It’s Summertime With This Salad

Some recipes tell you what season it is. For me, grilled brats means the fall. Chili is for the winter. This pasta salad, is for picnic season. It was a staple for the summer during my teen years, is so easy to make, somewhat healthy and has tremendous flavor (with the sesame dressing, mandarin oranges and the vegetables). It makes a lot of pasta salad, so you’ll have plenty to share.

A wonderful collection of textures and tastes.

It is tough to find a vinegarette mix. Often I will select a garlic and herb or similar packet.

A gem from my childhood. An actual Hidden Valley Ranch glass dressing container.

Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min  | Servings: 10 servings as a side | Difficulty: Easy


  • Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup sesame oil
  • 1 package of vinegarette mix
  • Pasta Salad
  • 1 package of tri colored rotini or similar pasta
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 jar Hormel bacon bits (eliminate for vegetarian)
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • Several large bunches of broccoli (about same as 1/2 head cauliflower)
  • 1 can Chinese chowmein noodles


Mix all salad dressing ingredients together and chill.

Cook pasta according to directions. When complete, run under cold water until chilled. Add oranges, bacon bits, and veggies . Mix in salad dressing and chill before serving. Add chowmein noodles after removing from refrigerator and when ready to serve.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Chinese, kosher, Lunch, Pasta, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

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28 Comments on “It’s Summertime With This Salad”

  1. May 17, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I absolutely love pasta salad – added benefit – leftovers!


  2. May 17, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    Good looking pasta salad.


  3. Lori M.
    May 17, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Looks good, I’ll bring this to the summer picnics!


  4. May 17, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I like the idea of mandarin and bacon together; sweet, salty, slightly sour. Do the noodles work well with the pasta? I would never have thought of putting these two carbs together. Sounds like a delicious salad though. Just getting into raw broccoli and cauliflower now. What is vinaigrette mix? I have never seen it in the UK. Is it seasoning?


    • May 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Vinaigrette mix would be a packet of spices and binders and stuff to mix in to vinegar and oil to make a nice vinaigrette. It’s usually salt, pepper, garlic, maybe some paprika or turmeric for color, and other seasonings depending on variety. I agree with you on the combination of bacon and oranges. I am definitely going to give this a try this summer. 🙂


  5. May 17, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Looks like a delicious and easy version.


  6. May 17, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    I’ve had that same salad dressing bottle for decades…a gift from my Mom (which means I took it without asking when I moved out)!


  7. May 17, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Love the addition of oranges–my kids will go nuts for this!


  8. May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Seems that everyone is in the mood for pasta salad lately. 🙂


  9. May 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I LOVE IT !! I could eat pasta salad each 7 days in the week!
    I’m addicted to pasta salad!

    Thanks for sharing & greetings,
    Sunelly Sims


  10. May 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Looks delish!


  11. May 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Oy, looks really really yummy!! Will have to try this one for sure.


  12. May 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Summertime does call in for lot of salads – so no more of your high cholesterol meals coming in?


  13. P.S. I Love Soap Co.
    May 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Looks easy and delicious!


  14. May 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Hahah…I remember those ‘cruets’ for dressing too.


  15. May 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Yummy…yummy! I cannot wait to fix this! Thanks for sharing!
    Peach State


  16. May 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I love pasta salad!


  17. May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    This salad looks great! Thanks 🙂


  18. Being Cheap Comes Easy
    May 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Ohhh yummy!


  19. May 18, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I love your recipes and your blog! which is why I nominated you for the lovely blog award!


  20. May 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I have to try this. My mom was obsessed with chowmein noodles years ago… I’m shocked I’ve never come across this before! Yum!



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