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Cannellini and Macaroni Salad with Grilled Tomatoes, Basil and Olives

Cannellini and Macaroni Salad with Grilled Tomatoes, Basil and Olives

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups small elbow macaroni (about 6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Recipe Preparation

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil over cut side of tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill tomatoes, cut side up, until skin begins to char, about 2 minutes; turn over and grill, cut side down, just until heated through, about 1 minute. Cool. Cut tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.

  • Cook macaroni in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer macaroni to large bowl; cool. Mix in grilled tomatoes and any accumulated juices, 2 tablespoons vinegar, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to large platter.

  • Mix beans, onion, olives, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in medium bowl. Spoon bean salad over center of macaroni salad and serve.

Reviews Section

Greek-style pasta with white beans, walnuts, spinach and olives

Pasta isn’t something most people associate with Greece, but pasta was actually introduced to the Greeks by the Italians centuries ago and they’ve been enjoying it ever since (although it’s not as much of a staple food in Greece as it is in Italy). Two of the most popular types of pasta in Greece are orzo (a rice-shaped pasta) and macaroni, and either of these types of pasta would work well with this dish, but we had some penne on hand, so we used that.

There are a number of things we really love about this dish. Firstly, it’s very easy to make. The spinach and cherry tomatoes are cooked by simply adding them to the boiling pasta water for the last couple of minutes of cooking, and we add the canned beans to heat through in the pasta water too. Then it’s just a matter of draining all the cooked ingredients and mixing them with the olives, walnuts and a simple sauce mixture, and topping with crumbled feta. So this dish comes together, including prep and cooking time, in only around 25 minutes. But the results far outweighed the effort we put in.

Not only is it wonderfully colorful, the robust flavors of the Kalamata olives and feta are really nicely counterbalanced by the sweet cherry tomatoes and delicately flavored white beans. And the walnuts add a perfect contrasting crunch.

And this dish isn’t just flavor-packed, it’s also nutrient-packed. The white beans are a good source of protein, slow-releasing carbs and dietary fiber. The walnuts also contain protein and fiber and are a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The spinach is rich in antioxidants, and the tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, a special type of phytochemical with anti-cancer properties. But we weren’t thinking of any of that when we were scoffing down this dish — we were too busy being transported to Greece!

11 Noodles to Change Your Pasta Game

ITALIAN CHICKEN PASTA SALADGeoffrey ZakarianThe Kitchen/Welcome to The KitchenFood NetworkElbow Macaroni, Olive Oil, Rotisserie Chicken, English Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, NicoiseOlives, Red peppers, Hard Salami, Red Onion, FlatleafParsley, Ricotta Salata, Red WineVinegar,ITALIAN CHICKEN PASTA SALADGeoffrey ZakarianThe Kitchen/Welcome to The KitchenFood NetworkElbow Macaroni, Olive Oil, Rotisserie Chicken, English Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, NicoiseOlives, Red peppers, Hard Salami, Red Onion, FlatleafParsley, Ricotta Salata, Red WineVinegar

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Pasta salad is one of those classic and incredibly versatile summer dishes — the ideal cookout accompaniment, perfectly portable for picnics and a cinch to prepare — that you find yourself craving all year long, then suddenly tiring of by the time August rolls around.

Before you’re bored of bow ties and say farewell to fusilli, consider changing up the type of noodle you employ in making your salads. You’ll be amazed how swapping out twisty rotini tendrils for orecchiette’s button cups, or embracing the hollowed tubes of penne and rigatoni, can change up the texture and even flavor of your dishes.

There’s more to macaroni than mayo-heavy dressing and cheesy bakes. Here Geoffrey Zakarian looks to the deli counter for inspiration, mixing the tiny noodle with rotisserie chicken and salami, as well as Mediterranean flavors: tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, olives and peppers. A simple oil-and-vinegar dressing merges the tastes.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ cup green olives, sliced
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 6 plum tomatoes - cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil

Stir together the beans, artichokes, olives, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, celery and green onions in a large bowl set aside.

Whisk together the vinegar, Dijon mustard, parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually pour in olive oil until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, and stir until all ingredients are coated. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight before serving.

Summer Cookout Salad Recipes

Whether you’re hosting a small backyard barbecue or a big end-of-summer bash, these classic cookout salads are a must. From tried-and-true favorites like potato salad and coleslaw to seasonal sides like grilled corn salad and tomato panzanella — these are our best recipes.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan Liebe—2016

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad

This classic salad goes great with barbecue ribs. Elbow macaroni and ham are mixed with hard-boiled eggs, celery, relish and mayo for a creamy taste of summer.

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Mesa Grill's Southwestern Potato Salad

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Tyler's Texas Coleslaw

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Bobby's German Potato Salad

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This is the quintessential summer salad--the one that everyone at the cookout lines up for. Cantaloupe, cucumbers and fresh mint are the refreshing base. Sweet cherry tomatoes add bright notes (and color!) and farro lends heft and nutty taste. Salty feta and a tart red wine vinaigrette round out the flavors in this easy make-ahead salad.

Smashed Cucumber Salad

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Creamy Vegan Potato Salad

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  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 ounces water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 6 ounces olive oil
  • SALAD:
  • 1 artichoke heart (canned), quartered
  • 2 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup English cucumbers, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup canned cannellini beans
  • 1 tablespoon Parmigianno-Reggiano, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed greens
  • 1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts

Servings 1
Adapted from

No Mayo Versus Mayo

We just love our Italian style pasta salad and Mom also made a No-Mayo Italian Potato Salad also made with a light dressing and no mayo, truly not a popular opinion to most who love that ingredients,however if you really love the mayo versions here are two recipes to try Macaroni Salad and Potato Salad.

