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Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

This is a very easy pasta salad recipe.  You can mix and match your favorite add-ins until you get the perfect pasta salad for your family.  Pasta salad is so versatile, you can easily make a side dish using up vegetables already have in your refrigerator and some from your pantry.

Easy Pasta Salad

Optional Easy Pasta Recipe Addins

Here are some of my favorite things to add to pasta salads, the list is really unlimited, anything you think sounds good would probably work.

Fresh Vegetables

  • Cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
  • Cucumber – peeled and sliced
  • Red Onion – minced, diced, or thinly sliced
  • Green Onion – minced, or diced
  • Bell pepper – seeded and diced
  • Broccoli – chopped
  • Cauliflower – chopped
  • Celery – minced or diced
  • Carrots – shredded or minced
  • Mushrooms – sliced or halved
  • Jalapeno – seeded and minced
  • Jacimica – peeled – and diced
  • Zucchini – Cut into bite sized pieces
  • Radishes – sliced
  • Turnips – sliced or cubed
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Parsley

Shelf Stable Vegetables

  • Olives – drained sliced or halved
  • Artichoke Hearts – drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts – drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes – sliced or diced
  • Pepperoncini’s – drained and whole or sliced
  • Cherry Peppers – drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Baby Corn – drained
  • Corn Nibblets – drained
  • Cut Green Beans – drained
  • Roasted Bell Peppers – drained and sliced
  • Nacho Rings

Meats and Cheeses

  • Salami – sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Cooked Chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces
  • Hard Boiled Eggs – chopped or sliced
  • Canned Tuna – Drained
  • Pepperoni – sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Feta Cheese – crumbled
  • Mozzarella – shredded or fresh bite sized
  • Parmesan Cheese – shredded or grated
  • Cheddar – shredded or cubed
  • Pepper Jack – shredded or cubed
  • Some people enjoy chopped NUTS in their pasta salad


Pasta Salad Dressing

How to Make Easy Pasta Salad

Put a pot of salted water on and bring it to a boil.  Cook one pound of your favorite pasta for pasta salad according to the directions, don’t over cook it!  When the pasta is done cooking transfer it to a colander to drain and rinse pasta off with cold water to stop the cooking process.

How to Make Pasta Salad

While pasta water is coming to a boil make your pasta salad dressing my favorites are this Italian Salad Dressing with red wine vinegar and this Greek Salad Dressing.  Or you could use store bought salad dressing.  Place cooled drained pasta into a big bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Depending on how many vegetables, meats, and cheeses you add to the pasta you will need at least one cup of dressing and maybe a little more.

Add vegetables, meats, and cheeses to the pasta salad.  Make sure the pasta salad has enough dressing, you don’t want the salad to be drowning in dressing but you don’t want the pasta dry either.  Taste for salt.  Let the flavors blend in the refrigerator for at least an hour before eating.

Here’s what I used to make this easy pasta salad below

Pasta Salad Recipe

I am participating in the 2016 A to Z Challenge.  This post for Easy Pasta Salad is my “E” day post.

Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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