Perfectly-seasoned pasta and loaded with fresh vegetables, Classic Pasta Salad is a great summer side dish. I love this classic pasta salad recipe. The results are always delicious and it goes with just about everything. Italian pasta salad is the ideal dish for summer potlucks, BBQs or whenever the mood strikes you.
This pasta salad is an Italian-style dish made from cooked and cooled pasta, vegetables, seasonings, and an Italian style dressing. This dish is perfect to serve at picnics, potlucks, and barbecues.
One of my favorite things about pasta salad is that it's cool and refreshing while still being hearty. Pasta Salad is one of my favorite side dishes to bring to potluck dinners.
This dish is so simple to prepare and it's a great choice for a side dish or main entrée at picnics, potlucks, and barbecues because you can serve it either cold or hot depending on the weather or situation.
During the summertime my family loves this pasta salad with grilled chicken, but you can also serve it as a main dish without the chicken.
If you’ve been looking for a new, tasty meal to make that is perfect for summer evenings on the patio with friends and family, then this dish may be just what you were hoping for. The recipe below will give you all of the instructions needed to create your own delicious pasta salad - try it out tonight!
This pasta salad is perfect for any occasion at any time of year because it's so versatile. I hope you enjoy it!
If you're looking for something else to please your tastebud, check out our list of meat and pasta dishes. They'll blow you to the moon and back, they're just that fabulous!
Can I use any type of cooked pasta
Couscous, penne, spaghetti and macaroni are all a great choice for this dish. If you’re looking to switch up the ingredients in your pasta salad recipe try using bow tie pasta.
How long can I store this Pasta Salad recipe
This pasta salad can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Like all foods that you want to keep in the fridge for more than a couple hours, be sure to tightly cover your dish to prevent air from getting into your food.
How many servings are there
There are around 4-6 servings of this recipe depending on how much you decide to eat.
Should I make Italian pasta salad ahead
I like to make my Italian pasta salad at least four hours before I plan to serve it. I find that the pasta soaks up some of the italian flavoring which helps the salad taste better. You can make this as much as 12 hours in advance if you want to save some time in the kitchen.
Can I add more things to this pasta salad recipe
This dish is so easy to customize, it would be a shame to just make it with the ingredients below. You can add in any additional veggies or meats that you want to have in your pasta salad - get creative! Here is a list of my favorite items to add to my salad.
- cheddar cheese
Can I double this recipe
Yes, this recipe is very easy to double or triple depending on how many people you are serving.
I don't like olives. Can I leave them out?
If you don't like olives, it's okay to leave them out. You may want to add in a bit more of the herbs that are called for in this recipe. For example – adding in a tablespoon of fresh parsley or thyme will help to balance everything out if you don't have any olives on hand.
Should I cook my pasta al dente for pasta salad
Yes, it's best to cook your pasta al dente for this recipe. Al dente refers to cooked ingredients that are firm and chewy. Undercooked or overcooked pasta can result in a soupy dish which is not desirable when making pasta salad.
I don't have Italian dressing on hand, can I substitute it
Absolutely! Using a bit of olive oil and vinegar as a dressing will work just fine in this dish. You can even add in some Italian seasoning to help you get the same taste. It doesn't matter if you use bottled, homemade or even an Italian seasoning packet. Your pasta salad will still turn out flavorful and delicious.
Ingredients for Classic Pasta Salad
- 8 oz pasta, cooked and cooled (I used Cellentani)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 3.8 oz can sliced olives
- ½ purple onion, diced
- 1 cup mini pepperonis
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella pearls
How to Make Pasta Salad
Step 1. Combine cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, olives, onions, pepperonis, Italian dressing, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2. Add parmesan cheese and mozzarella pearls.
Step 3. Gently toss together.
Making pasta salad is one of my favorite ways to use fresh tomatoes in my garden. This easy side dish becomes a staple in our dinner rotation during the fresh garden season. Don't worry though, if you don't have fresh tomatoes at your disposal you can pick some up at your local grocery store or even at the farmers market.
No matter where you get your tomatoes from, this recipe will be a family favorite at your house in no time at all. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you added to make your pasta salad perfect for your family.
More delicious salad recipes
Classic Pasta Salad
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Combine cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, olives, onions, pepperonis, Italian dressing, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir until blended.
- Add dressing and gently toss together.
- Add parmesan cheese and mozzarella pearls.
- Enjoy every bite.