How To Make Cold Pasta Salad

The Only Pasta Salad Recipe You Need Right Now

We independently choose these items, and if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission. Is there a more classic warm-weather side dish than a simple bowl of pasta salad? This refreshing salad stores well, allowing you to create a large quantity to use for no-cook lunches throughout the week. It will be enjoyed by nearly everyone, from your children to your mother-in-law, so make enough! Putting together a pasta salad is as simple as heating water and adding in a few crucial components.

Right now, this is the only pasta salad recipe you’ll ever need.

The Ultimate Easy Pasta Salad

There are a plethora of pasta salads to choose from, but here’s why you should memorize this particular one. The dressing may be quickly created from ingredients that you already have in your cupboard (and totally tastes like yourfavorite bottled Italian dressing). Furthermore, there is no need to be concerned about mayonnaise when attending a picnic or potluck. This recipe is based on a formula that may be readily customized to include your favorite ingredients. You don’t care for olives? Toss in the sun-dried tomatoes.

My personal favorite, on the other hand?

For last-minute get-togethers or for a fast lunch to enjoy during the week, this dish is ideal.

A Simple Pasta Salad Formula You Can Memorize

Even if there are several pasta salad recipes available, here’s why you should learn this one: Everything you need to make the dressing is already in your kitchen cupboards! (and totally tastes like yourfavorite bottled Italian dressing). It also eliminates the risk of contaminating the mayonnaise when at a picnic or a potluck. Using a formula, you can quickly customize this recipe to include your preferred ingredients. No, olives do not appeal to you. Sun-dried tomatoes should be added at this point.

However, my personal favorite is.

For last-minute get-togethers or as a fast lunch to enjoy during the week, this dish is ideal.

  • Red onions should be marinated in the dressing. Adding raw red onions directly to this salad is out of the question, mostly because their bite can overshadow everything else in a negative way. A easy solution to this problem is to prepare the dressing first and then add the chopped red onions to the dressing before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. In addition to adding flavor to the dressing, red onions will mellow down and become more like a fast pickle as they soak up the vinaigrette
  • All of the ingredients should be around the same size as one another. To make this salad as simple to consume as it is to create, all of the ingredients (cucumbers, tomatoes, and even mozzarella) should be diced in some fashion before being added to the dressing. Surprise the pasta. In contrast to potato salad, which benefits from being dressed warm, pasta will soak up all of the dressing and become dry and sticky if it is prepared while still warm. However, you don’t want to be stuck waiting for the pasta to cool and maybe stick to itself as you cook it. What is the most straightforward solution? When finished draining, immediately submerge the strainer of pasta in an ice bath (a big basin filled with equal parts ice and water) to cool it quickly
  • Mix and chill before serving. To make the greatest pasta salad, all you have to do is combine the ingredients and refrigerate the dish for at least 30 minutes before serving it. It is for this reason that spaghetti salad tastes even better the next day.

Serving and Storing Pasta Salad

As the pasta salad chills, the flavor may become a bit less intense (cold dulls our sense of taste a little), so taste the salad and season it again just before serving. Pasta salad stores nicely in the refrigerator for approximately five days, making it a simple dish to prepare ahead of time. We believe you should be familiar with this pasta salad because it is versatile and contains everything.


  • Half-cup olive oil
  • Quarter-cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta salad:

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped 6 cups dry short pasta, such as rotini
  • 8 cups sliced cherry tomatoes (either halved or quartered)
  • 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced across
  • 4 ounces tiny mozzarella balls, drained and halved
  • 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise Salamis sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 4 ounces salami slices 5/6 cup halved pitted kalamata olives (half of a cup)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Prepare the salad dressing. In a small mixing bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk to incorporate
  2. Allow the red onion to soften in the dressing. Stir in the finely chopped red onion until everything is well-combined. Allow to soften while you finish preparing the remainder of the salad
  3. Set aside Prepare the pasta. Boil 2 quarts of salted water in a big saucepan over medium-high heat until the water is bubbly. Cook the pasta until it is al dente — soft yet with a slight bite — approximately 8 minutes, or until it follows the package guidelines (about 8 minutes). During this time, prepare an ice bath in a big mixing basin. Cool the pasta as soon as possible. Rinse the pasta in cold water after draining it in a colander. Immerse the colander in the ice bath for 5 minutes, then set it aside to cool completely. In a large mixing basin, combine the ingredients for the pasta salad. Drain the spaghetti well. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing basin. Toss the spaghetti with the dressing, then add the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, salami, olives, and parsley
  4. Toss again. Using your hands, mix the pasta with the dressing, including the onions, until everything is well incorporated. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle before serving, or overnight.

Recipe Notes

Storage: This pasta salad may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container. If necessary, taste and season again just before serving. Meghan Splawn is a food editor with a variety of skills. Meghan worked as the Food Editor for the Kitchn’s Skills content for a number of years. She specializes in everyday baking, family cuisine, and capturing natural light in her photographs. Meghan approaches eating with an eye on saving money and time while still having a good time.

