Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
If you are looking for other Family Friendly meals or desserts follow along with me on or where I share simple recipes to help you with Feeding Your Fam! Make sure to subscribe so you will be notified each time I post a new video!
Tried it and just loved it? Leave me a rating! I would love to hear how it turned out for you! Or even snap a photo and tag me on Instagram or #feedingyourfam so I can see what you made!
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and run under cold water to cool the pasta.
- In a large mixing or serving bowl toss together the pasta, chopped vegetables, and cheese.
- Pour in the Zesty Italian Dressing and toss to coat
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight before serving. Toss one last time before serving.
How To Make This Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Open the lid of your Instant Pot, and add the Italian dressing and the chicken broth. Add the noodles into the Pot, making sure that all of the noodles are covered by the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a Quick Release.
Pour the noodles and the extra liquid into a bowl, and place in the fridge for about a half an hour.
At the end of the half hour, check on your noodles. They should be cold and should have absorbed the rest of the liquid in the bowl.
Add the bell peppers, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and salami. Stir and enjoy! If you like a stronger Italian dressing flavor or more liquid in your pasta salad, you can add ½ cup of Italian dressing into the bowl after tasting and stir.
Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!
How To Make Cold Pasta Salad
This pasta salad with Italian dressing is so simple to make and can be ready in under 20 minutes. To make pasta salad follow these simple steps:
- cook pasta according to package instructions
- slice, dice and chop the vegetables and the cheese
- combine all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl or the serving bowl. Pour over the Zesty Italian Dressing and toss to cover everything.
- place, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This salad can be made at least 24 hours in advance
Also Check: Market Salad At Chick Fil A
How To Make Easy Pasta Salad
Pasta salad recipes are a great recipe to make when you have a party and need to feed many people. These pasta salad recipes can be adjusted to feed many people and do not require lengthy preparation. The preparation time for this dish only takes about ten minutes tops. That makes this type of recipe flexible so that you do not need to be tied up with your pasta recipe.
Now its time to cut your pasta into long strands so that it will cook faster. Take your wooden spoon and dip it into olive oil. Add your chopped mushrooms and tomatoes to this and mix thoroughly.
Then, using a food processor or a knife, cut your pasta salad into small pieces. Stir these small pieces of pasta well with your fork until they fully cover in the creamy mixture of your cheese sauce.
Now comes the truly amazing part of these delicious pasta salad recipes the final step is to coat your pasta salad recipes with a layer of shredded lettuce leaves and your choice of herbs.
For this, you can use dried oregano, basil, or any other variety of herbs. Put your mixture on your plate and enjoy serving your pasta salad recipes to your guests and family. Just be sure to keep an empty plate nearby so that your guest can take their own.
Some models will allow you to mix and knead the dough before it is cooked. Some models will allow you to shape the dough into different shapes before it is cooked. There are even models that can make homemade sausage, capers, and jellies!
More Pasta Salad Ideas
Check out our favorite pasta salad combinations below! Weve added an optional flavor-boost ingredient in parentheses if you really want to get wild with it. Psstbe sure to check out these other easy pasta salad recipes for inspiration, too.
- Cheese tortellini, red wine vinaigrette, broccoli and peppers .
- Shells, mayo-based dressing, imitation crab or tuna and peas .
- Farfalle, balsamic vinaigrette, fresh baby spinach and yellow peppers .
- Macaroni, mayonnaise thinned with vinegar, ham, cheddar and peas .
- Rotini, ham, salami, artichokes, provolone, mozzarella and peppers .
- Orecchiette, a mix of 2 parts plain yogurt to 1 part mayo, smoked turkey, apples, celery and strawberries .
- Shells, sour cream and mayo dressing, pineapple, cooked shrimp and red peppers .
- Tricolor rotini, ranch dressing, broccoli, cucumbers and tomatoes .
- Shells, creamy Caesar dressing, cubed mozzarella, broccoli florets and shaved romaine .
- Farfalle, ranch dressing, cubed chicken, grapes and mandarin oranges .
- Whole wheat spaghetti, sesame-ginger vinaigrette, cubed chicken, coleslaw mix and mandarin oranges . Its one of our favorite spaghetti salad recipes.
- Rotini, Catalina dressing, taco meat, cheddar, tomatoes, peppers and onions .
- Orzo or couscous, Greek yogurt thinned with lemon juice or red wine vinegar, deli turkey and grape tomatoes .
- Tricolor rotini, Italian dressing, frozen California-blend vegetables cooked just to crisp-tender .
Recommended Reading: How To Make Tuna Salad With Fresh Tuna
Ingredients In The Best Creamy Pasta Salad
Heres what else youll need.
Pasta. I use a variety of pastas for this creamy pasta salad, but lately, Ive really been digging rotini. I love the way the crevices trap the the creamy sauce, and its one of the kids favorite pastas to eat. We also love using bowties, or classic macaroni.
