This easy pasta salad recipe is super fun to make for parties! Made a with super flavorful Italian dressing, herbs, seasonings and fresh vegetables.
Pasta salad is one of my favorite side dishes of all time and this easy Italian pasta salad tops the list! It’s a great side to pretty much any main dish but seems to work really well with BBQ food!
This Italian pasta salad recipe requires that you cook pasta until al dente then dip it into cold water immediately. After that you place it in a large bowl to chill in the freezer. The cooking process is critical for this really good pasta salad. The homemade italian dressing bring it all together!
What ingredients are in this pasta salad?
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta salad:
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
8 ounces dried short pasta, such as rotini pasta (You can also use tri-color rotini)
8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced 4 ounces fresh mozzarella drained and chopped
coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional
For this recipe you will not need parmesan cheese, bell peppers, black olives or sour cream. With this classic pasta salad you will be using fresh herbs which is one of the best ways to create this perfect side dish for summer cookouts. The tangy italian dressing makes this delicious Italian pasta salad such a great side dish.
I love to make a big batch because it’s one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes. This classic Italian pasta salad recipe is great for meal prep too!
I’ve eaten a lot of zesty Italian pasta salad in my day and my favorite thing about this great pasta salad is the creamy dressing. It’s a family favorite and I always whip up a batch of pasta salad whenever I can. It’s one of those easy recipes that you make again and again!
This homemade pasta salad is the type of pasta that your guests will rave about! Fresh ingredients and flavorful dressing give your taste buds such a treat! If you have leftovers be sure to put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge. This is the best pasta salad to use for easy lunches the next day!
How Do you Store Italian Pasta Salad?
This delicious pasta salad recipe is best when served chilled and should be stored in the refrigerator. It can last up to 4-5 days if kept in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
What are some fun variations to pasta salad?
There are tons of variations you can make for this classic dish. Some ideas include adding various vegetables like bell peppers, green onions, olives, and artichokes. For protein add sliced Italian salami or diced prosciutto.
You can also use different types of cheese such as feta or provolone to give the salad a unique flavor. Lastly, don’t forget to top it off with your favorite zesty homemade Italian dressing! For a truly Italian classic, try adding fresh basil or oregano.
Helpful Tips For Making Pasta Salad
• Choose short pasta cuts such as rotini or penne for the best flavor.
• Try to use a mix of vegetables and proteins to give your salad added color, crunch, and flavor.
• Make sure to use an Italian-style dressing like olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and herbs for a more authentic taste.
• If you are making a large batch, add the dressing just before serving to keep it fresh and flavorful.
• Wait until just before serving to toss in any fresh herbs or cheese to maintain maximum flavor.
• Store leftovers in an airtight container or resealable bag for up to 4-5 days.
Enjoy! If you make it, be sure to tag me on Instagram when you share it!
The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
A fantastic pasta salad recipe with fresh herbs, veggies and a yummy Italian Dressing.
- Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the pasta salad:
- 1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces dried short pasta, such as rotini
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced 4 ounces fresh mozzarella drained and chopped
- coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional
- Mix up the dressing first and add the diced red onions to the dressing Cook the pasta for 12 min in boiling heavily salted water.
- After draining, dunk the strainer of pasta in an ice bath (equal parts ice and water in a large bowl) and get it cold fast!
- Mix and chill the salad for at least 30 minutes
Pasta salad keeps well in the fridge for about five days, so it can easily be made in advance.
Amount Per Serving Calories 247Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 10mgSodium 195mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 6g
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Hi! I’m Nellie. I am a busy mama of three, wife to my high school sweetheart who loves to cook, workout and stay organized! I love to share helpful printables, the best recipes and fitness tips for the modern mom. I strongly believe that every mom can feed their family well, take proper care of themselves and have fun along the way! Read my story.
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