Easy Pasta Salad

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PHOENIX -- With Memorial Day coming up, it's time to plan the menu for your gathering.

Registered dietitian Maya Nahra showed Kaley O'Kelley how to make a pasta salad that's not only super easy to make, it's incredibly delicious -- perfect for your holiday get-together.

8 oz. quinoa or organic whole wheat pasta, dry
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup walnut pesto (see homemade recipe below)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup colorful bell peppers, sliced
1 cup grated carrots
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small bunch basil, chopped
1-2 cups greens (spinach, mixed greens, etc)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and allow the pasta to cool.
In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions, parsley, basil, and spinach in a bowl with the cooled pasta.
Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl by combining the yogurt, pesto, lemon juice, and paprika. Pour over the pasta salad, toss to coat.

Homemade Walnut Pesto

1 cup walnuts, raw unsalted
3-5 cloves garlic
1 cup basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, optional

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Use as a component to salad dressings, spread on freshly baked bread, or as an appetizer accompaniment.