Quick and easy pasta salad recipe- This simple recipe is a summer staple. Made with a variety of vegetables and delicious Italian dressing.
I love a good and hearty cold salad. I grew up with my mom making this exact recipe, but with spaghetti noodles. We lived on it in the summertime.
Luckily, I passed my love for the dish on to my little guy. He begs for this on warm summer days. It happens to be quick, easy, and ideal for meal prep.
We serve it as a side dish AND a main course. Add in a diced chicken breast or some shrimp and you have got a delicious protein packed recipe ready to be served.
Looking for more veggie packed recipes? Try my ratatouille!
Pasta Cold Salad Ingredients:
THIS recipe is the king of customization. You can swap and change out the vegetables and use anything you have on hand or that is in season. That means you could easily use your families go-to vegetables and make it a crowd pleaser.
- Pasta- I love a spiral pasta, like rotini. My mom prefers spaghetti. Whatever shape you have on hand will work!
- Bell Pepper
- Olives Onion
- Salad Seasoning- Do not skip this! Salad seasoning, like Salad Supreme, adds a really great overall flavor to this recipe and kicks it up a notch.
- Italian Dressing- I suggest using a quality brand. Something that really tastes great as this will be a majority of the flavor.
Like I mentioned above, the vegetables are super easy to interchange. Use what you have on hand or what you and your family love. You could also add cubes of cheese, tuna salad, or diced chicken!
How to make pasta salad from scratch:
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions to al dente.
- Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water.
- Combine the pasta with the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk together the salad seasoning with the Italian dressing. Drizzle over the pasta salad and vegetables. Toss to combine.
- Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- The longer this recipe sits the more the flavors will blend together.
Helpful tips for this recipe:
- Make this recipe the day before serving. The longer it sits the better it will taste.
- This is excellent for picnics or barbecues.
- Add grilled chicken to make this a full meal.
- Make this a full meal by adding grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or steak.
What goes with pasta salad?
So you made your salad, but what do you serve this with? Good news is that you can serve this next to almost ANYTHING. Here is a list of our favorites.
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Shrimp
- Hot Dogs
- BBQ Chicken
- Sandwiches or Wraps
Or enjoy it all on its own. It has so many delicious vegetables mixed in that it can be a meal all on its own.
More Pasta Recipes:
More Side Dish Recipes:
- Cucumber Greek Salad
- Creamy Dill Potato Salad Recipe
- Picnic Potato Salad
- Funeral Potatoes
- Spicy Deviled Eggs
- 1/2 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons Salad Seasoning
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing, plus more if needed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup each:
- red and green bell pepper
- black olives
- red onion
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions to al dente.
2. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water.
3. Combine the pasta with the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
4. Whisk together the salad seasoning with the Italian dressing. Drizzle over the pasta salad and vegetables. Toss to combine.
5. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
6. The longer this recipe sits the more the flavors will blend together.