This is a super easy pasta salad loaded with tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mozzarella, olives, artichokes, pasta (of course) and an Italian Dressing to bring it all together. This vibrant salad will be on repeat this summer!
There are so many reasons to love a good pasta salad. One, it is PERFECT if you are going to a picnic or potluck and as a great side to anything on the BBQ. Two, it can be thrown together with minimal ingredients, made ahead, and stores incredibly well in the fridge. Which makes it a great meal-planned dish and also a throw-together-last-minute dish too! It’s a good way to use up the last bits of pasta you may have kicking around in the pantry (I can’t be the only one with this situation!).
How To Make Italian Pasta Salad
To make an Italian Pasta Salad all you need is your favourite pasta and a few ingredients to bring those Italian flavours to life. Fresh veggies like cucumber, tomato, artichokes, red onion, olives and mozzarella bring the flavours and colours you expect from an Italian salad. Tossed with a simple dressing, done vinaigrette-style with vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and herbs, it is light, zesty and full of classic Italian flavours.
You could add a cooked chicken breast or salmon filet on top this to make this a stand alone dish as well, or throw a few handfuls of greens (arugula comes to mind) to dial up the nutrition factor!
Tips for the Perfect Pasta Salad
- Salt your water. It’s the only way to season the pasta while cooking from the inside out! Yes, even when using it for pasta salad.
- Keep it al dente. Mushy pasta salad? No thanks! Start tasting your pasta before the final cook time shown on the back of the box to ensure you catch it while it is al dente. The pasta will continue to cook slightly once removed and once it sits in the dressing it will soften a little bit as well.
Summer Salad Recipes
Warm weather begs for hearty and healthy salads to enjoy. This Italian Pasta Salad is just one of many many salad recipes that I love. Brows them all HERE or enjoy this little list of some favourites.
How Long Does Pasta Keep in Fridge?
I give it about 2-3 days covered in the fridge. If the noodles have soaked up the dressing on day 2 or 3, add in a little extra if you have or even just a drizzle of olive oil!
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #fraicheliving or leave a comment/rating below. I would love to know how you liked it!
Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad
This is a super easy Pasta Salad full of pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mozzarella, olives, artichokes and an easy Italian Dressing. This will be on repeat this summer!
For the Salad
- 2 cups dry pasta (we used rotini)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup diced long English cucumber
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped canned or marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup sliced olives (black or Kalamata)
- 1/2 – 1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella (bocconcini)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
For the Italian Salad Dressing (makes 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 /2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- pinch of salt & pepper
For the Dressing
Whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Salad
Cook the noodles according to package instructions: drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients and top with dressing when ready to serve!