Mayo. Always light mayo. I dont find there to be a distinct difference between full-fat mayo and light, so thats what I keep on hand. Obviously, if you only have full-fat mayo, you can use that as well. Whatever you do, do not use fat-free, that will definitely alter the taste of the final product.
Sour Cream. Again, I use light sour cream, but you could also use Greek yogurt to lighten it up even more.
Buttermilk. The original recipe calls for skim milk, but I like the tanginess buttermilk adds, plus it helps to thin out the dressing.
Beef bouillon. We talked about this already, but this is really what makes this the best creamy pasta salad ever. I like to use this kind because its more of a paste and blends into the dressing better than beef bouillon cubes do. If you have to use the cubes, dissolve it in a little bit of hot milk before adding it to the dressing, otherwise you will have chunks of bouillon.
Vinegar. I think white wine vinegar achieves the best results, so if you can grab it, please do. You can also use plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar if thats all you have on hand.
Tips For Making Pasta Salad
This salad lasts for days. And the third shortcut? Forget making this salad for the masses and make it for yourself to eat for lunch for the week. With this ingredient list it will hold up well for several days on end.
Italian dressing from scratch is bestand easy! My favorite homemade Italian dressing recipe in the recipe card below, but youre welcome to use your favorite store-bought brand instead if youre short on time. But homemade is definitely best in this case!
Recommended Reading: Which Fast Food Has The Best Salad
Crowd Favorite Pasta Salad
I got this easy recipe from my mother in law and changed a few things up to make it my own. Its made with just noodles, veggies and a tangy Italian dressing. I mean, does it get more simple than that?!
Simply throw in your favorite extras to make it your own and dig in! Trust me, this is a dish that your whole family will love. It really is a favorite around our house!
Easy Italian Pasta Salad
Easy Italian Pasta Salad takes just minutes to make with spiral rotini pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and feta cheese covered in Italian dressing. Such a quick, easy, and delicious pasta salad recipe.
If you’re look for an easy Italian pasta salad recipe then you found it!
I have found that the best way & easiest way to make pasta salads are with store-bought bottled salad dressing. It sounds crazy and I know some may totally disagree because it’s not “homemade” but I am telling you that it really does make pasta salad so easy to make and so flavorful.
This easy recipe for Italian pasta salad has spiral noodles, chopped cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, and feta cheese covered in Italian dressing. The flavors blend together so nicely!
Don’t Miss: Mango Wood Salad Bowl Set
What Kind Of Italian Dressing Did You Use
I wanted this recipe to be as quick as possible when I was making it . So instead of making Italian dressing from home, I just went to my local grocery store and bought a bottle.
I ended up with Wishbone Italian Dressing, and simply used that when making this recipe!
If you want to make your own Italian dressing, you can totally do that!! I really love this recipe from FiveHeartHome.com. Though I havent tried it specifically with this Easy Pasta Salad Recipe, I know that it would be absolutely delicious!
Our Easy Dressing For Pasta Salad
Once youve decided on the ingredients youre adding to the salad you need to make the dressing. We make an easy five-ingredient pasta salad dressing.
To make it, whisk red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Its simple, but when mixed with the pasta, veggies and other ingredients, it tastes amazing.
To upgrade the dressing, try champagne vinegar. Its a bit more pricey, but it tastes incredible.
Also Check: Burma Superstar Tea Leaf Salad
Adding The Italian Dressing
Any time I make pasta salad, I initially stir in about two-thirds of the dressing, pop the bowl in the fridge, and then add the rest of the dressing just before serving. I prefer my pasta salad chilled. However, much of the dressing gets absorbed into the pasta while it hangs out in the refrigerator. So I have found that if I reserve a bit of the dressing and stir it in just before mealtime, the resulting side dish isn’t overly dry and ends up with better flavor.
So if you’re looking for a basic, versatile, summer side dish recipe, this recipe is for you! It’s full of zippy flavor and it’s quick to throw together. But if you’re looking for a fancier pasta salad loaded with plenty o’ goodies, I’ve got quite a fewof those, too. Enjoy, friends!
How To Make Easy Pasta Salad:
First, heat a large stockpot of water to a boiling and cook pasta according to package directions. I prefer to cook this al dente.
Feel free to use any type of pasta you have in the pantry or can get on sale. Other ideas include bowtie, penne, elbow and more.
When pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water until pasta is cool.
Second, mix cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoni and red onion together in a large bowl with pasta. Pour in dressing and mix well. You can use homemade dressing or store bought.
We have a delicious and easy recipe for Italian dressing mix.
Sometimes, I add a little olive oil. We love the Parmesan cheese but sometimes use mozzarella cheese or feta.
