This simple pasta salad is one of our favorite recipes for the summer. Serve at barbecues, picnics and pool parties. It’s also great to have it in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners in the summer. You can’t go wrong with this pasta salad recipe!

In the hot summer months we like to eat salads for lunch and dinner. Sometimes Josh is fed up with green salads, so I mix things up with pasta salads. Cold pasta salads are a lifesaver for the summer!

This simple pasta salad is one of our favorites. I actually grew up with this pasta salad. This was a staple in our house every summer. We came in from playing outside or swimming and ate this pasta salad. It’s so simple and that’s why I love it… well, and the fact that it’s also delicious!

This is also an easy-to-customize salad, you can mix the vegetables, change the cheese or add protein! The leftovers are also great, which makes it a great salad for preparing meals for the week!
Ingredient

Pasta – I like to use fusilli, penne, rotini, orecchiette or farfalle, but any noodle works!
Peppers- I use red and yellow.
Tomatoes- grape tomatoes, cut in half.
Black olives – if you don’t like olives, you can leave them out, but we love them. Or use your favorite olive! Pro tip: Buy sliced black olives so you don’t have to cut them. A great tip for saving time!

Italian dressing – I make my homemade Italian dressing, but bought in the store is also fine. You can also use a simple balsamic vinaigrette or even our basil vinaigrette.
Basil- fresh basil gives a lot of flavor!
Parmesan cheese- freshly grated!

How to make pasta salad

There’s nothing fancy or fussy about this simple pasta salad and that’s a very good thing. In the hot summer months it’s easy for us! This is a classic pasta salad that everyone loves!

In a large saucepan with boiling salted water, put the pasta. Cook al dente according to the package instructions.
Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Drain the pasta well after rinsing.
Combine the pasta, peppers, tomatoes and olives in a large bowl.
Add dressing and stir. Make sure that the pasta salad is well coated with dressing so that the pasta does not stick together and the pasta salad should have a lot of taste.

Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Variation

This pasta salad is easy to customize. Feel free to mix things and use what you have at hand. It’s about cleaning up 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 are:

  • Cucumber
  • artichoke hearts
  • green onion
  • mini mozzarella cheese balls
  • cheese cubes (Cheddar, white cheddar, Provolone or Havarti)
  • feta cheese or goat cheese
  • Salami
  • Ham
  • Chicken
  • Chickpea
  • white beans
  • Parsley

The possibilities are endless! You can really throw almost anything into it. Use your favorite ingredients and don’t be afraid to mess around.

How to save

Store the pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. When the salad becomes a little dry, add additional dressing and throw it before serving.

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