Ree Drummond’s ‘Sunshine Pasta’ Salad Will Definitely Lighten Your Mood & Brighten Your Day

Gray weather, be gone! It’s time to bring some sunshiney-ness into our lives — and the Pioneer Woman has just the dish to brighten up our late-winter days and get us ready for spring. It’s called Sunshine Pasta Salad, and it’s just as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.

Sunshine Pasta Salad, which Drummond describes as “glorious, beautiful, and oh-so flavorful,” starts with cooked and cooled penne pasta and a mayo, sour cream, and mustard-based dressing. It’s also bright and lemony thanks to the zest of an entire lemon and lemon juice. And though it may seem like there’s a lot of acid in the dressing, it’s made smooth by the mayo and cooled with sour cream.

“I think what I like so much about pasta salads is, well, pasta, my favorite thing on Earth,” Drummond says in the below video. “But I also just like how many possibilities there are. I cannot tell you how many different kinds of pasta salads I’ve made through the years.”

Drummond notes that she doesn’t like to add the dressing to her pasta salad all at once. She starts by pouring in about two-thirds, mixing together the pasta with its other ingredients, and only if the salad seems too dry will she add more dressing.

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“I have probably more ingredients to add to the pasta salad than the pasta itself,” Drummond says in the video. “Since this is Sunshine Pasta Salad, I wanted to add all the colors of a beautiful sunset — or sunrise, depending on what time you get out of bed.” She does so by adding yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, corn, and sliced banana peppers to add a bit more “zip” to the dish.

“This screams summer,” Drummond says of the finished product, which she tops with thin slices of lemon as garnish. And it’s definitely a dish that will turn heads at any upcoming backyard cookout.

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You can grab the full recipe on the Food Network website and get to planning your first spring, sunshine-filled dinner party.

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