best pasta salad recipe

Pasta Salad Recipe

Are you looking for a pleasant summer picnic or party side dish? Try a tasty pasta salad recipe! Colorful veggies, bright sauces, and delicate pasta make this adaptable and easy-to-prepare dish appealing. This recipe will help you make a delicious pasta salad that will impress your family and friends. Let’s explore pasta salads!

Ingredients of Pasta Salad

🍝 1 pound of your choice of pasta (penne, fusilli, or rotini), ensuring each bite is a delightful twirl of textures.

🍅 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved, adding a burst of sweet juiciness to every forkful.

🧅 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, for a gentle yet assertive kick of flavor that harmonizes with the ensemble.

🍆 1/2 cup of black olives, sliced, infusing the dish with their distinct briny richness.

🌿 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, lovingly chopped, imparting an aroma that transports you straight to the Mediterranean countryside.

🧀 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese, a creamy and tangy indulgence that ties the ingredients together.

🍇 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, offering a deep, slightly sweet undertone that balances the medley.

🍈 1/4 cup of olive oil, our liquid gold enriches each morsel with velvety smoothness.

🧄 2 cloves of garlic, minced, lending their pungent charm to the dressing and infusing it with a subtle intensity.

🧂 A sprinkle of salt and a crackle of black pepper, to taste, enhancing all the flavors with a harmonious seasoning dance.

pasta salad on a white plate with a fork
Image by Freepik

Dressing of Pasta Salad

Now, let’s talk about dressing. We’ll make a simple vinaigrette using 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. The balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness and acidity, while the olive oil provides a smooth and luxurious texture.

To enhance the flavor, we’ll mince 2 cloves of garlic and add them to the dressing. Garlic gives a subtle yet robust taste that complements the other ingredients wonderfully.

Finally, we’ll season the pasta salad with salt and black pepper according to your taste preferences. These spices help to bring out the flavors of all the ingredients and give the salad a well-rounded taste.

Once you mix all these ingredients together, you’ll have a pasta salad that’s bursting with colors, flavors, and textures. It’s a delightful dish that can be enjoyed as a side or even as a light main course. So, get your ingredients ready, and let’s make a delicious pasta salad!

Pasta Salad Recipe

Recipe by Syed Wasif GilaniCourse: SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Boiling Time


Total time



This pasta salad recipe is a perfect dish for a summer BBQ or a potluck party. It is delicious and healthy.


  • 1 pound pasta (penne, fusilli, or rotini)

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Boiling Pasta Salad
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to cool it down. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
  • Mixing Pasta Salad
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and fresh basil leaves to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the top of the pasta salad.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Give the salad a good stir before serving, to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed.


  • The yield would be around 4–6 servings, assuming a serving size of about 1 cup.
  • The total time to make this pasta salad would be approximately 40-45 minutes. Cooking the pasta will take around 10-12 minutes while preparing the vegetables and the dressing should take around 10-15 minutes. After combining all the ingredients and chilling the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, it will be ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Please note that these values are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and brands used. Additionally, the serving size may vary depending on how much pasta salad is consumed.

➤ Show Full Nutrition Label

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size100g

  • Amount Per ServingCalories380
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 16g 25%
    • Saturated Fat 4.5g 23%
  • Cholesterol 20mg 7%
  • Sodium 460mg 20%
  • Total Carbohydrate 47g 16%
    • Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
    • Sugars 4g
  • Protein 11g 22%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Closeup Shot of Pasta Salad in a plate
    Image by Freepik

    Tips and Tricks for Pasta Salad Recipe

    Here are some handy tips and tricks to elevate your creation:

    Choose the right pasta: Choose a pasta shape that will hold the dressing and other ingredients well, such as fusilli, penne, or rotini. Whole-grain pasta is also a healthier choice.

    🕑 Cook the pasta properly: Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is cooked but still slightly firm. Overcooking the pasta will make it mushy and affect the texture of the salad.

