Pasta Salad--Inspired by Rita

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 8 mins

I had a big grilling weekend this Memorial Day holiday, which included Rita's Grilled Portabello Mushrooms (Grilled Portabella Mushrooms), a recently newfound 'ingredient' for us. Her recipe mentioned, as one of the alternatives, adding some to pasta salad. Well, I didn't have pasta salad when I grilled them, but I had some mushrooms left over after the main cookout of the weekend since I'd doubled the recipe. I was also short on time, and had limited ingredients--can't wait for the garden to begin producing!--so I pulled this recipe out of my head, the fridge, the freezer and stole from the onions that weren't quite ready in the garden... :-) I was amazed at how well it turned out and it was a major hit with my whole family and future daughter-in-law! I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions, al dente.
  2. Drain in colander, then rinse with cold water.
  3. When macaroni is chilled and well drained, return to pan.
  4. In foodprocessor, chop celery ribs and carrots (separately if using mini-food processor).
  5. Gently toss frozen peas with pasta, breaking apart any peas that are frozen together.
  6. Add chopped celery and carrots and gently toss again.
  7. In foodprocessor, blend remaining ingredients, excluding the mushrooms.
  8. Pour over pasta and vegetables, gently folding until coated.
  9. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld.
  10. Note: If using the option of Rita's Grilled Portabello Mushrooms, they can be blended in with the carrot and celery addition, or served as an optional topping or side to be added by each individual.
Most Helpful

This is a great pasta salad. I usually get in a rut and make the same old macaroni salad (ya know the one with tuna) so now I can add this to my choices, and to have one that is vegetarian friendly. I only used about a teaspoon of horseradish and it gave it a nice little bite, I will try more next time. Cindy Lynn, you did good with this one!

Kim127 June 18, 2003

Thanks for the great recipe! I had my DH grill the portabellos yesterdayPM (so they were in the frige, waiting). I did substitute a little, for lack of the called for items. No tarragon vinegar, so used rice vinegar, chopped red onions for those called for, and frozen peas and carrots for the peas. Thanks again for the recipe. Loved it!

Colorado Lauralee November 12, 2005

This I made in honor of Cindy. Her not feeling well I went and looked to see what I had in my recipe file of hers then saw this had to do with me.To my Grilled Portabello Mushrooms Grilled Portabella Mushrooms I also marinated the carrots and scallions, then grilled.Then added the grated cheese. Just to good. Cindy I`d say we work together good.

Rita~ August 06, 2003