Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
This Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is going to be your new best friend all summer long! Tender noodles are tossed with ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and more. It’s a freshly flavored side dish that totally hits the spot! The best part? It couldn’t be any easier to make.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Headed to a cook out and you’re not sure what to bring? Don’t show up with something store bought – or even worse, empty handed! Instead, satisfy a crowd with this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe. It’s a tried and true summertime staple that has all of the classic Pasta Salad ingredients you know and love! It’s equal parts fresh and filling, which makes it ideal for the hot summer months.
Tangy Italian dressing is what brings life to the Pasta Salad ingredients, and it compliments everything in such a zesty way. I use Olive Garden Italian Dressing that you can find at pretty much any grocery store, but you can use whatever you prefer! Also, you can’t skip out on the shredded parmesan cheese. When it comes to cheeses of any kind, I’m never an advocate of missing out on them!
One of the best things about this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is that it travels well, so you can pack it up and hit the road! Whether you’re driving to the beach or walking down the street to a backyard barbecue, you’ll love how well this Pasta Salad holds up. And when you arrive to wherever you’re headed, everyone will be excited to see that you’ve brought this timeless side dish with you!
This Easy Pasta Salad Recipe calls for inexpensive ingredients and super easy to follow steps. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill in the fridge!
Ingredients for Easy Pasta Salad
- PASTA – 1 (16 ounce) package tri-colored pasta
- TOMATOES – 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- CUCUMBER – 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- ONION – ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
- OLIVES 1 3.5 oz can sliced black olives, drained
- MOZZARELLA – 8 ounces container mozzarella cheese “pearls”, cut in half
- ITALIAN DRESSING – 1 ¼ cup Olive Garden Dressing (or your favorite Italian dressing)
- PARMESAN – Top with shredded parmesan before serving about ½ cup
How to Make Easy Pasta Salad
COOK THE PASTA. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse in cold water.
TOSS THE SALAD. Pour pasta into a large bowl, add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and mozzarella pearls. Pour dressing to evenly coat.
CHILL. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour but best is 4 hours to 1 day. I think it actually tastes the best the DAY after you make it.
SERVE! Right before serving, top with shredded parmesan.
Trust me, this Easy Pasta Salad never misses. It’s always a huge hit at parties, because let’s face it… You just can’t beat a classic!
Pasta Salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just note that the veggies may not be as crisp and fresh by day 3 because of the Italian dressing, but it’ll still be tasty! Also, try not to add the parmesan cheese to your Pasta Salad until you serve it, as it doesn’t hold up well in the fridge with the other ingredients.
I don’t recommend freezing Pasta Salad.
Variations to Try
- Feel free to swap out the grape tomatoes for cherry tomatoes. You can also use a beefsteak or roma tomato that’s been diced.
- Any pasta will work that’s small and has shape to it. Bow tie and even macaroni will both get the job done.
- If you’re an olive lover, you can toss in toms green olives along with or instead of the black olives.
- 1 (16 ounce) package tri-colored pasta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- ⅓ cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 3.5 oz can sliced black olives, drained
- 8 ounces container mozzarella cheese “pearls”, cut in half
- 1 ¼ cup Olive Garden Dressing (or your favorite Italian dressing)
- Top with shredded parmesan before serving about ½ cup
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse in cold water.
- Pour pasta into a large bowl, add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and mozzarella pearls.
- Pour dressing to evenly coat.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour but best is 4 hours to 1 day. I think it actually tastes the best the DAY after you make it.
- Right before serving, top with shredded parmesan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 103Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g
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