This Easy Pasta Salad is one of our favorite summer recipes. Serve at BBQ’s, picnics, and pool parties. It is also great to have in the fridge for easy summer lunches and dinners. You can’t go wrong with this pasta salad recipe!
This Easy Pasta Salad is one of our favorites. I actually grew up on this pasta salad. This was a staple at our house every single summer. We would come in from playing outside or from swimming and eat this pasta salad. It is SO easy and that is why I love it…well, and the fact that it is delicious too!
This is also an easy salad to customize, you can mix up the veggies, change up the cheese, or add protein! The leftovers are great too, making it a great salad to meal prep for the week!
- Pasta– I like to use fusilli, penne, rotini, orecchiette, or farfalle, but any noodle will work!
- Bell peppers– I use red and yellow.
- Tomatoes– grape tomatoes, halved.
- Black olives– if you don’t care for 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 time saving tip!
- Italian dressing– I make my homemade Italian dressing, but store bought is fine too. You could also use a simple balsamic vinaigrette or even our basil vinaigrette.
- Basil– fresh basil adds lots of flavor!
- Parmesan cheese– freshly grated!
How to Make Pasta Salad
There is nothing fancy or fussy about this Easy Pasta Salad and that is a very good thing. We are all about easy during the hot summer months! This is a classic pasta salad that everyone loves!
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, add the pasta. Cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
- Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Drain the pasta well after rinsing.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta, bell peppers, tomatoes, and olives.
- Add the dressing and stir. Make sure the pasta salad is well coated with dressing so the noodles don’t stick together and you want the pasta salad to have plenty of flavor.
- Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
This pasta salad is easy to customize. Feel free to mix things up and 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:
- artichoke hearts
- green onion
- mini mozzarella cheese balls
- cheese cubes (cheddar, white cheddar, provolone, or havarti)
- feta cheese or goat cheese
- white beans
The options are endless! You really can throw in just about anything. Use your favorite ingredients and don’t be afraid to play around.
How to Store
Store the pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If the salad gets a little dry, add extra dressing and toss before serving.
This is a great salad for meal prep! We love having it in the fridge for easy lunches or dinners!
More Pasta Salad Recipes
Easy Pasta Salad
This easy pasta salad recipe is a summer favorite! Take it to a potluck, picnic, or enjoy it for lunch or dinner!
- 1 lb pasta, fusilli, penne, rotini
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup Italian dressing or use your favorite store bought dressing
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot of salted boiling water, add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Drain the pasta well after rinsing.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, bell peppers, tomatoes, and olives. Add the dressing and stir until pasta noodles and vegetables are well coated.
Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Toss with extra dressing before serving, if necessary.
Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 601mg, Potassium: 263mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 855IU, Vitamin C: 41.4mg, Calcium: 137mg, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?
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