds like the best kind of adventure! Needless to say, somehow fresh dill ended up in my cart just because it sounded good. 😉 haha, oops.
Today, dill is used most frequently when making pickles that go on your sandwich, but it has been used for hundreds of years for its food and medicinal properties. Research shows that dill is antimicrobial (it discourages the growth of bacteria and supports a healthy immune system), can help with menstrual pain, aids with digestion, provides a cooling effect, and has been used as an epilepsy treatment in third world countries for years.
I find that most herbs are underutilized in our culture (dill included) and the more research I do on my own, I’m constantly surprised by the potential medicinal uses. So, I’ve been aiming to use more fresh herbs because they can truly make a meal go from blah to bam! This pasta salad is no different – the ingredients are so simple but it’s jam packed with flavor.
I was nervous about the salad being “too dill-y” but it got scarfed up by the adults when I brought it to our Minnesota Lake Day with my high school friends. The 3 of us haven’t all been around each other in YEARS and boy oh boy was it refreshing and amazing in all the best ways. Just like this salad. 🙂
Creamy Dreamy Dill Pasta Salad
- 12oz of shell pasta of choice (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup matchstick carrots, chopped into smaller/shorter pieces (or if you’re not lazy like me, grate some carrots)
- a handful of radishes, sliced thinly
- 3 stalks or about 1/4 cup of green onions (ends trimmed)
- 5 sprigs of fresh dill (1/3 cup+)
- 3/4 cup vegan Mayo (I used Just Mayo)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vingear
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soy milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Once pasta cooked, drain and strain. Mix frozen peas and chopped carrots in with pasta. Blend all dressing ingredients together – I used a small ninja that worked well and minimized the clean up. Taste and adjust accordingly – if it’s too “zingy” for you with vinegar, add more dill and vegan mayo. If it’s too thick, add more plant-based milk. If it needs more of a “bite” for you, add a bit more vinegar or salt. If you love dill like me, add more dill. 🙂