Meghan holds a bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts and spent the first ten years of her professional life as a member of Alton Brown’s culinary team. Didn’t I Just Feed You? is a weekly podcast on food and family that she co-hosts with her husband. FollowMeghan

Easy Cold Pasta Salad

Even though I don’t generally enjoy spaghetti salad, this one turned out to be rather tasty with a few of tweaks. Jennifermorse’s idea of crushing in some feta was taken to heart, however I’m not a great lover of red onions, so I substituted 1.5T of fresh chives. For this salad, I also reduced the amount of Italian salad dressing by half and only used a drizzle of olive oil, owing to the strength of the flavors from the chives and feta. I also used penne instead of rotini because it was on sale this week, but I’m not sure how much it changed the flavor or texture of the dish.

Most helpful critical review

Due to the fact that I had leftover taco fixings, I cooked the tri-color rotini and added the chopped onions, tomatoes, finely shredded colby/jack cheese, and poured on red wine vinaigrette dressing. More information can be found at

  • 5star ratings received: 49
  • 4star ratings received: 22. 3star ratings: 4, 2star ratings: 0, and 1star ratings: 0.

Even though I don’t generally enjoy spaghetti salad, this one turned out to be rather tasty with a few of tweaks. Jennifermorse’s idea of crushing in some feta was taken to heart, however I’m not a great lover of red onions, so I substituted 1.5T of fresh chives. For this salad, I also reduced the amount of Italian salad dressing by half and only used a drizzle of olive oil, owing to the strength of the flavors from the chives and feta. I also used penne instead of rotini because it was on sale this week, but I’m not sure how much it changed the flavor or texture of the dish.

  1. To make it a little more “Greek,” I garnish it with a few slices of red onion and feta cheese.
  2. This is a really easy salad that comes together quickly and tastes fantastic.
  3. It’s a terrific starting point from which you may add whatever you want to make it your own.
  4. I also put in some chopped fresh spinach and roasted red pepper, as well as some grated Parmesan cheese, to round off the dish.
  5. It’s best to refrigerate the dish for a couple of hours before serving.
  6. The angel hair spaghetti was the only thing that had been prepared.
  7. This spaghetti salad dish came together quickly and was wonderful!

I also added a cup of parmesan cheese to make it more quicker and easier.

  • I used pepperoni, red onion, fresh basil, thyme, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to make the pizza sauce.
  • However, it was very delicious, and I will definitely cook it again!
  • I made this dish with whole wheat rotini and Newman’s Italian dressing, as well as a half cup of Frigo parmesan cheese on top.
  • It was very simple to put together, taking less than 20 minutes.
  • Salads like these always taste better after they’ve been sitting for a while.
  • I’m delighted to report that my pasta salad was the only one left in the bowl at the end of the day’s battle of the pasta salads!
  • Along with some fresh basil and bits of mozzarella cheese, I seasoned the dish with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
  • The second time I cooked this meal, I used a different Italian dressing and added salt to it, just as I had done the first time.

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

Pasta salad with crisp veggies, fresh mozzarella, and a simple homemade dressing that is quick and easy to prepare. This is the ideal side dish! To the Easy Pasta Salad Recipe, please click here.

How To Make the Best Pasta Salad

This dish for spaghetti salad is simple to prepare. This salad, which is made with basic ingredients, is adaptable, so you can prepare it when you are overrun with summer vegetables or change it up depending on what is in season. Furthermore, you could expect to finish in less than 20 minutes from start to end. Not too terrible, especially when you consider that it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! The dressing for this dish is made from vinaigrette. If you’re looking for a creamy salad, check out our creamy pasta salad recipe.

What Ingredients Should I Add to Pasta Salad?

We wanted to share with you a pasta salad that is both simple and adaptable. It is simple to put together and takes little time. We’ve included a slew of suggestions below to help you prepare the greatest pasta salad possible. This salad is a mix of two different pasta salads: Greek and Italian. Because we use both kalamata and green olives, this dish is considered Greek, although it is considered Italian because we include parmesan and fresh mozzarella cheese. If you enjoy salads that are influenced by the Mediterranean, check out our favorite Greek salad.

  • You are welcome to leave the olive oil out if you wish.
  • Several options have been provided below for your consideration.
  • I prefer it when the spaghetti has a little bite to it, and I despise it when it becomes mushy.
  • Aside from that, they contain an abundance of little spaces that serve to catch dressing and cheese shards as you’re eating them.
  • Orzo pasta is a delicious choice, but be careful not to overcook it.
  • We enjoy including bell pepper, cucumber, or zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, and finely sliced green onion into our salads (or scallions).
  • Fennel, carrots, radish, and even cauliflower or broccoli are all good options for a vegetable side dish.

You might also try tossing in a handful of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand for good measure.

Incorporate Some Cheese: We enjoy the salty flavor of grated parmesan in our pasta salad.

Another cheese that many enjoy is mozzarella.

Other types of cheese will also work.

Leave off the cheese if you’re making a vegan pasta salad.

Olives give a tangy taste and a lot of flavor to a dish.

If you don’t want to make a vegetarian pasta salad, you may substitute a handful of sliced salami, pepperoni, turkey, or ham for the vegetables. You could also shred some leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken and add it in. There are so many alternatives!

