I love pasta salad. I remember my grandmother would always make the Spaghetti Salad for family gatherings, and you could find me somewhere with a mountain of it. My husband’s grandmother makes it to this day. This Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing is an update and a nod to that recipe.
I like to use chunks of cheese and pepperoni in this salad because then you can really taste them. You can use any shortcut pasta you wish. I like penne, spirals, or gemeli pasta. Shells would also work. The dressing is just my favorite store bought Italian dressing. Ken’s Steakhouse makes a lovely Basil and Romano Italian that works really well here. You can’t forget some Salad Supreme too. That stuff takes me right back to childhood.
What to Add to Pasta Salad
This version is pretty simple, but you could omit the pepperoni and add more veggies if you are vegetarian. I also think olives or peppers would be nice, but my family is picky about those so I left them out. You can literally make this pasta salad with any vegetables you like. It’s a great clean out the crisper recipe. Add a side of grilled chicken or steak and you have a really good summertime dinner.
Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing definitely falls into the sometimes category for healthful eating, but summertime is to be enjoyed. Picnics are often outdoors and this is a safe bet when it has to sit out for a bit.
If you make this Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing tag me on instagram @freshfitkitchen. Pin it for later too!
You can also find my other favorite Kale Caesar Pasta Salad on the blog. It’s a yummy treat as well!
Easy Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
- 1/2 lb. Shortcut Pasta I like Penne, spirals or Gemeli Pasta.
- 1/2 cup Tomato Chopped
- 1/2 cup Pepperoni Chopped
- 1/2 cup Cucumber Chopped
- 1/2 cup Onion Finely Chopped
- 1/2 cup Sharp Chedder Cheese Cut into small cubes.
- 3/4 cup Ken's Basil and Romano Light Italian Dressing You can use your favorite Italian Dressing. Make sure you have more for adding later as the pasta will soak some up.
- 1-2 tsp. Salad Supreme Seasoning by McCormick Add to your tastes
- Parsley For Garnishing- this is optional
Chop the vegetables, cheese and pepperoni and set aside.
Boil the Pasta according to package instructions for al'dente. Be sure to cold shock the pasta by running cold water over it in the strainer to immediately stop cooking.
Toss the pasta with the vegetables, cheese and pepperoni. Pour over the dressing and toss. Sprinkle with Salad Supreme seasoning and toss again.
You could serve it immediately, but the pasta salad is best the next day or at least 2 hours later. If the pasta soaks up too much dressing just add more.
Nutrition is calculated using the exact brands of ingredients in the recipe. Nutrition is calculated using My Fitness Pal. Calories are for 1/4 cup of salad.