Pasta Salad with Ham, Peas And Muenster Cheese – There are endless possibilities and flavor combinations when it comes to pasta salads. In this one, I use rotini pasta, smoked ham, petite peas, and tiny cubes of Muenster cheese. The dressing is creamy and slightly sweet. As with any dish like this one you can use whatever cheese you have handy or your personal preference.
I usually serve it as a side dish but, because it includes a smoked ham and Muenster cheese, it could also be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner on a hot Summer day. When my schedule is super packed and conflicting sporting events between my sons cause us to pass like ships in the night, this is the kind of salad that I can have in the fridge and it can be made into a meal in a snap.
Pasta Salad with Ham, Peas And Muenster Cheese
Author: Melissa Sperka
Serves: 8 servings
- 2½ cups of dry rotini pasta
- 1 cup diced smoked ham
- ½ cup frozen petite peas
- 4 oz cubed Muenster cheese
- 1 medium yellow pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 2 green onions
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup low fat half & half
- ⅛ tsp each dry dill, garlic powder and celery salt
- 1½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt & black pepper to your taste
- Boil the pasta in salted water per the directions on the package until al dente. Drain well.
- Stir the frozen peas into the hot pasta.
- Dice the ham, cheese, red onion, yellow pepper, green onions and tomatoes.
- Set the tomatoes and cheese cubes aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste, then add the chopped ham and veggies reserving a few green onion tops for garnishing.
- Do not add the tomatoes or cheese at this point. Mix well.
- Pour the pasta and peas into the mixing bowl with the dressing. Stir until fully combined.
- Place into the refrigerator to allow the pasta to cool for around 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cubed cheese.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
I recommend waiting until the pasta has cooled to add the chopped tomatoes and cheese cubes. This will prevent the tomatoes from watering down the dressing and it won't affect the texture of the cheese.