Our Easy Dressing for Pasta Salad

Making the dressing is the next step after deciding on the components to include in your salad. We’re going to prepare a simple pasta salad dressing using only five ingredients. Pour in a small bowl and whisk in the red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, dried oregano, and a bit of salt and pepper until well combined. It’s straightforward, but when combined with the pasta, vegetables, and other ingredients, it’s very delicious. Champagne vinegar may be used to season the salad to make it more elegant.

See also:  How Much Pasta For One Person

Making Pasta Salad in Advance

The good news is as follows: Pasta salad becomes more flavorful with time. Allowing the pasta and vegetables to marinate in the dressing for an extended period of time makes a significant change in flavor. When it comes to potato salad, we use the same procedure. Pasta salad may be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to five days, making it an excellent side dish to prepare in advance of a meal. To summarize, the following are the essential ingredients for the greatest homemade pasta salad:

  • Making the ideal tangy dressing is as simple as combining red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is not only feasible, but also encouraged, to prepare the pasta salad ahead of time
  • In fact, it is highly suggested. Make use of a wide range of colors and textures. The vegetables offer crunch and color, the olives give brininess, and the fresh mozzarella elevates the salad to a new level of excellence. Fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, or spicy peppers such as chopped pepperoncini peppers can be used to enhance the taste even more.

More Pasta Salads

However, creamy pasta salad is also delicious and may be made with a vinaigrette dressing instead. Try ourCreamy Macaroni Pasta Salad, which has a simple creamy sauce as well as crisp vegetables. This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad is a favorite among our readers. It’s dressed simply with a lemon vinaigrette and topped with cucumber, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. We also enjoy thisPearl Couscous Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, which you can get here. It’s one of our favorite salads since it has a lot of texture thanks to the crisp cucumber, juicy tomatoes, crunchy almonds, and toasted raisins.

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

This simple pasta salad may be customized based on the items you have on hand or the season in which you live. Start with a strong pasta form like rotini or penne that has nooks and crannies to hold onto the dressing, such as arugula. Combine with our simple dressing and plenty of bright veggies, and serve immediately. Add a handful of fresh mozzarella balls, some parmesan cheese (which melts into the dressing), and you’ve got yourself a delicious salad. More options for what to include may be found in the post above, which includes our recommendations.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

Salad de Pasta Fusilli, penne, rotini, or farfalle are all good dry pasta options (bow tie) 1 cup sliced bell pepper (optional) (1 medium) 1 cup thinly sliced zucchini (about half a medium-sized zucchini) 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (around 1 cup) Scallions (about 1/3 cup, finely sliced) (5 to 6) Optional: 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini or banana peppers, if desired 1 cup (4 ounces) halved assorted olives (around 1 cup total) parmesan cheese or hard cheese, grated, to make 1 cup (2 ounces).

diced fresh mozzarella balls (about 1 cup or 6 ounces) Optional: a third cup chopped fresh parsley or basil Dressing Made from Scratch 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar is a good substitute.

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more salt to your liking 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional) 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves (dried) The liquid from the pepperoncini jar is optional. 2 to 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil (about 1/2 cup)


  • Prepare a big saucepan of salted water by bringing it to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is cooked, about 6 to 10 minutes (check the package for recommended cook time). Drain the water and thoroughly rinse it under cold water. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the dressing in the bottom of a large mixing basin. To make the dressing, whisk together the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, pepperoncini juice (if using), and olive oil until well combined. Toss in the pasta, which has been drained and washed, and combine thoroughly. Combine the bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, pepperoncini (if using), olives, parmesan, mozzarella, and herbs in a large mixing bowl until well combined (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste, and adjust as necessary. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for the best effects for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • Putting it together a day ahead of time is a fantastic idea since it just becomes better with time. Nutritional information: The nutritional information shown below is an approximation. The USDA database was consulted in order to generate approximate values.

Prepare sure to take a photo and tag it with the hashtag #itinspiredtaste if you make this recipe – we love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! You may find us at: @inspiredtaste Nutritional Information Per Serving: A serving size of one tenth of a salad has 363 calories, 19 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 18.3 milligrams of cholesterol, 507.1 milligrams of sodium, 36.6 grams of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of total sugars, and 11.7 grams of protein.

Italian Pasta Salad

Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold spaghetti salad recipes to eat in the summertime! Fresh and bright veggies, cheese, salami, and an Italian vinaigrette are combined with your favorite pasta to make an amazing dish that can be served for just about any summer gathering or event. One of my favorite potluck foods is pasta salad, which may range from a simple and freshGreek Pasta Salad to a wonderful Caesar Pasta Salad and, of course, my famousDill Pickle Pasta Salad. Apart from the fact that everyone enjoys them, pasta salads are also extremely simple to prepare and taste much better when made ahead of time!

Potluck Perfect Pasta Salad

The first few weeks of summer usually seem to find us at barbecues, potlucks, and patio gatherings of one kind or another. In addition to bringing a large pitcher of Classic Mojitos (which is my signature drink), I generally always bring a recipe for a cold pasta salad as well as the mojitos. It’s easy to see why this Italian Pasta Salad dish is such a fun take on a standard pasta salad recipe since it’s packed with so many delicious ingredients. It’s lightweight and versatile, and it goes with almost anything.

