In the heat of summer, it’s great to have chilled pasta salads on hand for quick meals packed with protein, vegetables and plenty of flavor. These three pasta salads take about 20 minutes of prep time and are ready to eat after chilling for a few hours, but they’re even better the next day or two. Gather the family and prepare any one of these great salads together!

Spicy Southwestern Pasta Salad

2 boxes tri-color rotini pasta, cooked al dente

1 jar Mama Flasch’s InCindyary salsa

2 husks sweet corn, boiled and sliced from the husk

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

6 jalapeños, diced

5 leaves parsley, diced

5 leaves cilantro, diced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. This pasta salad is spicy, but if you want it spicy but not too hot, use only three jalapeños and Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa.

Salsa Ranch Pasta Salad

2 boxes small shells (Conchiglie) pasta, cooked al dente

1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gregular (mild) salsa

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

10 green or black olives, diced

1 cup peas

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

½ small red onion, diced

1 cup fresh spinach, diced

5 leaves cilantro, diced

1.5 cups Ranch dressing

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. To kick up the heat, use Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa instead of Mama Flasch’s Gregular (mild) salsa and add a few diced jalapeños, green chilies or poblano peppers.

Taco Pasta Salad

2 boxes bow-tie (Farfalle) pasta, cooked al dente

1 jar Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa

2 green peppers, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

5 green onions, diced

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 tablespoon cumin

1 small container sour cream

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded

1 pack shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except sour cream, avocado, lettuce and cheese into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, top with remaining ingredients.

All of these salads are vegetarian-friendly, but if you’d like extra protein, grilled and diced chicken breasts or shredded beef can also be added. If your family doesn’t like a certain ingredient, leave it out, but also ask for their requests of ingredients to add in. The more involved your children are at making the salads, the more they will enjoy the meal. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a family that cooks together, stays together. Read more about our family on our website, where you can also order our small-batch salsas made with farm-fresh ingredients. For more recipes, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!

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