Delicious and easy Summer Pasta Salad is packed with all the best summer vegetables! It’s fresh and coated with a simple dressing, making a tasty side dish.
This fresh summer veggie pasta salad is a great way to use up all of those vegetables from the garden. It’s a cinch to make and the perfect side dish to take to BBQs and parties! Check out these other tasty BBQ ready dishes; Red, White, & Blue Fruit Salad, Hatch Chile Cornbread, and Mom’s Oven Baked Beans, you’re gonna want to make them all!!
Easy Vegetarian Pasta Salad
Summer isn’t complete without a few good pasta salads, am I right? This vegetable pasta salad is loaded with a variety of veggies and seasoned with spices and Italian dressing. It’s so fresh and delicious, it could easily be served as a main dish instead of a side.
My mother-in-law makes a pasta salad that’s really similar to this one, with the addition of artichoke hearts, mushrooms and avocado. But since it’s summer and tomatoes, zucchini, onions and bell peppers are in season, I thought I’d make a garden-friendly version.
You can serve it right away or you can cover it and let it refrigerate for a few hours beforehand. I prefer to let it sit because the veggies and noodles soak up the flavor from the dressing and get extra tender too. Either way, it’ll taste delicious!
How to Make Summer Pasta salad
This salad is so easy to make, all you need to do is boil a large pot of pasta (1 pound), chop up the veggies and toss it together with the dressing. It’s ready to go in just 20 minutes!!
PASTA. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook according to the package’s directions. Drain and set aide.
VEGGIES. Meanwhile, prep the veggies.
DRESSING. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing, parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, salt and black pepper
COMBINE. In the large pot, combine the pasta, veggies, and dressing. Stir until everything is well combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve
Recipe Tips + FAQ
What other veggies go well? In my opinion the more veggies you add the better! There are lots of veggies that are in season during the summer, such as roasted corn, garden peas, or even sweet peppers. Definitely use the veggies that your kids prefer!
Other dressings that go well? You can do a typical oil and vinegar dressing combo. There are also a couple of great creamy dressing options. You can use ranch, or make your own creamy dressing out of mayo, vinegar, and salt and pepper. We have an awesome and delicious greek yogurt green goddess salad dressing.
What type of pasta? Any short pasta is a great option for pasta salad. You can use bowtie pasta, penne, macaroni, or fusilli
Storing? If you are figuring that you are going to have leftovers I recommend not dousing the whole salad in your dressing. Salads with dressing tend to wilt quicker than salads without dressings. Ideally store the salad separate from the dressing. This will last about 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Make ahead? You can cut your veggies ahead of time and even make your pasta ahead of time. Assemble all of your ingredients right before serving.
For more pasta salads, check out:
- Zesty italian pasta salad
- Chicken caesar pasta salad
- Chicken caprese pasta salad with pesto dressing
Summer Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 yellow squash - cut in half lengthwise then sliced
- 1 zucchini - cut in half lengthwise then sliced
- 1 large head of broccoli - cut into florets
- 1/2 medium red onion - diced or sliced
- 2/3 cup red bell peppers or roasted red peppers - diced
- 1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives
- 2/3 cup Italian dressing - I used Newman's Own
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 2 tbsp freshly minced parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Place a large pot of water over high heat, bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package's directions. Drain and set aide.
- Meanwhile, prep the veggies, then in a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing, parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, salt and black pepper.
- In the large pot, combine the pasta, veggies, and dressing. Stir until combined. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.