Big Bold Flavors

This simple pasta salad dish is packed with flavor, and you can customize it by include your favorite Italian-inspired ingredients such as chopped artichokes and sundried tomatoes. For the pasta salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • The use of strong flavors, such as cheese, salami, olives, and Italian spices, gives this dish a powerful punch of flavor. Bell pepper adds a tremendous deal of color, crunch, and taste to the dish. I really like the juicy tang tomatoes provide to the dish
  • You can also add cucumbers or any other vegetables you have on hand.

Noodles for Pasta Salad

Rotini in three colors does an excellent job of retaining the cheese and Italian dressing in the crevices for maximum taste, but shells or whatever medium noodles you happen to have on hand would work just as well. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, so that it does not get mushy and can withstand the dressing.

Tips to Make the Perfect Italian Pasta Salad

  • Cut your vegetables into tiny pieces: By cutting your veggies into pieces that are little smaller than bite-sized, you can ensure that you receive a taste of everything in every bite. Take care not to overcook your noodles: Overcooking will result in a mushy pasta salad, since the acids in the dressing will break down the starches even further as the pasta is cooked. To get the finest results, shock your noodles in cold water after they have been cooked al dente. Allow the pasta to cool completely before adding the toppings: During the process of mixing everything together, you don’t want to start cooking your veggies. Allow your pasta salad to settle for a few minutes before serving it: Because of this, the dressing has a better chance of permeating your vegetables and pasta, yielding a more flavorful and delectable Italian pasta salad. Keep it colorful: If you’re include any additional vegetables that you happen to have on hand, make your pasta salad as vibrant and lively as possible! Things like artichokes, shredded carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables are some of my favorite additions.

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing

I use a bottled Italian dressing to make this dish quick and simple, but if you have the ingredients on hand, you can create your own Italian dressing, which is very delicious. Prepare ahead of time. This spaghetti salad dish is particularly delicious since it becomes better as it sits and the flavors combine! It’s the perfect side dish to prepare ahead of time because it just takes around 20 minutes to put together. What could be more satisfying than that? Once chilled, the acids in the dressing work to help break down the starches in the pasta and proteins in the vegetables, resulting in a more flavorful and tender pasta salad (be careful not to overcook your noodles!).

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or use half olive oil and half vegetable oil)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian spice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Favorite Pasta Salad Recipes

  • Recipes include Caprese Pasta Salad, Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad, Bow Tie Pasta Salad, BLT Pasta Salad, Easy Greek Pasta Salad, Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, and Dill Pickle Pasta Salad.

Italian Pasta Salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes 15 minutes to prepare 2 Hours of Relaxation Time allotted: 2 hours and 30 minutes Servings12servings The ultimate make-ahead side dish is created by tossing tender pasta with juicy tomatoes, crisp bell peppers, salami, and mozzarella cheese in an Italian vinaigrette.

  • 16 ounces tricolor rotini
  • 8 ounces balsamic vinegar chopped
  • 1 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 12 cup sliced black olives
  • 12 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 12 cup orange bell pepper diced
  • 12 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 13 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 12 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FollowSpend with Pennies on Pinterest for more information.

  • Cook the pasta until it is al dente according to the guidelines on the package. After rinsing with cold water, In a large mixing basin, combine all of the ingredients. Toss everything together
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before to serving time.

In a well sealed container in the refrigerator, it can keep for up to 3 days. Give the leftovers a good swirl and, if required, add extra dressing to bring the flavors together. Calories:325, Nutritional Information: Carbohydrates: 34g, protein: 13g, fat: 15g, saturated fat: 5g, cholesterol: 24mg, sodium: 818mg, potassium: 314mg, fiber: 2g, sugar: 5g, vitamin A: 855IU, vitamin C: 24mg, calcium: 104mg, iron: 1mg (The nutritional information supplied is an estimate, and it will vary depending on the cooking technique and the brands of components used).

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Save this Super Summer Salad to your Pinterest board!

10 Pasta Salad Recipes Perfect for Summer

Refrigerate for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container. – Revive flavors by giving leftovers a good toss and adding more dressing as needed. Calories:325, Nutritional Information: Carbohydrates: 34g, protein: 13g, fat: 15g, saturated fat: 5g, cholesterol: 24mg, sodium: 818mg, potassium: 314mg, fiber: 2g, sugar: 5g, vitamin A: 855IU, vitamin C: 24mg, calcium: 104mg, iron: 1mg. (The nutritional information supplied is an estimate, and it will vary depending on the cooking technique and the brands of components used.

All of the content and photos on this website are protected by intellectual property laws.

It is completely illegal to copy and/or paste whole recipes into any social media platform.

Save this Super Summer Salad to your board on Pinterest.

Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of chicken salad recipes, but this is my absolute favorite. With its fresh fruit flavor and crisp crunch from the cashews, this dish is sure to please. When I bring it to a party or a picnic, I always receive amazing reviews—and (always) come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah 3/10

Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad

I adore the vibrant colors and tastes of this quick and easy cold pasta salad dish, and I make it frequently throughout the summer months to the pleasure of my visitors. It’s impossible to go wrong with the mix of Gorgonzola and bacon. Leftover grilled shrimp may be used in place of chicken in a variety of recipes. Terry McCarty of Oro Grande, California, contributed to this article. 4/10

Bacon Macaroni Salad

The flavor of this satisfying pasta salad is similar to eating a BLT in a bowl.

