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Spring is such a fickle season here in Minnesota. We had warm weather over the weekend but today I woke up to sleet and bitterly cold winds. Thankfully we have had some gorgeous days here already and our forecast shows some promise. We try to take advantage of them as they come. I love getting outside with my family and heading outdoors for a picnic! Whether we head out to the park, beach or just our backyard, food is even more enjoyable when we are out in nature. Since I like serving foods that are easily portable, I made this Mason Jar Pasta Salad, perfect for a picnic!
I like to use oil based dressing in hotter weather. To add more flavor to this dressing, I included French’s Classic Yellow Mustard. I can’t imagine potato salad or egg salad without yellow mustard and it works just as well for pasta salad to give it that extra zip.
You can prep this salad in the mason jars up to a few days in advance or just prep the ingredients and assemble that day. (Keep in mind that the contents will settle in the jars as it sits.)
I wanted to include plenty of colorful and flavorful veggies in my pasta salad, but you can just pick your favorites. To keep the Parmesan cheese near the top, I just put half the pasta in the jar, sprinkled on the cheese and covered it with the remaining pasta.
When it is time to eat you can simply shake the jars to mix your pasta salad.
Eat it right out of the jar or pour onto a plate if desired.
This mason jar pasta salad pairs perfectly with fresh fruit and deli sandwiches.
I personally love using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard on my sandwich and so does my husband. As an added bonus, thanks to all natural ingredients and flavor crafted by master grinders, I can feel confident giving my family the taste they crave with zero fat, calories or gluten.
Although French’s is known for its iconic Classic Yellow mustard, did you know that it also has a deliciously bold tasting Spicy Brown mustard AND a smooth & creamy Dijon? It is always nice have choices so pack all three in your picnic basket!
I can’t wait to get outside again with my family to enjoy the warm weather, good food and quality time. Until then, I’ll just enjoy my pasta salad indoors and try to be patient for a warmer spring day.
- 4 cups uncooked pasta (I use mini farfelle)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons French's Classic Yellow Mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups broccoli
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 cups sliced yellow mini peppers
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In small bowl whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, mayo, mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
- Immediately assemble mason jar salads or refrigerate dressing and pasta until ready to assemble, up to three days in advance.
- Divide ingredients into 8 pint mason jars. Layer starting with 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, ½ cup cooked pasta, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and another ½ cup pasta.
- Cover mason jar and keep refrigerated/cold.
- To serve, shake mason jar well and pour onto plate or eat directly from jar.
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