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Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing and Lentils

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Whether for a party, potluck or summer picnic, this Lentil Pasta Salad recipe from Anne Colagioia is an ideal side dish option. Lentils add protein and texture to this pasta salad recipe with Italian dressing. For this particular vegetarian pasta salad recipe, mini shells are a great choice as they scoop up all of the wonderful flavors found here. If you're hunting for side dish recipes with plenty of pizzazz, then this easy pasta salad recipe is ideal for you.
  Dried lentil beans 8 Ounce
  Small shell pasta 8 Ounce, cooked according to the package instructions
  Plum tomato 2 , diced
  Red bell pepper 1⁄2 , diced
  Red onion 1⁄2 , diced
  Celery 1 , diced
  Flat leaf parsley 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), chopped
  Green olives 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), quartered
  Black olives 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), quartered
  Lemon juice 2 Tablespoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Lemon zest 1⁄2 Tablespoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Dijon mustard 1 Tablespoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Red wine vinegar 2 Tablespoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Garlic 1 Clove (5 gm) (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Olive oil 4 Tablespoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Italian seasoning 2 Teaspoon (FOR THE DRESSING)
  Red pepper flakes 1⁄2 Teaspoon (Optional - FOR THE DRESSING)
  Salt 1 Teaspoon (to taste - 1/2 tsp. for the lentils and 1/2 tsp for the dressing)
  Black pepper 1⁄4 Teaspoon (to taste - FOR THE DRESSING)

1. For the dressing – whisk together all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil.
2. Slowly stream in the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified.
3. Stir all of the diced veggies into the dressing to coat, set aside.

4. Add the lentils with salt and about 4 cups of water to a 2 quart saucepan. Bring it up to a boil.
5. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Drain the lentils, put into a large serving bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Stir in the marinated veggies while they’re still warm to absorb the flavors.
8. Stir in the cooked pasta.

9. Serve lentil pasta with grilled shrimp.

For an even easier salad feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of your favorite Italian vinaigrette for the dressing in the recipe. If you're following gluten free diet be sure to use gluten free pasta in the recipe. Also be sure to check the ingredients list on the mustard to ensure there is no gluten containing ingredients.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
30 Minutes
Ready In: 
45 Minutes

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Average: 3.9 (3 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 425 Calories from Fat 129

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 15 g22.9%

Saturated Fat 1.5 g7.4%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 703.7 mg29.3%

Total Carbohydrates 57 g19.1%

Dietary Fiber 14.6 g58.4%

Sugars 4.1 g

Protein 15 g30.6%

Vitamin A 14.5% Vitamin C 42.8%

Calcium 4.4% Iron 22.3%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Easy Pasta Salad With Italian Dressing And Lentils Recipe Video