Crispy bacon, diced tomato, celery and green onion make up the heart of this delectable salad, which has been drizzled with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It is a huge hit with everyone! Nora Wright of Manilla, Indiana, sent this message: 5/10

Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad

With a vibrant pasta salad, you can take on any party. Probably the simplest salad you could make, this multicolored concoction of broccoli, tomatoes, olives, and a hardworking dressing is the best. • Amanda Cable from Boxford, Massachusetts 6/10

See also:  How To Tell If Pasta Sauce Is Bad

Tortellini Caesar Salad

With a vibrant pasta salad, you can take on any party. – This tricolor toss-up, which includes broccoli, tomatoes, olives, and a spicy dressing, is the most straightforward dish you could ever make. • Amanda Cable, from Boxford, Massachusetts 6/10

Sweet Macaroni Salad

This macaroni salad is made extra remarkable with a sweet, out-of-the-ordinary dressing. The recipe was given to me by my aunt, and it has quickly become one of my favorites. I periodically omit the green pepper if I know that some people don’t care for it, and the dish still turns out delicious. Cocoa Beach, Florida resident Idalee Scholz contributed to this article. 8/10

Taco Pasta Salad

This flavorful cold pasta salad dish is a favorite of my family. Serve with taco or corn chips on the side, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying supper. —Gert Rosenau, Pewaukee, Wisconsin 9/10

Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

I enjoy experimenting with different recipes, and this recipe for Italian pasta salad far outperforms any of the others I’ve tried. With beans, cheese, sausage, and veggies, it’s a filling side dish that goes well with any dinner. Barbara Nelson of Arcadia, California, contributed to this article. 10/10

Shrimp Pasta Salad

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood dishes, so discovering it in this pasta salad recipe was a nice delight. The sauce made with lemon and dill is light and refreshing. —Traci Wynne, from Denver, in the state of Pennsylvania Published on May 17, 2021 in the original version.

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Easy Pasta Salad

Recipe for a light and refreshing pasta salad that comes together in about 30 minutes! It’s a surefire success at any picnic when tossed in a tangy vinaigrette and topped with vegetables. The meal for today is a spaghetti salad that is excellent for a picnic! Every barbeque is incomplete without a delicious pasta salad, and this is the recipe I’ll be using all summer long. It comes together in no time, is packed with fresh ingredients, and has a strong taste profile. Every meal for this week has been carefully crafted to be not only straightforward, but also simple to prepare ahead of time.

For those who plan on making this ahead of time, add a few entire basil leaves just before serving to make your salad seem instantly beautiful.

Pasta Salad Ingredients

It occurred to me that I didn’t have a really nice classic pasta salad with a vinaigrette dressing on the blog, even though I’d prepared several previously (seehereandhere). This dish is simple and full of flavor – in addition to the pasta, I toss in juicy cherry tomatoes, tangy feta cheese, a hefty handful of arugula, chickpeas for protein, pine nuts for crunch, small cucumbers for crunch, and plenty of fresh parsley and basil to finish it off.

The dressing is simple to make: it’s a zesty combination of olive oil, lemon, garlic, Dijon mustard, herbs and seasonings (I prefer to use herbes de Provence, but Italian seasoning would be equally delicious in its stead).

How to Make Pasta Salad

Cooking this meal is a piece of cake! Simply take these straightforward steps:

  1. Cook your pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, mix it with a little olive oil, and leave it aside to cool. Trim and finely chop the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, along with the parsley and crumbled feta
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients. Lastly, combine everything in a large mixing basin. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dive in

My Best Pasta Salad Tips

  • Cook your spaghetti for a few minutes longer than usual. You want it to be just al dente (but not mushy) so that the pasta retains its soft texture as it cools down. It has been my experience that the longer time range specified on the package directions is typically just about ideal for pasta salad. Toss the spaghetti with the remaining ingredients when it has been allowed to cool fully. It will start to cook the hot pasta while it is still warm, which will wilt the vegetables. Warm cucumber is not a favorite of most people, so make sure you use cold spaghetti in this recipe. Keep a few herbs aside for garnishing! This pasta salad dish is excellent for preparing ahead of time
  • However, if you do so, keep some of the herbs and pine nuts for decoration. Because of this, the pine nuts will retain their crisp texture, and the herbs will be very fresh, beautiful, and tasty. Taste and make necessary adjustments. As with most salad recipes, this one is quite adaptable, so be sure to taste it and make any necessary adjustments before serving it. To make a tangier salad, add more lemon
  • To make a more veggie-centric salad, add more greens
  • And always season with salt to taste
  • And

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe Variations

This pasta salad is delicious as is, but feel free to modify it to suit your preferences or the items you have on hand. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make it vegan, please! Replace the feta with olives or sun-dried tomatoes if you don’t have any on hand. Make it gluten-free if possible! Rather than using regular noodles, try gluten-free pasta or quinoa instead. Make the switch to Greek. Adding kalamata or black olives and a half cup of finely sliced red onion would transform this dish into a Greek pasta salad, which is what we’re going for! Make a caprese salad using arugula and tomatoes. In place of the feta, use half tiny mozzarella balls as a substitute. Try a different herb. It would be fantastic to use fresh oregano in place of the mint in this salad, and thyme would be a wonderful touch as well
  • If you like a more substantial pasta dish, swap out the arugula for spinach, or leave it out entirely. Veggie to meat ratio
  • Roast your chickpeas to give them a crunchier texture.