I love using baby seashell pasta the best or wagon wheels for the kids, they are both perfect shapes for a summer salad along with tri-colored pasta for holiday it's so festive!

Pasta is a staple in our home and we always come up with creative ideas to change it up a little, and I just feel making a pasta salad with a light dressing is safer outdoors and perfect for grilling season since you can top it with the meat of anything off the grill.

Now once you see my long list of additions you will be able to build your own pasta salad for the most delicious and best indoor or outdoor side dish ever!

White Bean Pasta Salad

White beans with pasta, olives, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. Really classic flavors in a perfect summer salad dish.


Show Directions

1) If using dried beans, soak for 6-8 hours in cold water. Then simmer in 3 Cups water per Cup of beans until they are tender. Probably about 30-40 minutes.

2) Cook pasta according to package instructions until it’s al dente. Be sure to not overcook it.

3) Chop all additional ingredients.

4) Toss everything together in a big bowl and add olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper.

Beach bean salad

Considering that bean salads — a can of beans, a Good Season-ish dressing, whatever chopped vegetables struck my fancy — were a fairly significant staple of my diet in my post-college years, I was shocked, absolutely shook, to realize how sparsely they’re represented here. In fact, there’s only two and they’re among the oldest recipes on this site. Let’s fix this right now. I spotted Alice’s Rosary Cannellini Salad at the end of a Stained Page newsletter last month — a wonderful newsletter if you’re interested in following cookbook news and gossip. The recipe is from a new, charming cookbook called A Good Meal Is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from Deep South, by Martha Hall Foose, with original paintings throughout from Amy C. Evans in which each recipe tells a story from a quirky Southern character who shares a beloved recipe. I don’t usually look at bean salad recipes because I don’t need a recipe, I stubbornly insist, I can create my own on a whim whenever I want, but a few days after spotting this one — with an intriguing combination of roasted bell peppers, a sherry vinaigrette, and radicchio — a voice within me that said “maybe you can but what if you didn’t have to” grew ever-louder and I succumbed.

I am so glad I did because with a few tiny tweaks, I not only discovered my new platonic ideal of a bean salad, I discovered the very best summer food to bring in a jar anywhere your socially distanced summer might let you escape to. I had some on an empty beach two weeks ago. I brought some to the park to walk my children. If you come by to pick something up, I’m definitely shoving a jar in your hands leaving a jar in a bag on the counter, walking away, and hoping you spot it before you leave it outside for a few days or something. It’s colorful, deeply flavorful, keeps fantastically, and hits the spot without making you need a nap, fulfilling all of my salad hopes and dreams right now. At a time when so many favorite, beloved restaurants and cafes are closed, and feeding ourselves requires nonstop planning and self-sufficiency, getting to eat something this delicious has made me feel like I’m missing out on a whole lot less.


Beach Bean Salaad

  • Servings: Makes 8 cups salad
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Source:Alice’s Rosary Cannellini Salad from A Good Meal is Hard To Find (Chronicle, 2020)
  • 2 large bell peppers (one red, one yellow, if you can find)
  • 1 poblano pepper or a third bell pepper (mine was orange)
  • 3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 pound dried, cooked)
  • 4 ounces very thinly sliced soppressata, cut into very thin strips (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1 large, minced with a teaspoon or two of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary (I skipped this)
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 to 2 cups radicchio in 1/4-inch ribbons or torn into bite-size pieces

In a big bowl, combine your beans and soppressata, if using. When cool enough to handle, break the peppers open over the beans and let the peppers’ juices run out. Pull the charred skin and seeds from the peppers and discard. Sometimes, I find it easiest to give each pepper strip a quick rinse under cool water to remove clinging seeds. Cut the peppers into thin strips and add to the beans, plus any more juices that collect. Chop garlic with rosemary and oregano finely minced and add to bowl. Drizzle the oil, vinegar, and lemon juice over the salad and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss to combine everything. Here, you can add ribboned radicchio, as I do, or you can put torn pieces on a plate later and serve the bean salad on top of it. The salad is ready to eat now, but it’s even better after marinating for an hour or two.

Do ahead: Bean salad keeps in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

A few ingredient notes: You could swap 1 pound dried cannellini, cooked and cooled, for the 3 drained cans. (I made my first batch with Rancho Gordo’s delicious Marcella beans and the batch you see here with Goya Great Northern and it turned out to be exactly as good, lucky us.) You could use other small beans, black or yellow-eyed peas, or chickpeas here, doesn’t matter. I add a little garlic, because roasted red peppers need garlic. I use dried oregano instead of fresh because of my Good Seasons nostalgia, and skipped the rosemary because my plant is scraggly. I used much less radicchio than called for (original recipe call for two heads). I know it can be quite bitter but it mellows beautifully without becoming soggy or unpleasant in the salad, even days later. And I use a third sweet bell pepper instead of a poblano. Rainbow-colored peppers aren’t mandatory but they do look pretty if you can find them. You could use jarred peppers, but I vastly prefer the sweetness (and juices that flavor the salad) of roasting fresh ones. The soppressata (an Italian dry salami that comes hot or mild) is completely optional and I don’t think you’ll find the salad lacking for anything if you skip it. Whatever swap you’re considering, I say you go for it. Bean salads are flexible.

Watch the video: Σπαγγέτι με Σάλτσα Ντομάτας Napolitana. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (May 2022).