Mom’s Best Picnic Pasta Salad

When it comes to planning a family picnic “Mom’s Best Picnic Pasta Salad” is always a favorite at our house. This salad is almost a meal in a bowl. It is loaded with vegetables and ham. It also has a light mayonnaise dressing that just coats the noodles and vegies. It’s a great way to get my boys to eat vegetables. They love this salad.

When my children celebrate a birthday I try to make each child’s favorites for their birthday dinner. As we just celebrated one sons birthday whose favorite meal happens to be grilled turkey breast and Mom’s Best Picnic Pasta Salad. His birthday cake of choice is always, what we call crummy cake. It isn’t really crummy. But I’m not sure how it got that name. It’s really marble cake.



1 24 oz bag salad pasta, cooked al dente and rinsed

1-2 cups each carrot, cauliflower and broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup diced ham

1/2-1 cup chopped onion


1 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp Red Robin Spice

2 tsp red wine or cider vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup milk

Steam the carrots in small amount of water for two minutes.  Add cauliflower and cook one minute more.  Add broccoli and cook an additional minute. Immediately rinse in cold water and drain. In a small bowl, mix together salad dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, vegetables, ham and onion. Toss with salad dressing.  Refrigerate salad for at least two hours before serving.  

Note: Steaming the vegetables for just a few minutes makes them crisp tender and brightens there color just a little bit.

Because it makes a large bowl full it is great to take to your next family reunion. At our family reunions they always ask for side dishes to share.

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