If you love this pasta salad recipe…

If you like broccoli salad, you might also like this watermelon salad, this couscous salad, or this summer slaw.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Preparation time: 12 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Time allotted: 22 minutes Serves6 You’re going to adore this quick and easy pasta salad dish! Making it ahead of time is a terrific idea; if you’re bringing it to a picnic, you can prepare it up to a day in advance.

  • Arugula, 1 cup Persian cucumbers, cut into thin half moons, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 cup basil leaves, torn, 12 cup minced parsley, 12 cup chopped mint, 14 cup toasted pine nuts


  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil, with a little extra for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or dried Italian seasoning
  • 14 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1
  • A quarter cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus a little extra for drizzling)
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 13/14/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/

The Best Easy Pasta Salad

14 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling; 3 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; 3 chopped garlic cloves 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or dried Italian seasoning; 14 teaspoon red pepper flakes; 3 tablespoons sea salt; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1 teaspoon paprika; 1

  • Attending a picnic, potluck, or other end-of-summer get-together when everyone brings something to share
  • Attending a concert
  • Taking care of the leftover meat, cheese, and veggies in my fridge and transforming them into a dinner that I could enjoy every single day

This spaghetti salad will satisfy both of your needs.

How Do You Make Pasta Salad?

Do you have two and a half seconds left on the clock? Cool. You will require the following materials: It’s just some random crap. It has a great deal of adaptability. The following are some of my favorite pasta salad toppings: Salami with a kick of heat. Cheeses that are delicious. Tomatoes or some other non-threatening vegetable that is nice to you. Greens of some type – even if it’s only a handful of fresh parsley – are always welcome. Olives, red onions, and pepperoncini are among the ingredients.

Rotini is one of my favorite pasta dishes.

When it comes to sauce soakage, the semi-rough texture is unparalleled.

What About A Pasta Salad Dressing?

Thank you for your inquiry. This is quite crucial. We’re in desperate need of a zesty Italian dressing. Using a blender or food processor, it takes around 60 seconds to make it from scratch. You prepared that dressing, you are the pasta salad king or queen. The final step is to Toss everything together, taste, and adjust as needed, and use every self-control muscle in your body to avoid devouring the entire dish before everyone arrives at the party. I’d want to provide one more piece of advise.

This is the perfect supper for a busy weeknight.

Cook some spaghetti, put it all together, and you’ve got yourself a meal. Cold pasta salad with a glass of rose for supper, and even colder pasta salad as leftovers for lunches during the week. I’ll be there in a jiffy, promise.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Pasta Salad:

A quick and easy pasta salad with spaghetti, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, olives, and a simple Italian vinaigrette is all you need. DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS.

Pasta Salad Essentials:

  • 2 pounds raw pasta
  • 3 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls
  • 1 pound salami or summer sausage sliced into cubes
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta 3/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 3/4 cup pepperoncini (optional, but do it)
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (either white vinegar or red wine vinegar will work)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (yes, tablespoons – see notes! )
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each dried oregano and dried basil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs if desired I occasionally garnish with fresh parsley, basil, or chives.
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package recommendations, adding salt to the water to enhance the flavor. After allowing it cool slightly, drizzle a little oil over the top to keep it from sticking. Shake the dressing together in a jar or blend it in a blender. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. It’s best for me to use around three-quarters of the dressing and then keep the remaining dressing to use on leftovers. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. I believe it tastes finest the next day after it is prepared


Salt For your information, please keep in mind that the amount indicated is for COARSE sea salt. If you’re using fine table salt, start with 2 tablespoons and adjust the seasoning to your liking. The dressing will be quite salty in its own right. For example, a typical salad would be far too salty. However, with this recipe, that is exactly what we want! It will be combined with a whole pound of plain spaghetti and a large amount of fresh, unseasoned veggies, and it will taste absolutely great after everything has been mixed together.

  1. To make a more veg-forward version, try adding blanched green beans, fresh spinach, artichokes, red or yellow peppers, chickpeas, or other vegetables.
  2. parmesan?) or different forms of pasta (penne?
  3. (Perhaps even some tortellini?).
  4. I enjoy this salad as-is, but I really appreciate how adaptable it is!
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Time: 30 minutes

Pasta salad, pasta salad recipe, finest pasta salad, potluck dish, summer meal are some of the terms that come to mind. Recipe Card created with the assistance of

Try Our Other Pasta Salad Recipes

  • Pasta Salad with Marinated Chickpeas (fresh, bright, and easy! )
  • Zippy Orzo Summer Salad (made easy with rotisserie chicken)
  • Lemongrass Vermicelli Salad (that dressing, though)
  • Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Salad (lots of fresh veggies and noodles – just how we like it)
  • And Lemongrass Vermicelli Salad.

One More Thing!

This recipe is a part of our collection of quick and simple pasta dishes. Take a look at it!

