I love making pasta salad in the summer because it’s a delicious cold meal! I made this recipe last month for the staff at Dessert’D when we had our summer staff meeting. Everyone loved it and it was really easy to feed our group, which is part of what I love about making pasta salad – it’s a done meal. You can bring this to a party and all you have to do is put a serving spoon in it and it’s ready to go.
And, let me say – this recipe makes a lot of pasta salad. I was originally going to make this entire recipe for my house (which is just Delaney and me) and then make another batch to bring to the staff meeting. When I made the first batch and photographed it, Delaney was like “You’re going to make another batch? We can’t eat all of this!” and Delaney loves having food in the house haha. So, for him to want to give it up because he was worried we physically couldn’t eat it all is saying something – this is a lot of food here. And it doesn’t seem like a lot as far as the ingredient list goes. I love recipes like that because I feel like I’m getting a lot of bang for my buck, and my time.
I ended up brining half of this recipe to the girls for the staff meeting and keeping about half and we were still eating pasta salad all week! So, if you have a large family, are having a party, or even a little Fourth of July celebration – then this easy Italian Pasta Salad recipe is just what you need! It can even be served as a side dish at your next BBQ or as a main dish to serve a crowd. Get the recipe below for my Italian Pasta Salad.
Tips for Making the Best Italian Pasta Salad
• Make sure your noodles are cooked and cooled before making this salad. You can even prep and cook them the night before and store in an airtight container in the fridge. That makes this salad really easy to prep the next day.
• You can even prep the dressing the day before as well. Just don’t store it in the fridge as it will congeal. You can leave it out overnight if you’ll be prepping this the next day. If storing for a longer period of time, store in the fridge – as this is a great dressing for lots of stuff!
• If you can’t get the Organic Prairie Summer Sausage (1. you’re missing out as it’s amazing), but 2. you can use Italian Dry Salami in its place. I prefer the summer sausage as it’s thicker so you can cut into small chunks that have more bang when eating it in a bite.
• You don’t have to put all the dressing on the entire salad. When I make this I like to prepare everything, and then leave the basil and dressing off. When I want to make a bowl, I’ll prepare a bowl of the salad, dress it, add fresh basil and salt and pepper at that time. Because it’s just Delaney and me, whenever I make this we will eat this salad all week long so this makes it stay fresh longer.
Why go organic?
You may be wondering why I push organic ingredients for everything, even savory and healthy dishes. Organic ingredients go beyond just health and wellness, and contribute so much to the taste and flavor of a recipe. So, if you think that you’re making something healthy and buying fruits, veggies, or meats so maybe you don’t need to spend the extra to go organic here – let me sway your thinking.
Organic ingredients are made in a more pure way, therefore using no additives, no GMOs, and minimal ingredients. This really allows the true ingredients to shine – and because of that their flavor shines through. Therefore, organic ingredients are more flavorful than their non organic counterparts. So, just because it’s already a healthy recipe, or you’re already buying good for you ingredients – it doesn’t mean you can skip organic! Trust me here, and make the switch. Your body and your taste buds will thank you!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Italian Pasta SaladDifficulty: Easy
This healthy Italian Pasta Salad recipe uses organic ingredients, tons of veggies, and extra virgin olive oil for a light and delicious dinner or side dish.
2 pounds organic penne noodles
8 ounces organic mozzarella, cut into small cubes
1 organic green bell pepper, diced
1 organic yellow bell pepper, diced
1 organic cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 organic white onion, diced
2 cups organic green olives, sliced
1/2 cup organic shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup organic fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon organic onion powder
1 teaspoon organic oregano
1/2 teaspoon organic thyme
1/2 teaspoon organic basil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the noodles per the instructions on the box. Drain and allow to cool completely.
- To make the dressing: In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk together to combine. This dressing will separate, so best to store in a bottle that can be shaken up if you won’t be preparing the entire salad at once.
- In a very large bowl, add the noodles, sausage, mozzarella, green and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, and parmesan. Toss to distribute evenly.
- Before serving: Add the fresh basil, dressing, and give it a good salt and pepper (to taste) and toss again.
- Store the undressed salad in the fridge for up to 7 days, dressed up to 3 days.
- Gluten Free — Use gluten free noodles.
- High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted.
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Make sure to check out my Dill Cream Cheese Spread recipe, which I’m sure you’ll love too! And, share it with someone who you think may also like it!