I feel like summer time is potluck time! There are so many fun neighborhood and family summer parties. Whether its a family reunion, a neighborhood get together, or a side for your Monday night dinner this simple veggie pasta salad is perfect! Its simple, full of yummy flavors, and super easy to make. I usually try to keep all the ingredients on hand whether I buy them at the store or pick them from the garden. Its my go to potluck pasta salad.
This super simple pasta salad is a game changer! It only calls for a few ingredients. Pasta, olives, purple onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, Parmesan cheese, Ranch seasoning, and Zesty Italian dressing. It’s quick to throw together and its always a huge hit.
How To Make Italian Pasta Salad
The first thing I like to do when cooking is gather all of my ingredients, and prep everything. I like to keep a clean kitchen while cooking, it seems to make my least favorite part, cleaning up a little easier. My favorite tomatoes to use in this Italian pasta salad are cherry tomatoes, or grape tomatoes.
I prefer these small round types because I feel like they hold a firmer texture longer. Cut them into fourths, it makes the perfect bite size pieces.
I also prefer to use English cucumbers in this pasta salad. Nothing is worse than buying a cucumber and having it taste bitter. I can honestly say that I have never had a bad English cucumber. Some of the things that set English cucumbers apart from other breeds is the skin is not as tough, it has smaller seeds and no bitter taste. Alright, now you have all my tips and tricks let get this pasta salad started.
Now, it’s time to cook! It’s important to cook the pasta Al dente which literally means “to the tooth” or “how does it feel to the tooth”. When cooking a pasta Al dente it should be firm to the bite. The more pasta cooks, the gummier it gets. The reason you want your pasta a little firm is because of the dressing and spices we are going to add to the veggie pasta salad. The pasta will continue to get softer as it absorbs the dressing, so if you over cook it, the pasta will become soggy.
Bring the water to a boil and add pasta. Cook uncovered for the directed amount of time. It is important to note that different elevations will change cooking times. Here in Utah it will take longer to cook because of the higher elevation, however the closer to sea level you are the faster it will cook. I would recommend checking the noodles at about 5-7 mins. Once the pasta is cooked to desired firmness rinse with cold water.
Add chopped tomatoes, chopped olives, diced purple onion, chopped cucumber, and shredded Parmesan cheese to the cooled noodles. I add them right into the pan I cooked the noodles in, it makes for less dirty dishes.
Finally, add Ranch seasoning packet, and Zesty Italian dressing to the veggies and pasta. Mix well. And there you have it the easiest pasta salad recipe ever. I love making this pasta salad because it is so dang easy and always a huge hit. There are so many ways to change it up also. It can be a simple pasta salad with veggies or a little spicier with red and green peppers. My husband feels like everything need a little meat so you could also add a little pepperoni or some ham squares.
This recipe is super versatile. Change it up, add what you like and take out what you don’t. Don’t forget to DM pictures and comments to me. I love to see the different ways this salad can be done!!
Veggie Pasta SaladCourse: American Recipes, Pasta, Salads, SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
The is seriously the best and easiest pasta salad ever. I always get tons of compliments on it whenever I make it. I also love that there are so many different ways to change it up. Try adding green peppers, or pepperoni!
6 Cups Rotini pasta.
16oz of Zesty Italian dressing.
1 (1oz)Ranch seasoning packet.
2 cups quartered cherry or grape tomatoes.
1 (6oz) can of chopped black olives.
2/3 cups of diced purple onion.
2 cups of quartered and chopped English cucumber.
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Bring water to boil and add Rotini noodles. Once cooked to Al Dente, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, black olives, and Parmesan cheese to cooled noodles. Gently mix.
- Add Zesty Italian dressing, and Ranch seasoning packet to veggies and pasta. Gently mix well.
- Refrigerate, and serve.
- For the best taste refrigerate pasta salad for a couple hours and let the noodles adsorb some of the flavors.
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
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This looks delicious! I going to make this for our BBQ tonight