This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

I love making homemade pasta salad and we keep it in the refrigerator for quick lunches by itself or paired with grilled chicken for an extra protein boost. I load it up with fresh vegetables and toss it with a SECRET ingredient, Salad Supreme Seasoning, and pour in zesty Olive Garden dressing, and it is always a hit! I always get people asking me for the recipe!

Pasta salad is such crowd-pleasing side dish that effortlessly combines the heartiness of pasta with the freshness of vegetables and the zing of a flavorful dressing. Everyone loves this quick and easy pasta salad at any potluck or party.

Easy Pasta Salad Ingredients. Pasta salad with Olive Garden dressing. Pasta salad with salad supreme seasoning.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta: Use your favorite type of pasta. I suggest rotini, penne, fusilli, or farfalle. I like to buy pastas made in Italy and some of my favorite brands are De Cecco, Garofalo, and Rummo.
  • Tomatoes: I like to use grape tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise.
  • Cucumber: I suggest using Hot House or English cucumbers because they have less seeds, are less watery, and are firmer.
  • Red Onion: This can overpower the pasta salad so I like to start with a smaller amount and you an always add more onions. If you are worried about overpowering the pasta salad, I suggest finely dicing the red onions.
  • Cheese: See below for what types of cheese to add to pasta salads but I suggest cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, feta, or parmesan.
  • Salami: I buy this from the deli counter since I can buy exactly how much I need.
  • Italian Dressing: My favorite pasta salad dressing is the Olive Garden Italian dressing you can find in the dressing aisle of the grocery store. You can also make homemade pasta salad dressing.
  • Salad Supreme Seasoning: The SECRET ingredient! This is a blend of paprika, garlic, Romano cheese, and more spices and it adds to much flavor to pasta salad.
  • Optional: Pepperoncini Peppers
Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

What’s the best pasta to use in pasta salad?

The key to a successful pasta salad is choosing the right type of pasta. Some of the most popular pasta choices are fusilli, rotini, and penne since their nooks and crannies allow the dressing to adhere to it.

What’s the best dressing to use in pasta salad?

If you are using store-bought Italian dressing, I would suggest using the Olive Garden Italian dressing. It has the perfect amount of tang and flavor. Another option would be to make a homemade Italian pasta salad dressing.

Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

What type of cheese should I use in pasta salad?

Choosing the right cheese for your pasta salad depends on your personal preferences and the flavor profile you’re aiming for. Here are some popular cheese options that work well in pasta salad:

For a Classic Pasta Salad, use Medium Cheddar Cheese. Sharp cheddar can bring a bold and robust flavor to your pasta salad. It complements salads with a mix of vegetables and a more robust dressing.

Use Provolone Cheese, an Italian cheese if you desire a mild and smoky flavor. It works well in pasta salads with Italian-inspired ingredients.

Fresh mozzarella or small mozzarella balls add a creamy and mild flavor. They are excellent in salads with cherry tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette.

For a Greek Pasta Salad or Mediterranean, add Feta Cheese. It adds a tangy and salty flavor to your pasta salad. It pairs well with Mediterranean-inspired salads containing olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

For a rich, nutty, savory bite, use Parmesan Cheese. It works particularly well with an Italian pasta salad that have a pesto or Italian dressing.

Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

How to season the best pasta salad:

It all starts with adding a generous amount of salt to the pasta water while cooking the pasta. This helps to infuse flavor into the pasta. To add extra flavor to pasta salad, I like to use McCormick’s Salad Supreme Seasoning.

How to make Easy Pasta Salad:

Here are some tips for making the best pasta salad recipe.

  1. Cook Pasta Al Dente: Ensure the pasta is cooked al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy in the pasta salad.
  2. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh and seasonal vegetables for the best flavor and texture.
  3. Make-Ahead: Yes, you can make pasta salad ahead of time! Prepare it a few hours before serving, allowing the flavors to meld.
Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

Storing Quick and Easy Pasta Salad:

How long is pasta salad good for in the refrigerator? I would suggest placing the homemade pasta salad in a air-tight sealed container and place in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Can you make ahead of time?

Is it better to make pasta salad the night before? Yes! It allows time for the dressing to soak into the pasta and infuse the flavor and spices into it.

What can you add to homemade pasta salad?

There are so many variations and ingredients to add to this quick and easy pasta salad recipe. If you want to add more vegetables, I suggest adding red, orange, and yellow peppers, carrots, and broccoli.

If you would like to add a Greek flair to your pasta salad, I would suggest adding Kalamata olives, stuffed cherry peppers, and feta cheese.

You can also use cheese filled tortellini for a tortellini pasta salad.

Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

What to serve with Pasta Salad?

There are so many delicious foods to serve with homemade pasta salad. I love to serve it alongside some grilled chicken or steak or sandwiches.

Grilled Chicken Marinade
Tri-Tip Steak Marinade
Cowboy BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken

More Easy Pasta Salad Recipes:

Easy Pasta Salad. This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
5 from 4 votes

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

By: Modern Honey® – www.modernhoney.com
This Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Recipe is made with pasta, fresh vegetables, cheese, salami, all tossed with a secret ingredient and Olive Garden Italian dressing. It is the best pasta salad recipe and the most flavorful side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb Pasta (rotini, penne, fusilli, or farfalle)
  • 1 pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 large Hot House or English Cucumber
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion (chopped)
  • 8 ounces Cheese, cubed (Cheddar, Provolone, or Mozzarella)
  • 6 ounces Salami
  • 12 to 14 ounces Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

Instructions 

  • Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Generously salt your water! Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the vegetables and cut the cheese into cubes. Slice or cube the salami.
  • Toss the cooked pasta with the dressing and add the vegetables first and then the meats and cheeses. Sprinkle with Salad Supreme seasoning and pepper. Taste for seasonings and add more Salad supreme or salt, as needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Storing Quick and Easy Pasta Salad:
How long is pasta salad good for in the refrigerator? I would suggest placing the homemade pasta salad in a air-tight sealed container and place in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Can you make ahead of time?
Is it better to make pasta salad the night before? Yes! It allows time for the dressing to soak into the pasta and infuse the flavor and spices into it.

Nutrition

Calories: 501kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 5141mg, Potassium: 446mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 705IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 225mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 501
Keyword: easy pasta salad, pasta salad recipe
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. I have never seen Salad Supreme Seasoning. Is there a substitute or a store that carries it? (Indiana)

    1. Hi Gloria! I looked up Indiana grocery stores and found it at all of the ones that I did check. They do have it at major grocery stores — Walmart, Kroger, Target, etc. It is a McCormick spice so it is found in most grocery stores. You can also find it on Amazon as well if you want it to be shipped to your home. I hope that helps!