Just use what you have. Its all delicious. Try adding olives to the salad. The ideas are endless for this easy pasta salad.
Finally, refrigerate the pasta salad. It is best if you can do this at least for an hour or overnight until ready to serve. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Read Also: What Is The Best Tomato For Caprese Salad
Make A Fresh Dressing
Don’t go through all the trouble of making a fresh salad and then top it off with a store-bought dressing.
“Make a homemade vinaigrette for your dressing,” Dave Anoia, chef and owner of DiAnoia’s Eatery in Pittsburgh, said. For many pasta salads, you can’t go wrong with a simple mixture of oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Also, make sure that dressing is ready as soon as the pasta is out of the pot. “Dress your pasta as soon as it’s cooked,” said Anoia. Adding the dressing while it’s still hot allows the pasta to absorb more of the flavorful dressing.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
Published August 6, 2020 By Elizabeth Lindemann& nbsp& nbsp/& nbsp& nbspThis post may contain affiliate links.
These pasta salad recipes are easy and delicious. One of my favorite things about pasta salads is that you can make them ahead of time. I love to keep a big batch in my fridge all week for easy meals, and theyre the perfect make-ahead side for Easter dinner, a summer BBQ, or potluck!
Whether youre looking for a creamy, decadent Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad with bacon, a lighter, healthier Caprese version, or one packed full of Greek/Mediterranean flavors, Ive got you covered with these scrumptious recipes.
And before I go further, Id love to share one of my favorite pasta salad tricks with you.
Recommended Reading: Reser’s Deviled Egg Potato Salad
What To Put In Pasta Salad
Like I mentioned, this salad has bell peppers, tomatoes, black olives, basil, and Parmesan cheese, but feel free to mix things up. That is the beauty of a pasta salad, it is easy to mix things up.
Use what you have on hand. We are all about cleaning out the fridge in the summer and using what we have in our garden or what we pick up at the farmers market.
Some ingredients that would also work well in this salad include:
- cheese cubes
- white beans
The options are endless! You really can throw in just about anything. Use your favorite ingredients and dont be afraid to play around.
Make sure the pasta salad is well coated with dressing so the noodles dont stick together and you want the pasta salad to have plenty of flavor.
We will be serving this easy pasta salad at all of our summer parties and bbqs. Plus, it is a great salad to have in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners. We hope you like this recipe as much as we do!
Lets Make Creamy Pasta Salad
Cook the pasta. Arguably the most important part of making a great creamy pasta salad is cooking the pasta correctly. It should be perfectly aldente, and not mushy at all.
Start by bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with salt. Add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is aldente. It should have a slight bite to it. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and to wash away any excess moisture.
Make the dressing. If youre using bouillon paste, you can simply add the mayo to a large bowl as well as the bouillon and whisk until smooth. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, white wine vinegar, and salt together. Whisk until smooth.
Toss everything. Add the pasta to the bowl with the dressing. Toss until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If needed, add a little bit of buttermilk to thin the dressing out to reach your desired consistency.
Add in the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and any other veggies or meats youre using. Toss to combine. Again, season with salt and pepper.
Recommended Reading: Does Taco Bell Still Have A Taco Salad
What Goes Into Pasta Salad
This is a really basic Pasta Salad Recipe that has never let me down. The following are my go to ingredients to making this simple summer salad:
- pasta- the tri-colored pasta is fun to use in this recipe, it adds additional color and the twisted noodles are so fun to eat.
- Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
What Is Pasta Salad
While pasta itself has solidly Italian roots, pasta salad is actually more of an American tradition. In Italian culture, pasta is served hot and as its own course.
Cold macaroni style salads have been staples of American cooking for many years. Often served at church gatherings, potlucks and picnics, theyve become an iconic tradition of summer.
Pasta Salad is traditionally served cold, tossed in one of two styles of pasta salad dressing. It is a versatile dish that you can mix up depending on what you have on hand or what youre in the mood for!
Tossed with a creamy or more acidic vinaigrette style dressing, pasta salad combined elements like chopped veggies, nuts, fruits, cheese, meat, and more to create an unbeatable side dish.
Don’t Miss: Jack In The Box Salad Prices
Substitutions And Tips And Tricks For Recipe Success
- Be sure to only cook your pasta until aldente, or even just under. You want the pasta to have a good bite to it! Overcooking the pasta will result in pasta that becomes mushy and falls apart.
- If you use beef bouillon cubes, make sure to dissolve the bouillon in a few tablespoons of water buttermilk or milk before adding it to the mayo.
- Feel free to swap our your favorite ingredients black olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, or even peppadew peppers would be nice additions.
- Dont forget to season! While weve added what we think are good salt amounts, everyones taste is different, be sure to season to taste for salt and pepper, if you think it needs more, add more!