I am always on the lookout for a new pasta salad.  Pasta salads are the perfect side dishes for bbqs.  If you are spending all day outside cooking, the last thing you want to do is run in the house and cook sides.  Pasta salads can be prepared the day before and they are cool so they are perfect for when it is super hot outside.  I came up with the idea for this salad after eating my favorite brick oven pizza, The Margherita Pizza.  That amazing pie covered in mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.

Margherita Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is the perfect side for any barbecue.

Margherita Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound rotini
  • 6-8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz mini mozzarella balls
  • 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade (to cut into strips)
  • Dressing
    • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
    • 1/2 small onion
    • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbs white sugar
    • 1 tsp basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp marjoram
    • 1/2 tsp rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp thyme

Boil the rotini to al dente according to the package directions.  Drain and chill under cold water.

In a blender combine the dressing ingredients.  Mix until smooth.

Blend the dressing

In a large bowl combine pasta, halved tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls and basil.

Combine the pasta ingredients

Pour in the dressing and fold it in.  Make sure to gently fold in the dressing as you do not want to break apart the tomato halves.

Gently fold all of the ingredients together

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

This was a great salad.  It was fresh and amazing.  The cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella really popped.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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