Cucumber Pasta Salad – A Healthy Alternative to Creamy Pasta SaladMay 23, 2010 • By Tara Ziegmont
Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just overflowing with cucumbers, this easy pasta salad is the perfect dish to bring to a spring or summer BBQ or cookout. Cut the sugar in half to make it a healthy option.
A lifetime ago, we had a dear friend who had a swimming pool in her backyard. She loved entertaining, and her house and yard and pool were always full of people.
Our friend was my mom’s age. They had originally been friends but had had a falling out, and Joe and I never stopped going over to visit. My mom’s friend became our friend.
Our friend’s sister was a masterful cook. She made everything superb, from chicken salad to cake. Many of my recipes still today have come from that friend’s sister.
Sadly, we have lost touch with that friend, but I still have all of her sister’s recipes, and we still make them regularly.
On most summer Saturdays back then, a dozen or more people were spread out at several round tables on her patio, chatting and eating and periodically getting in the pool to swim.
This cucumber pasta salad was originally her sister’s recipe. She made it often for our summer get-togethers and picnics and BBQs.
Now, whenever we go to a picnic or potluck in the summer, we take this pasta salad. When we have a bounty of cucumbers, we make this pasta salad.
Like most pasta salads, this one gets better the longer it sits, so make it a day ahead if you can. It is wonderful paired with BBQ or hamburgers or sandwiches or… anything, really. It’s just so good.
How to make cucumber pasta salad from your garden
- Prepare the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
- Prepare the cucumbers. Peel stripes on your cucumbers. (There’s actually no reason to do or not to do this, aside from I think it is pretty when you do it. Peel them or not as you prefer.) Slice the cucumbers into thin slices. You can also cut the slices in half if you prefer, but I leave them whole.
- Prepare the onions. Peel and slice a medium onion very thin.
- Assemble the salad. Toss the cucumbers, onions, and olive oil into the pasta and mix well.
- Prepare the dressing. Whisk together the sugar, water, white vinegar, mustard, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic until well blended. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Wait. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight (preferred). Toss it in the dressing occasionally if you think of it.
Here are a few recipes to pair with cucumber pasta salad:
Cucumber Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces tube pasta like penne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium cucumbers sliced thin (peeled or not, as you prefer)
- 1 medium onion sliced thin
- 1 cup sugar use half Splenda for a healthier dish
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic pressed
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Peel stripes on your cucumbers. Slice into thin slices. Peel and slice the onion into very thin slices.
- Mix cucumbers, onions, pasta, and oil until thoroughly coated.
- Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over salad. Toss to coat.
- Cover and chill 3-4 hours to overnight, stirring occasionally.
© 2010 – 2020, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.