Rating: 4.36 stars
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

Serve this patriotic pasta salad loaded with tomatoes, blue cheese, and pasta for a festive addition to the 4th of July picnic table.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
15 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 45 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
12 servings
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Dressing:
Salad:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, milk, honey mustard, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.

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  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain and transfer to a bowl.

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic and basil until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour garlic mixture over penne. Mix cauliflower, tomatoes, red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese, green onion, and Parmesan cheese into penne mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors, about 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

285 calories; protein 10.5g; carbohydrates 38.3g; fat 10.7g; cholesterol 12.7mg; sodium 249.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2013
I've made this for serveral get togethers and it was a big hit. The dressing is fabulous - even the kids ate it despite the blue cheese. I doubled the dressing and used dijon instead of honey mustard. Also 2 & 1/2 cups of uncooked pasta is basically one box. So be sure to double the dressing. We don't care for cauliflower so I just did 1 cup of chopped red pepper and 2 cups of cherry tomatoes. I let this sit overnight to let the flavors blend together. Overall it's very good and worth the effort especially when there's nothing left in the bowl - you know your guests enjoyed it! Read More
(13)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/05/2016
Apparently the 2 1/2 cups of pasta mean that much after cooking. Since it didn't say so I measured before cooking and there is too much pasta. Read More
(1)
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2013
I've made this for serveral get togethers and it was a big hit. The dressing is fabulous - even the kids ate it despite the blue cheese. I doubled the dressing and used dijon instead of honey mustard. Also 2 & 1/2 cups of uncooked pasta is basically one box. So be sure to double the dressing. We don't care for cauliflower so I just did 1 cup of chopped red pepper and 2 cups of cherry tomatoes. I let this sit overnight to let the flavors blend together. Overall it's very good and worth the effort especially when there's nothing left in the bowl - you know your guests enjoyed it! Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
04/22/2013
This is very good! I kinda just used what I had on hand so I omitted the cauliflower used regular tomatoes a little dried basil and ditalini pasta. This was a nice change from the regular pasta/macaroni salads. Great flavor! I would make ths again for sure! Thanks for sharing.:) Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
09/13/2014
Why I never thought to use cauliflower in a cold salad is beyond me. I used a whole head (lightly steamed) and left out the pasta and the dressing was just right. I made mine a day ahead and it was very liquidy so best to dress it close to serving time. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 4 stars
08/11/2013
This was really good. I subbed cottage cheese for the sour cream (only because that's all I had) and it actually worked. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because I omitted the cauliflower and there still didn't feel like enough dressing. I would probably double it next time. Otherwise...delish! Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
07/04/2016
Apparently the 2 1/2 cups of pasta mean that much after cooking. Since it didn't say so I measured before cooking and there is too much pasta. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
09/24/2015
Contrary to another reviewer 2.5 cups of uncooked penne is NOT a whole 16 oz box; it's a little over half the box! The first time I made this I followed directions exactly (except I used dijon mustard instead of honey). I was excited about the part where you cook basil with garlic and pour it on the pasta - it sounded brilliant. But I was disappointed when the flavor was lost in the sea of other items. I thought the salad was a little dry so the second time I skipped the cooking of the basil doubled the dressing and added 2 teaspoons of fresh basil directly to the dressing. It was the right amount but the salt and blue cheese were over-powering. I repeated this the third time but didn't double the salt and blue cheese. I did double the tomatoes and mozzarella and thought it was perfect. The combination of basil mozzarella and parmesan is magic... the blue cheese makes it even more interesting. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
07/19/2014
Excellent salad! I only gave this recipe 4 stars because I cannot find when (in the directions) the dressing should be added. I stirred the dressing in along with the Parmesan cheese. FYI--I had to use frozen cauliflower florets; I just thawed them in cold water rather than cooking them. Also had to use shredded mozzarella cheese and regular onion rather than green onion. I too used regular tomatoes but I took out the seeds and pith and just used the outer flesh diced into pieces the size of halved cherry tomatoes. Finally I would not double the dressing. The original amount dressed this salad nicely. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/04/2015
Made this recipe with Asiago instead of the blue cheese because I had it on hand. It was still amazing. So much flavor and a nice variation from the normal pasta salad rut we get into halfway thru summer! Highly recommend it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/11/2019
The ongoing debate in the reviews made me question the amount of pasta to use so I made the dressing first to see what I would have to work with. Once I saw that and knowing I was making the salad for a potluck I measured out the 2.5 cups of DRY pasta and cooked that up. Yep. Had to double the dressing amount for that amount of dry pasta to get about 12 servings. I chose not to double the blue cheese but I will next time as we like blue cheese in our house. If you re not sure if your family or guests like the blue cheese don t double it. It still tastes great! By the way there was no need to double the tomatoes. Read More