This Easy Pasta Salad is full of fresh crisp veggies and tossed in Italian dressing. This is the perfect side dish to bring to your next picnic or bbq! It is also great to keep in the fridge or lunches and dinners.
More than ever I think this Easy Pasta Salad is a must-have for summer lunches and dinners. Cold pasta salads are easy to have on hand and make meals effortless. Personally I love mixing mine with chopped romaine for a literal pasta salad, ha!
Tips for making this Easy pasta salad
- Use any pasta you like, penne, fusilli, or rotini. The kids love tri-color rotini noodles, so that is what I use.
- Cook pasta till al dente, nobody likes mushy noodles.
- Rinse pasta under cold water to cool and drain completely.
- To make pasta salad combine all ingredients in a bowl. I used tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, black olives, and red onion.
- Dress the salad with your favorite store-bought Italian dressing. Its summertime, after all, don’t worry about cheating with store-bought dressing. I used Trader Joes Italian Dressing with Romano Cheese.
- If your Italian dressing is dairy-free you can add in some parmesan or feta to your liking.
- Serve this salad cold. You can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What to put in Pasta Salad
I added all my favorite fresh veggies to this recipe, however, feel free to add what you like. Some ingredients that work well in this salad are:
- bell peppers
- fresh herbs
- mini mozzarella cheese balls
- chickpeas or white beans
The options are seriously endless!! Use your favorites!
Other great pasta dishes:
- 12 ounces tri-colored rotini
- 12 ounces heirloom grape tomatoes, halved (cherry tomatoes work great too)
- 1 1/4 cup diced cucumbers
- 1 1/2 cup bite size broccoli florets
- 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 1/2 cups Italian Dressing, I used Trader Joes Italian with Romano Cheese
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Rinse under cold water, and drain again.
- In a large bowl combine, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, red onion, and sliced black olives. Stir in the cold pasta salad and pour in the dressing. Store covered in the refrigerator till serving.