This Gal Cooks

Zesty Summer Salad

I love a good pasta salad but lately, I’ve been trying to cut back on carbs and wheat products (which are carbs but my main goal is to significantly cut back on the wheat product form of carbs.) This past week I’ve been eating a high amount of carbs due to making mac n cheese for our BBQ that we had this past weekend (we had a lot of leftovers) and making cupcakes. With today being the 4th, we decided to grill chicken wings and I wanted a tasty side to go with them but not a side that was loaded with carbs. I decided to make a variation of a pasta salad that I’ve made many times before. This time I made the salad the same way but left out the macaroni and added broccoli. Wow! This salad turned out great! Please enjoy this recipe!


Zesty Summer Salad

Zesty Summer Salad


  • 3/4lb of broccoli florets
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 4oz of mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 4oz of mild cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 package of pepperoni (slice pepperoni pieces in half. I used Boars Head Turkey Pepperoni)
  • 1/2 package of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup of mayo
  • 3/4 cup of Italian Dressing
  • 1tsp of Italian Seasoning
  • 1tsp of dried parsley


    1.  Blanch the broccoli for one minute. Once finished, let the broccoli cool (i put the broccoli in a bowl and placed it over ice) and then chop the broccoli into smaller pieces if needed.

2.  Whisk together the mayo and Italian Dressing.

3.  Combine all ingredients minus the mayo mixture.

4.  Gradually pour the mayo mixture over the broccoli mixture. Mix well. ***You may not need to use all of the mayo mixture. It depends on how saucy you like your salad to be. I ended up only adding half.***


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18 comments on “Zesty Summer Salad”

  1. Would you believe I've never thought of blanching the broccoli before adding it to salad? DUH! This looks amazing…pinning for later!

  2. I like this idea! I'm definitely going to try a variation of it soon :)

  3. Awesome! You'll have to let me know how it is and what variations you made, Erin. :)

  4. I make a similar dish and also never thought of blanching the broccoli … Thanks for the tip :)

  5. This looks delicious! I'm your newewst follower from “Five Little Chefs” blog hop. I would love a follow-back if you get a chance:

  6. You're welcome, Nicole!

  7. Lovely salad.
    I found this via Simple Living with Diane Balch. I linked in a retro steak dish. Have a super week.

  8. Thank you, Carole. I will go check out your steak dish. :)


  9. Such a wonderful looking salad!
    We love broccoli and I lie this salad very much

  10. Looks great – perfect for summer entertaining!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  11. This looks so perfect for a summer day. Thank you for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell! I hope you'll be back this week.

  12. This looks like a great dish for a summer BBQ. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you tomorrow.

  13. Lovely salad. It would be great if you linked it in to today's Food on Friday which is collecting salad recipes.

  14. What a pretty salad! Love the combo of ingredients! Seems like I pin so much of your stuff – it all looks so good! Thank you for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week!

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