    🚿 Rinse the pasta: Rinse the cooked pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. This will prevent the pasta from becoming too soft and sticking together.

    🍅 Use fresh and seasonal ingredients: Use fresh and seasonal vegetables to add flavor and texture to the salad. Consider using cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and olives.

    🍗 Add protein: Add protein to the salad, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu, to make it more filling and nutritious.

    🍋 Use a flavorful dressing: Use a flavorful dressing to coat the pasta and other ingredients. Consider using a vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.

    ❄️ Let it chill: Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and make the salad more delicious.

    🌰 Add toppings: Consider adding toppings to the salad, such as nuts, seeds, or croutons, to add crunch and flavor.

    Pasta in a round Bowl with green leaves
    Image by Freepik

    Serving Suggestions for Pasta Salad Recipe

    Here are some of my personal favorite serving suggestions for pasta salad:

    🥗 As a side dish: Pasta salad makes a great side dish for grilled meats, fish, or vegetables. Serve it alongside your main course for a complete and balanced meal.

    🧺 For picnics and potlucks: People often choose it for picnics and potlucks because it’s easy to transport and can be made in advance. Pack it in a large bowl or container with a lid and bring it along to your next outdoor gathering.

    🍲 As a main dish: You can also enjoy it as a main dish by adding some protein, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu. This will make it more filling and satisfying.

    🍱 For meal prep: Make a big batch of pasta salad recipe at the beginning of the week and portion it out into individual containers for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. You can add some extra veggies or protein to make it more nutritious and filling.

    🥖 With crusty bread: Serve it with some crusty bread or garlic bread for a complete and satisfying meal. You can use the bread to soak up any extra dressing or sauce from it.

    pasta salad recipe
    Image by Freepik

    Storage Tips For Pasta Salad

    Alright, now let’s talk about storing that delicious pasta salad you just made. I am sharing my personal and practical tips to keep it fresh and safe.

    Once you’ve whipped up your masterpiece, transfer it into an airtight container and pop it into the fridge promptly. The trick is to refrigerate it within two hours of making it. This way, we can make sure those harmful bacteria won’t spoil the party.

    You can keep your salad in the refrigerator for a good three to four days. But before you serve it up, give it a little stir to make sure the dressing and flavors are all evenly distributed.

    Now, here’s the important part: if your pasta salad has been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours, it’s best to bid farewell to it. Better to be safe than sorry and prevent any foodborne illness.

    So, there you have it, a simple guide to storing your delightful pasta salad. Keep it chilled, give it a stir, and remember to toss it if it’s been left out for too long.

    Beautiful image of pasta salad on a table
    Image by Freepik

    My Advice

    If you want to create a perfect salad, choose your favorite type of pasta and make sure to cook it al dente. Use fresh vegetables, like cherry tomatoes and red onions, along with sliced black olives and chopped fresh basil for added flavor. The balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing should be well-combined and poured over the pasta salad while it’s still warm. Chill the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I use a different type of pasta for the pasta salad?

    Yes, you can use any type of pasta that you prefer, such as penne, fusilli, or rotini. Just be sure to cook it al dente according to the package instructions.

    Can I make the pasta salad ahead of time?

    Yes, you can make the pasta salad ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container and give it a good stir before serving.

    Can I add additional ingredients to the pasta salad recipe?

    Yes, feel free to customize the pasta salad with your favorite ingredients, such as grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or different types of cheese. Just be sure to adjust the dressing accordingly.

    Can I make the pasta salad recipe dairy-free or vegan?

    Yes, you can make the pasta salad dairy-free by omitting the feta cheese or using a dairy-free alternative. To make it vegan, omit the feta cheese and use vegan-friendly pasta.


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      • Dear Latina Gallups,

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I appreciate your feedback and I am delighted to hear that you found value in my website content. I am dedicated to providing informative and engaging articles, and it’s rewarding to know that you are interested in reading more.

        Best regards,

        Wasif Gilani

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