As a lady who likes to go for trail runs and be outside, I haven’t been hiking once this summer.

Rotini Pasta Salad // Warm Vanilla Sugar

To be fair, it is the summer of weddings, which keeps me busy, but hiking in the mountains is my jam. It’s what the boy and I (like to think) we do in our free time.

Also, at the beginning of the summer it rained and rained and rained, not really allowing us to lace up our hiking books, but this weekend we are going!!

Rotini Pasta Salad // Warm Vanilla Sugar

On Saturday morning we’re going to hike around Montpellier, Vermont, to check out some of the mountains around there and do some primitive camping (which I recently found out is simply camping in a non-camping site). Exciting!

With the hot weather, we’re going to pack a cold lunch – salad, panini’s, and some fruit skewers for the car ride. This salad is absolutely perfect to beat the heat. It’s whole wheat rotini mixed with baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, fresh parmesan, and a simple, light dressing. Great when it’s too hot out AND for your waistline!!

Rotini Pasta Salad // Warm Vanilla Sugar

What are you guys doing this weekend? Have a great one! xo

Rotini Pasta Salad with Baby Spinach

Serving Size: 4

Whole wheat rotini pasta mixed with baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, fresh parmesan, and a simple, light dressing. Great to beat the summer heat and to help keep that summer bod you've been working so hard on!


  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups dry whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, sliced thin
  • 4 tbsp freshly shaved Parmesan (or the grated stuff you used earlier)


  1. Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. When done, drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, grated parmesan and salt and pepper. Add the sundried tomatoes, cooled pasta, and spinach. Toss well then just before serving top with fresh shaved Parmesan.


Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

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26 Responses to Rotini Pasta Salad with Baby Spinach

  1. Aggie says:

    Love all the green in this pasta salad! Looks delicious!

  2. Ashley says:

    We love hiking too but haven’t been able to go at all this summer so far. Stinks! Between the rain and travel (for many weddings lol). This pasta salad sounds perfect to pack up and bring!

  3. Jaclyn says:

    I love pasta salads like this, I make a very similar one! Lovely photos


  4. My husband and I enjoy hiking too! It’s so serene and peaceful, and sooo nice to get away from the busy hustle and bustle sometimes.

    Love this salad recipe!

    Enjoy your hike!

  5. We are all about the hiking and camping during the summers too! And we’re finally starting to do more and more of it again as the toddler gets a little bigger and less demanding. Pasta salad is one of my favorite summer meals, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to combine the two before!

  6. What a fun weekend plan, what do you usually use for the skewers (metal, disposable?) for the car ride? Love the whole wheat in the salad, so simple and fresh.

    • katrina says:

      We just use wood disposable sticks for the skewers and bring them in big, Tupperware containers! They’re great for a picnic!

  7. This salad looks amazing – two of my faves – pasta and spinach!!!

  8. This looks so fresh and delicious! I love whole wheat rotini.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Ooh I want this for my lunch/dinner! These are some of my favourite flavours and I love how quickly I can pull this together with minimum fuss. Hope you have a great hike this weekend!

  10. Brianne says:

    We haven’t been hiking once, either, which is really unusual. But the weather has been super weird this summer, so there’s that. I’m hoping to get a hike in this weekend if it cools down a bit…I’m such a wuss when it gets this hot!

  11. So nutritious, colorful and deeeelish! A must-make!

  12. Joanne says:

    Have fun hiking! I’ve only been once, and on a 100 degree day so I can’t say it was the best experience. One of these days I’ll give it a second go. 🙂
    Pasta salad! Can’t ever get enough. 🙂

  13. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    this salad looks incredible! I would love to go hiking it sounds like such a fun activity!

  14. So so comforting!! Love baby spinach. Have fun hiking 🙂

  15. Yes!!! This looks fabulous! Whole new take on pasta salad!

  16. Rayna says:

    This is so colorful! It looks like a delicious weeknight summer meal. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Nessa says:

    Great flavors!

  18. Shae says:

    Just found your blog and I am pinning recipes left and right. I love it! I just started a food blog too so I like being inspired by amazing blogs like yours. I am also a biologist–got my PhD last year and I study mammals! Very cool!

    • katrina says:

      Thanks so much for commenting! Starting a blog can be so confusing at first, but is so much fun. What species did you study during your PhD? Are you doing a post-doc now?

      • Shae says:

        I am currently studying big cats (dietary ecology/genetics) but for my PhD I studied extinct mammals (I even did a chapter on dinosaurs though, so I like all animals!). I am doing a postdoc at Columbia now. It is awesome! What about you? Grad school?

        I am also obsessed with food though, so my boyfriend encouraged me to write a food blog and get involved in the community. It is pretty fun so far!

  19. Nutmeg nanny says:

    This salad looks incredible! So full of amazing flavor 🙂

  20. Trisha says:

    OOo the perfect weather for this kind of salad!!!

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