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I invented this simple pasta salad about ten years ago, and my son requests it as his birthday meal ever since. It's always a hit at potluck dinners and tailgate parties. The trick to make it taste fresh is to dress shortly before serving. The extra dressing in the bottle can be used the next day if there are leftovers to freshen the taste. My son likes the leftovers, but I think it tastes best the day it is made.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
20 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 cups
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook rotini at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

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  • Put frozen peas into a large colander. Drain rotini over the peas. Fill the now-empty pot with cold water. Plunge pasta and peas into the cold water to chill completely; drain.

  • Mix imitation crabmeat, Swiss cheese, and parmesan cheese in a large bowl; add pasta mixture and toss to mix. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to lightly coat.

Cook's Notes:

As with any salad, the ingredients can be varied to taste, though the Swiss cheese is surprisingly good with this salad.

If you have leftovers, you may need to add more dressing because it soaks into the pasta and leftovers become a bit dry.

Nutrition Facts

370 calories; protein 17.3g; carbohydrates 59.3g; fat 6.4g; cholesterol 24.4mg; sodium 905mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (4)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/29/2015
I was looking for a non-mayo based pasta salad to bring to a 4th of July celebration, preferably one that contained imitation crabmeat (because I had some on hand and wanted to use it). I did an ingredient search for imitation crabmeat, with "salad" as the dish type, and this one was in the search results. I made it exactly as directed, but brought the leftover dressing along, in case people wanted to drizzle a bit more over theirs. It was well received by everyone. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/26/2016
This is good on a hot day but rather bland for us. I liked the oil & vinegar dressing rather than mayo. Read More
(1)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
06/29/2015
I was looking for a non-mayo based pasta salad to bring to a 4th of July celebration, preferably one that contained imitation crabmeat (because I had some on hand and wanted to use it). I did an ingredient search for imitation crabmeat, with "salad" as the dish type, and this one was in the search results. I made it exactly as directed, but brought the leftover dressing along, in case people wanted to drizzle a bit more over theirs. It was well received by everyone. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
05/06/2019
Have been making this salad for years. The recipe I have adds fresh or dried dill. Over time we have added any veggie in the refrig, red kidney beans, whatever you have works, flexible recipe. We love the no mayonnaise for hot days. Read More
(4)
Rating: 3 stars
06/26/2016
This is good on a hot day but rather bland for us. I liked the oil & vinegar dressing rather than mayo. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2018
I made this with minor changes: only had imitation crab legs on hand not the chunks so chopped them finely--added nice texture and color to the salad. Also had no oil and vinegar dressing on hand so used Zesty Italian and the flavor was great! As I had dressed salad about 2 hours before the event we attended I added a bit more just before serving to "freshen" it up. It was good as evidenced by the empty bowl at the end of the event and perfect for the crowd there (no great foodies or lovers of spicy foods!) but next time when I make it for just us I plan to "shake it up a bit" and add some more vegies maybe nuts or dried fruit and spice it up a bit. But this is a great basic recipe ideal for most buffets or picnics and SUPER EASY to make even last-minute!!! Read More
(1)