Making the best salads at home (Photo: Inspired Taste)

Salad is one of the easiest snacks or dishes to whip up. Whether you’re making a fruit or veggie salad, or both, you’re free to explore your creativity to create a unique masterpiece.

One type of salad that we don’t see or enjoy often is pasta salad. It might be simple to prepare but the problem is that the flavours just aren’t there if you don’t know how to prepare it the right way.

Pasta salads don’t usually require much cooking so the key lies in the ingredients. On this list, you will find the basic ingredients that will inspire your next pasta salad:

Pasta

Different types of pasta work for different dishes. There is spaghetti, fettuccine, and sheet pasta, just to name a few, but the best types of pasta are rotini, macaroni and shell pasta.

These are great because they are the perfect size and texture. A tip to remember is, to boil them until they are slightly overcooked but not mushy.

Salt

This needs a category of its own because your salad won’t taste right without it. Add enough salt while boiling your pasta in the water to prevent it from tasting flat.

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Any salt works when you’re boiling your pasta but if you want to add a splash of colour and flavour in the end, you can use herbal salt.

Olive oil

It is a fact that olive oil is healthy for you and it works perfectly for pasta salads. It adds a mild flavour and it’s the first ingredient you will add to your pasta to keep them from sticking together after draining.

Vinegar

These salads need something to introduce some zing. A dash of vinegar is often added and you can try it out too. You can buy some red wine vinegar for this recipe and alternate with other types later on to see which one works for you.

Cherry tomatoes and onions

It’s very hard for a salad to impress when there are no tomatoes. And the best ones for this recipe are cherry tomatoes because they blend really well and aren’t as overpowering as regular tomatoes.

Red onions also bring in a burst of flavour. You can dice them into small cubes and if you want to tone down the harshness, soak them in some vinegar for three minutes before adding them to your salad.

Spices

Here you have the option to choose the best spice combo for you. If you’re not sure, I would suggest that you try a pinch of basil, black pepper, oregano and garlic powder then experiment with others later.

Cheese

If you’re a fan of cheese, you should also include that on your list. You can try cheddar, mozzarella or a mixture of both.

The best way to prepare your cheese is by cutting them into large cubes. The flavour of the cheese is mild so chopping it into large cubes helps bring it out more flavour.

Dressing

The final ingredient is the salad dressing. You can buy some from the supermarket and the best are those that have some herbs and spices mixed in.

Alternatively, you can use plain mayo.