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Spinach Pasta Salad

Notes

Recipe Notes

Try a low fat Asian Salad Dressing from the store to replace the dressing ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked pasta (try whole wheat shells, bow ties, macaroni or other small shapes)
4 cups spinach
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
DRESSING
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together teriyaki sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sugar and vegetable oil.
  2. Add cooked pasta, spinach, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, mandarin oranges and cilantro or parsley, if desired. Mix well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

Try a low fat Asian Salad Dressing from the store to replace the dressing ingredients.

Photo of Spinach Pasta Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes: 5 cups
Nutrition Facts: View Label

Comment

Made this recipe for our office staff for lunch. Got really good feedback and everyone seemed to really like the dressing. However, I think if I made it again I would not do substitute quinoa for the pasta. I just felt like the texture of the cooked macaroni combined with the texture of the spinach made the salad a bit "squishy."

A coworker also suggested adding some chopped chicken as well, but I think it was fine without it.

Kamut works very nicely as a substitute for the pasta in this recipe.  It's hearty and chewy texture holds up well and takes care of the "squishy" problem noted in the previous review.

We make this with our 5th grade classes and they love it. One suggestion they always have, though, is less vinegar. I do usually use a lot less than what the recipe calls for since the first time I made it, the majority of the class said it had too much and didn't like. Once we cut the vinegar back to 1 TBSP, they all give me the thumbs up.