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Our Favorite Pasta Salad | Get Inspired Everyday!

Our Favorite Pasta Salad

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5 from 4 reviews


  • 112 ounce package of pasta, I used Jovial 100% brown rice penne
  • 12 ounces of smoked sausage or Italian sausage links
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed aged sharp cheddar cheese, 5 ounces
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces, 12 ounces

Creamy Basil Dressing:

  • 1 farm fresh egg, or substitute 4-6 Tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed, 1 ounce
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup avocado or olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you’re using gluten free pasta, cook it just a tiny bit past al dente, (it’s important to use salted water for flavor in the pasta). You can test the pasta’s doneness by taking a piece out and running it under cold water, when it’s no longer unpleasantly chewy, it’s ready. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and run the pasta under cold water until it’s cooled.
  2. Preheat a grill over high heat, (you can also pan fry or oven roast the sausages if you’d like). When the grill has reached 400ºF, place the sausages on the grill and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the sausages are completely done, mine come pre-cooked so it only takes 5 minutes.
  3. When the sausage is done, let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle. Cut the links into quarters lengthwise, and then slice them crosswise to make thin triangular pieces.
  4. Place the cooked pasta, sausage, cheddar cheese, and cherry tomatoes into a large serving bowl.
  5. For the dressing, place everything but the oil into a blender and blend until it’s mostly smooth with small pieces of green basil floating around. With the blender running on low, slowly add the oil in, increasing the speed as you go until all the oil has been added and the dressing is creamy.
  6. Toss the pasta salad mixture with the dressing. This salad is best if it’s allowed to sit for an hour or so in the refrigerator so that the flavors can sink in, but it’s also good served right away.


Gluten free pasta always comes in 12 ounce packages where we live, but if you’re using regular pasta it will come in a 1 pound package. To adapt the recipe for 1 pound of pasta, increase the amount of sausage to 1 pound, add just a bit more cheese and tomatoes. For the dressing use 1/2 cup white wine vinegar to 1 1/2 cups olive oil. I also increase the basil to 3/4 cup packed leaves, but the rest of the dressing stays the same.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins