A simple creamy blue cheese pasta salad recipe made with fresh produce tossed in a double umami creamy roasted garlic miso blue cheese dressing. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, it can easily be omitted from the dressing and still have the umami flavors from the miso!
This Roasted Garlic Miso Blue Cheese Pasta Salad recipe was made possible by Zehrs who helped sponsor this post! All opinions expressed, recipes and photos are my own. Thank you to everyone’s support who help keep this little blog running.
Blue cheese as an ingredient can either be a hit or a miss. In most cases it’s a miss for people but personally I love it because of its saltiness and umami flavor. My husband on the other hand despises blue cheese and tells me it tastes like band-aids. Regardless of what your food preferences are, if you have an opinion you’re a food lover! Don’t worry, if you don’t love blue cheese, this dressing can easily be tweaked to omit it and still have its great flavours.
That being said, there are also other flavourful ingredients doing its magic for this dressing as well. The roasted garlic adds a caramelized mild garlic flavour to the dressing and the miso adds an element of saltiness and umami flavour as well. I also like to lightly drizzle a bit of maple syrup over this pasta salad to give it a sweet and salty flavor because blue cheese and maple syrup go very well together but that is completely optional.
INGREDIENTS FOR BLUE CHEESE PASTA SALAD
- Blue Cheese – There are many types of blue cheese. For a milder blue cheese, use Gorgonzola. For a sharper blue cheese flavour use Roqueforts. The general rule is, the lighter the colour of the mold, the milder the blue cheese.
- Roasted Garlic – I use a whole garlic bulb and roast it in the oven for about 50 minutes with a bit of oil before adding it to the sauce. It’s super easy to make – it just requires a bit of time to prepare it ahead of time.
- Miso – For the dressing, I like using white miso (shiro miso) since it has a more delicate sweeter flavour that won’t overpower the dressing.
- Pasta – For this particular recipe, I used chiocciole pasta. You can use any type of short pasta, that you like best! (macaroni, farfalle, fusili, conchiglie etc.)
- Sour Cream – I like to use full fat sour cream for this to make it extra creamy. I like to use organic sour cream without preservatives and find that they are usually creamier and have the most flavour. The ingredients should only contain milk/cream, milk powder, enzymes and bacterial cultures.
- Mayonnaise – I like to use full fat mayonnaise for this as well, but you can use any type of mayonnaise you like.
CREAMY BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
Whether you love blue cheese or not, the blue cheese dressing can be tweaked so that you can omit the blue cheese and still get the umami in the dressing from the miso! If you love blue cheese, then keep the blue cheese in (or add more) and get double the umami!
HOW TO ROAST GARLIC
Roasting garlic is super simple and any extra roasted garlic stores easily in the fridge and can be added into stir fries, spread on toast or mixed in with cream cheese.
It takes about 45 minutes to make it, and all you need is 1 garlic bulb, a bit of oil and some tin foil.
- Cut the top ¼ inch of the garlic head off with a sharp knife until the cloves are exposed and drizzle the exposed garlic with oil.
- Wrap the garlic in tin foil and bake it in the oven on 400F for 40-50 minutes. (Use a cookie sheet or metal pan to hold the package so the oil doesn’t drip to the bottom of the oven)
- Wait for it to cool before removing the soft cloves out of the skins.
PASTA SALAD WITH FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE
Zehrs Market made it incredibly easy to find fresh local Ontario produce for this recipe because they support local communities by supporting local farmers throughout the year so that I can even find local tomatoes in our frigid Canadian winters!
I have always been a huge advocate of supporting local communities (especially our local farmers!). Fresh local produce can really elevate your recipes with its huge flavour bursts so I am thrilled that I can have a one-stop shop now for all my food needs.
I picked out fresh produce like local baby tomatoes and fresh peas to really give this salad amazing bursts of sweet flavour with each bite. The produce you choose is completely personal preference and you can add your favourite fresh local produce to this recipe to make it your own. Here are a few things I like to add to it to switch things up a bit every time
- Baby tomatoes
- Fresh peas
- Arugula/baby spinach
- Cooked navy beans (not a fresh produce but still a delicious add-on!)
DID YOU MAKE THIS BLUE CHEESE PASTA SALAD?
If you made this, did you omit the blue cheese or go hog wild with it? I want to see!
Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Roasted Garlic Miso Blue Cheese Pasta Salad
- 3 cups pasta (raw)
- 1 cup baby tomatoes
- 1-2 stalks green onions
- ½ cup fresh peas
- 2 radishes (optional)
- 1 cup baby arugula or spinach (optional)
- any additional fresh local produce you enjoy!
Creamy Roasted Garlic Miso Blue Cheese Dressing (Makes approximately 1 ½ cups of sauce)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons white miso (shiro miso)
- 3 tablespoons blue cheese (add more if you want it to have a stronger blue cheese flavor)
- 1 bulb garlic
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
- With a sharp knife, cut the top of the garlic bulb off (approximately ½ inch down from the top)
- Place the garlic bulb on top of a a sheet of foil and drizzle the exposed garlic cloves with oil liberally. I like to use about 1 ½ tablespoons of oil. Add the top back on top of the garlic.
- Cover garlic with the foil completely into a foil ball and place it on a oven safe pan so that the oil doesn't drip to the bottom of the oven.
- Add the pan into the oven when the oven has reached 400F and bake it for 40-50 minutes. You'll know they are done when you poke the garlic cloves with a fork and they are soft.
- Once it is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool before handling it.
Cook the Pasta
- Cook 3 cups of pasta using the instructions on the packaging to 'al dente' consistency.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and set it aside to cool
Making the Blue Cheese Dressing
- Once the roasted garlic has cooled, remove the cloves out of the bulb and place it in a bowl. (approximately 8-10 cloves)
- Add the miso and blue cheese to the roasted garlic and mash it with a fork until it is everything is combined
- Add in the sour cream and the mayonnaise and mix everything together until you get a creamy and thick dressing. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
Putting It Together
- Place the cooked pasta into a large bowl
- Wash all the fresh produce
- Finely chop the green onions and place it in the bowl with the pasta
- Add the fresh peas into the bowl
- Add in the blue cheese dressing. If you don't like to use a lot of dressing, use 75% of the bowl of dressing and save the rest as a vegetable or chip dip.
- Mix everything very well until everything is combined. If you are making this ahead of time, place it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it before adding the rest of the fresh produce.
- (optional) Mix in arugula right before serving
- (optional) If you are using radishes, thinly slice them and add it on top of the salad before serving
- Cut the baby tomatoes in half and place on top of the salad right before serving.
- Depending on how much dressing you like on your pasta salad, you may have extra sauce. The sauce keeps well in the fridge for a week. I like to use it as a vegetable dip or potato chip dip when I have extra sauce.
- Blue Cheese - There are many types of blue cheese. For a milder blue cheese, use Gorgonzola. For a sharper blue cheese flavor use Roqueforts. The general rule is, the lighter the mold the milder the blue cheese.
- Miso - For the dressing, I like using white miso (shiro miso) since it has a more delicate sweeter flavor that won't overpower the dressing.
- Pasta - For this particular recipe, I used chiocciole pasta. You can use any type of short pasta, that you like best! (macaroni, farfalle, fusili, conchiglie etc.)
- Sour Cream - I like to use full fat sour cream for this to make it extra creamy. I like to use organic sour cream without preservatives and find that they are usually creamier and have the most flavour. The ingredients should only contain milk/cream, milk powder, enzymes and bacterial cultures.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.