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Spiral rotini pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and feta cheese are all combined in an Italian vinaigrette for a quick and easy pasta salad that takes only minutes to prepare. This spaghetti salad dish is really simple, fast, and tasty. If you’re looking for a quick and easy Italian pasta salad recipe, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve discovered that using store-bought bottled salad dressing is the quickest and most convenient method of preparing pasta salads. It seems ridiculous, and I understand that some people may be offended because it isn’t “homemade,” but I promise you that it makes pasta salad so simple to create and so wonderful when you use this method.

See also:  How Many Ounces Is A Pound Of Pasta

The same concept as today’s, but with bottled ranch dressing and shredded parmesan cheese instead of the fresh parmesan cheese.

The tastes have a wonderful blending effect!


Following the directions on the package, cook a box of multicolored rotini pasta noodles until al dente. Meanwhile, prepare a cucumber, red onion, and grape tomatoes by slicing them in half and chopping them finely. When the pasta is finished cooking, move it to a colander (which is now resting in the sink) and set it aside to drain. Make sure that the faucet is completely closed and set to cold, and allow it to flow over the pasta for several minutes so that it may cool down. You definitely don’t want to put hot spaghetti in the bowl.

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing dish and whisk until well combined.

This quick and easy Italian pasta salad is delicious either immediately or refrigerated for a few hours prior to serving time. Remember to give it a thorough stir, and you may need to add a tablespoon or two of Italian dressing to get it back to a wet consistency.


  • Before adding the dried pasta, be sure to salt the pasta water well. Make an Italian dressing that you just adore. I particularly enjoy the Olive Garden Italian dressing, therefore that is the brand that I purchase. There are a plethora of alternatives. Italian dressings with a kick: zesty Italian dressing, creamy Italian dressing, and parmesan Italian dressing. Choose one that you adore or one that sounds delectable
  • For this pasta salad, it’s better if the cucumbers are seeded first. To prepare the cucumber, first peel it and then cut it in half vertically (so you end up with two thinner, longer pieces). Make use of a metal dinner spoon to remove the seeds and meat from the fruit. The cucumber should then be sliced and diced. Use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes. Either option will be excellent
  • You may eat this pasta salad immediately or store it in the refrigerator for a few hours. In order to avoid pasta salad drying out after sitting in the fridge for a lengthy period of time, avoid making it the day before you want to serve it. As soon as you are ready to serve the salad, or as soon as you are through with the leftovers, give it a good mix and drizzle in a tablespoon or two of the dressing to moisten it all up again. The recipe asks for 3/4 cup Italian dressing, but you may adjust the amount to your liking by adding or subtracting as needed.


  • Pasta salads such as dill pickle pasta salad, caesar pesto pasta salad, quick greek pasta salad, southwest pasta salad, and summer veggie pasta salad are all popular choices.
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion, 1/2 to 1 cup Italian salad dressing, 1 box (12 oz) tricolor rotini pasta, 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled and seeded, about one cucumber), 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives, 1/2 – 1 cup Italian salad dressing
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Keep in mind to season your pasta water with 1-2 tablespoons of salt before cooking. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and run cold water over it to allow the noodles to cool down. Combine the cooked and cooled pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and red onion in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Pour the Italian dressing over the top and toss to combine. Make a starting point of 1/2 cup Italian dressing and build on it from there. On the salad, I placed about 3/4 cup dressing on it and then set aside the remainder to drizzle over it just before serving to moisten it back up. The dish can either be served immediately or chilled for a few hours before serving. I prefer it cold, so I place it in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving.

Tip: This recipe for Italian pasta salad is quite adaptable! If you want more pasta, feel free to use more than the one box that is asked for in the recipe (of course you will probably have to add more dressing). If you want more olives, tomatoes, or even red onion, then increase the amount of each component in the recipe. To make up for my love of feta cheese, I constantly add additional feta cheese to my dishes. Using an Italian dressing that you enjoy is recommended. Because the flavor is so prominent, choose a high-quality brand.

  • It has been my experience that this is the greatest taste store-bought dressing I’ve come across.
  • Leftovers: Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many days, they are delicious (about 3-4 days).
  • As a pasta salad rests in the refrigerator, the pasta will absorb the dressing, which might cause the salad to become a little dry.
  • Preparing this salad the day before and refrigerating it for about 2 hours before serving is my preferred method.
  • Cucumbers: I prefer to use micro cucumbers, often known as salad cucumbers, because they have a small number of seeds and are therefore less bitter.
  • Regular cucumbers may be used, but they contain more water and seeds than baby cucumbers, so be careful to remove the seeds and pulpy material from the centre of the cucumber before cutting.
  • You will be left with a crescent moon shape, which you may break up into smaller pieces if you choose.
  • The recipe remains the same; just the photographs have been updated.

Reader Interactions

For as long as we can remember, pasta salad has been a mainstay in our kitchens, and for good reason – it’s really tasty. This veggie-packed version is quick and simple to prepare owing to the use of a spicy Italian salad dressing in a bottle. As a result, all you have to do is cook your pasta while chopping your vegetables and throw everything together.

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

This is a chilled pasta salad, which makes it ideal for the summer months. I particularly appreciate that it can be prepared up to a day ahead of time, which means that if you are organizing a summer get-together, you can cross this item off your list a day ahead of time. And let’s not forget the major reason why this is ideal for summer – all of the brightly colored vegetables from the garden (and some that are technically fruit). It’s a fantastic way to use up the glut of seasonal vegetables available from your garden, the farmers market, or the grocery store, all at the same time.

