Cheap Party Food – Cold Pasta Salad

Written by Nicole Dean

by Angela Tyler

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve been invited to a party and realize you don’t have a meal to bring. Not only that, but the party starts in an hour. What should you do?

You have four options:

1. Don’t go, and miss out on a really fun time.
2. Show up empty-handed and explain red-faced that you forgot.
3. Grab an empty casserole dish and head to the deli. Order your food and have them put it right into your casserole dish. Yes, I’ve gone this. It’s expensive but it works. If you get asked for the recipe, just wink and say “It’s Grandma’s secret recipe”.
4. Whip up a big batch of pasta salad for only a few dollars, and have plenty left over to eat for lunch during the week. You will save money and look good showing up at the party with a great dish.

Pasta salad is truly one of the easiest meals to prepare. All you need are noodles and salad dressing. You can use pretty much any salad dressing on the market – the standards like Italian, Ranch, or, if you’re ambitious, your favorite homemade dressing.

Now for the fun part. Cook the noodles, following package directions and then drain. Pour the dressing on while the noodles are warm so they will absorb all that good oily flavor.

Look around your kitchen to see if you have any of the following ingredients:

Fresh veggies – carrots, broccoli, green onions
Frozen vegetables – frozen peas are wonderful in pasta salad
Cubed or shredded cheese
Garbanzo beans (also known as Chick Peas)
Black Olives

Toss in whatever you can find. It’s an ‘everything goes’ type of recipe. Bring more dressing with you in case you need to add it later, and voila! You’re done.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can bring some cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, bacon bits or sunflower seeds as toppings. It’s all good.

The next time you are invited to a party, don’t panic. Just grab these instructions and whip up a meal in minutes. Enjoy!

Are you a mom who’d rather play than cook? If so, you won’t want to miss www.freequickrecipes.com. And, if frugal cooking is your thing, then check out http://www.freequickrecipes.com/frugal-cooking.php

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