Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe is a must for summer picnics, potlucks, and gatherings. This Mediterranean-inspired Pasta Salad is a favorite with salami, peppers, broccoli, zesty Italian dressing, and Feta cheese.

Pasta Salad in a White Bowl

And simple? Absolutely!

What to Love About this Pasta Salad

It’s hard to pick just a few reasons to love this salad.

  • It’s colorful and bright, as any respecting summer pasta salad should be.
  • Contains favorite summer veggies that are both healthy and delicious.
  • Bold flavors that pair well with summer favorite foods.
  • Easy to make ahead, in fact, it becomes even more delicious with age (smile).
  • Makes 12 servings, which is great for gatherings and leftovers.

Top view of Pasta Salad in a white bowl with a blue striped linen

Summer Pasta Salad

A cold pasta salad is a hallmark of summer. In fact, can you imagine a warm season without one? I admit, I can’t.

Finding a great recipe is a must for bringing to all sorts of gatherings. From picnics to potlucks, backyard BBQs, and all of the summer holidays.

These salads travel well, are always a favorite, and are simple and easy to make ahead. 

Bold Flavors

Bold flavors are a must for delicious salads.

  • This pasta salad is easy to make and is packed with fresh vegetables and bold flavors.
  • With a great texture of crunchy vegetables combined with herbs, tangy tomatoes, and flavorful salami, this salad is always a favorite.
  • While I’ve suggested some of my favorite vegetables to add to this pasta salad, make it your own by adding in your favorites!

Pasta

Rotini is a tried and true noodle to use in pasta salad. I love the tri-color rotini for its bright colors, but use any short or medium pasta you have on hand. 

I might substitute pasta shells, elbow macaroni, or traditional rotini. 

Be sure to not overcook the pasta for this salad. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in salads and not stand up to it’s dressing.

Tips on Making a Delicious Pasta Salad

  • Keep the vegetables small: Cut vegetables into pieces smaller than bite-size. It helps to incorporate all the pasta salad ingredients into each bite. 
  • Cook the pasta to al dente: As mentioned, overcooking will make a pasta salad mushy when the dressing is added. After cooking the noodles, immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. 
  • Refrigerator pasta salad for maximum flavor. While it’s tempting to dive right in, pasta salads benefit from chilling for a couple of hours. This gives the flavors time to develop.

Pasta Salad Ingredients on a white background

Pasta Salad Ingredients

Use a variety of your favorite vegetables, here are my favorites:

  • Tricolor rotini pasta
  • Salami
  • Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • Feta cheese
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sliced black olives
  • Bell Peppers (red and green)
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli florets
  • Red onion
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley

How to Make This Salad

  1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Combine the pasta, salami, tomatoes, olives, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, and red onion in a large bowl. Then fold in the dressing, cheeses, and fresh parsley. Toss to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate before serving. I like it best when refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Favorite Summer Salad Recipes

Closeup view of Pasta Salad in a White Bowl

Pasta Salad in a White Bowl

Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Mediterranean-inspired Pasta Salad is a favorite with salami, peppers, broccoli, zesty Italian dressing, and Feta cheese.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces tricolor rotini pasta
  • 8 ounces salami, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Combine the pasta, salami, tomatoes, olives, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, and red onion in a large bowl. Then fold in the dressing, cheeses, and fresh parsley. Toss to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate before serving. I like it best when refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Notes

Broccoli

  • If you want the broccoli a bit softer, quicky blanching the broccoli is easy. Bring 2 quarts salted water to boil. Add broccoli and cook until bright green and just tender; about 3 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Storing the Pasta Salad

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving and add additional dressing if necessary.  

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g

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