Despite the fact that recipe calls for a bottle of dressing, this is one of the finest pasta salads I’ve ever had. Perhaps it is because it was one of those sides that was always there in the summers while I was growing up, but it will always be one of my favorite sides to look at.

Vegetarian Pasta Salad Ingredients

I tried to keep the ingredients for my homemade pasta salad as basic as possible. I used bottled Italian dressing for the pasta salad dressing, but you are welcome to create your own from scratch if you so choose. For this cold pasta salad dish, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Tri-color rotini pasta
  • Italian dressing in a bottle
  • Parmesan
  • Olives
  • Red onion
  • Baby carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Grape tomatoes
  • English cucumber
  • Yellow bell pepper

How to Make Pasta Salad

To begin, bring a big pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. In the meantime, as the pasta is cooking, you’ll cut up all of the fresh, brightly colored vegetables. To finish, combine the well-drained noodles, all of the vegetables, and the Parmesan in a large mixing bowl until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Is it possible to make things any simpler?

You’ll be lucky if you still have any left after that.

How to Store Pasta Salad

In the refrigerator, store this chilled pasta salad with Italian dressing in an opaque container. The salad may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, although it is best eaten within 24 hours of preparation.

What’s the best pasta for pasta salad?

You may use any short and strong pasta that you have on hand for this recipe. I used rotini pasta for this recipe, but penne pasta or elbow macaroni would also work well in this dish.

Can I add different vegetables to the recipe?

Yes, you are welcome to use up any vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Similarly, if you don’t care for any of the vegetables in this homemade pasta salad recipe, you may leave them out entirely.

Can I make this pasta salad in advance?

Yes, you may prepare this cold spaghetti salad with Italian dressing up to a day ahead of time in advance. You don’t want to make it any farther ahead of time than that since the vegetables will lose their crispness as time passes.

What about using a homemade dressing?

Do you prefer not to use store-bought products? You could certainly use a homemade Italian salad dressing for this recipe. Alternatively, you can use your favorite brand; you are not required to use the same brand as I did here (I think another tasty option would be the Olive Garden dressing).

What to Serve with Pasta Salad

With almost anything, this quick and simple pasta salad is a winner. You just can’t go wrong with a tangy, homemade pasta salad like this one. You may serve it with any of the following:

  • Burgers
  • Pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches
  • Cold turkey sandwiches or warm paninis. Grilled chicken or steak
  • Skillet seared salmon or other fish
  • Fried chicken
  • Burgers
  • Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken sandwiches
  • Chicken Salad sandwiches
  • Cold turkey sandwiches or heated paninis.

Tips for the Best Pasta Salad

  • It is my preference to use Kraft Italian dressing for this vegetarian pasta salad. However, any Italian dressing would do for this recipe. If you enjoy cheese, try adding a cup of cubed mozzarella cheese to this salad
  • Otherwise, leave it out altogether. Serve this salad right before serving to ensure that the Italian dressing is evenly distributed.

More Pasta Salad Ideas You’ll Love:

  • Recipes for the Best Macaroni Salad include: Greek Orzo Salad, Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad, Mexican Macaroni Salad, Poppy Seed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad, and others.

Easy Pasta Salad

The ideal quick and easy pasta salad recipe! Salad loaded with vegetables and parmesan that’s dressed up with a zingy dressing to finish. This is a classic summer side dish that everyone knows and loves. Servings:8 Prep15minutes Cook10minutes 30 minutes for chilling Prepared in 45 minutes or less

  • 1 (12 ounce) box tri-color rotini pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups small chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 3/4 cupthinly sliced baby carrots
  • 1/3 cupchopped red onion
  • 1/2 cupfinely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/3 cupsbottled Italian salad dressing (I love Kraft for this recipe)
  • 1/4 cupfinely shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, but do not season the water with salt throughout the cooking process (the dressing has plenty). Drain and rinse well with cold water
  • Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and top with the tomatoes, broccoli, bell pepper, olives, cucumber, carrots, red onion, and parmesan
  • Mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes after covering (or up to 1 day). If necessary, adjust the amount of dressing used.
  • If you enjoy cheese, try adding a cup of cubed mozzarella cheese to this salad
  • Otherwise, leave it out altogether. Serve this salad right before serving to ensure that the Italian dressing is evenly distributed.

Nutritional Values Pasta Salad Made In Minutes Amount Per Serving (in grams) The calories in this recipe are 322, with 117 percent of the daily value coming from fat. Fat 13g20 percent Saturated fat 3g19 percent Total fat 13g20 percent Four milligrams of cholesterol equal one percent of total cholesterol. Potassium408mg Sodium773mg34 percent Sodium carbohydrate content: 44g/15% fat content: 12 % 4g17 percent dietary fiber 9g10 percent of the sugar ten grams of protein equals twenty percent Amount of vitamin A (2441IU49 percent) Vitamin C (59 milligrams, or 72 percent) Calcium121mg *12 percent Iron1mg6 percent chromium1mg6 percent A 2000-calorie diet is used to calculate the percent Daily Values (%DV).

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