Cool Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad

I’m not sure what it is about summer that makes me crave pasta salad like a crazy person but last week, I needed it. Perhaps it’s that just about every cookout I’ve ever attended has involved pasta salad? And perhaps it’s that the cookout I mostly missed out on last weekend had pasta salad, but with olives & I don’t do olives, so I didn’t try any. But I saw it. And that’s all it takes, my friends, I just have to see something to be inspired to want it. Need it. HAVE to have it.

So this week, my first priority was to whip up some pasta salad. I needed it. I had to have it.

Of course we all know that the really good pasta salads are mayo-laden & not so great for you. And truthfully, anything with pasta in the title isn’t going to be the greatest for the waistline, but it’s better than some alternatives, right? I decided to make my pasta salad with a Greek yogurt dressing & use whole wheat pasta to make myself feel a little better. You know, for finishing off the entire salad by myself. Hubby isn’t a fan of pasta salad. Weirdo.

I started with cucumber.

Then tomato.

+ red onion + sweet corn, fresh off the cob.

Up next, the dressing. Greek yogurt + fresh dill + lemon juice + a little mayo + seasoning.

Mix it all together with the cooked pasta and there you have it, Cool Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad.

Sprinkle in some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a little crunch, if you’d like.

I like mine served on a bed of baby spinach for some added iron & antioxidants.

The dressing is light & refreshing.

The flavors of lemon and dill mix perfectly with the sweetness of the corn & tomatoes.

And I swear this tastes better when eaten outside on a sunny, summer day.

Cool Cucumber Dill Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

-1 medium cucumber, chopped
-1 carton grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
-1 ear of sweet corn, boiled & cut off the cob
-1/4 cup red onion, diced
-6 oz. fat free Greek yogurt
-1/4 cup mayo
-juice of one lemon
-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
-1/2 tsp garlic salt
-1/2 tsp celery salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked

Directions:
1. Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Add pasta & cook until tender. Drain, rinse & set aside.
2. Combine cucumber, tomato, sweet corn & red onion in large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, mayo & lemon juice until well incorporated & smooth.
4. Add dill, garlic & celery salts, and pepper to dressing mixture. Mix thoroughly.
5. Add cooled pasta to bowl of vegetables and mix well.
6. Pour dressing over mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with pepitas.
7. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Notes:
1. I used 3 tbsp of fresh dill but I would suggest using more. I LOVE dill & the flavor just wasn’t as strong as I’d like it to be. Start with 3 tbsp & add more if you think it’s needed.

2. In hindsight, I wish I had substituted about half of the pasta with extra cucumber to make this even healthier. It’s true what they say about everything in moderation & I know I would have been just as content with half the amount of pasta here.

What are some of your must-have summer dishes? I’ve been all about the sweet corn already, even though sweet corn season doesn’t usually hit until late summer. My hubby is a huge fan of it buttered, salted & eaten right off the cob but I’ve been all about adding it to salads, salsas, etc.

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