This Easy Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing is a perfect side dish any time of year! Loaded with noodles, vegetables and a tangy homemade Italian dressing. Make ahead for easy entertaining.
Pasta salads are perfect side dishes. They pair well with BBQ or roasted meats, they’re great to serve alongside hot dogs and hamburgers in the summer, and if you add protein to them, pasta salads are a meal in themselves. And the best part, they’re super easy to assemble.
Pasta Salads are perfect for potlucks, picnics and barbecues!
I don’t know about you, but when we’re at a potluck or a summer BBQ, if I see a pasta salad on the table, I make a beeline right for it. Pasta salads are THE best. Full of flavour and delicious ingredients…they’re just so good. Most people (and kids) love pasta salads, so they’re a perfect dish to take to potlucks, picnics and barbecues.
This easy pasta salad is made with a homemade Italian salad dressing that is simple and quick to assemble. After that, the rest of the salad ingredients are really up to you.
Tailor your Pasta Salad to your tastebuds:
Pick your favourite noodle, then add all of your favourite chopped vegetables. To this salad we added chopped cucumbers, red bell pepper, green onion, chickpeas, sliced black olives, chopped cauliflower and tomato. But you could also use chopped broccoli, carrots, snap peas, chunks of cheddar cheese, and even cooked chunks of chicken to make it a full meal. The flavour possibilities are endless.
This is a great make-ahead recipe!
Then toss everything together, let it rest for about an hour then serve it up to your hungry crowd! This recipe is also a great make-ahead recipe. Just put your salad together the day before you want to serve it, then keep it in the fridge until serving time. Make sure to give it a good stir right to the bottom of the bowl to redistribute any dressing.
This Easy Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing is a perfect side dish any time of year!
* This recipe serves a crowd, 10 – 12 people, so feel free to cut it in half if you wish, or it makes great leftovers for lunches the next day! *
* Allow at least 1 hour for the salad to rest before serving. *
Homemade Italian Dressing
1 cup vegetable oil (you can use olive oil, but the flavour will be a bit stronger)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 or 2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
fresh ground pepper
salt to taste (I didn’t add any because the parmesan cheese is salty, but you can add salt if you want)
Salad Ingredients (see notes):
1 – 900 g package of noodles
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 can sliced olives (drained)
3 medium tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 red pepper (chopped (more if you like))
1 medium cucumber (chopped)
1 cup chopped cauliflower
3 – 4 green onions (sliced)
Blend all of the salad dressing ingredients together until smooth. I like to use a hand blender to do this.
Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside to cool slightly.
Toss the pasta and chopped vegetables with the salad dressing and let it rest for at least 1 hour. This salad is even better when served the next day, after it has had time to rest.
Stir before serving.
Feel free to use any vegetables that you like…I only just listed what was used for this salad. You can also use chopped broccoli, carrots, snap peas, chunks of cheddar cheese, and even cooked chunks of chicken to make it a full meal. The flavour possibilities are endless.
I'm Jo-Anna Rooney, the creator, director, creator, baker, maker and home decorator here at A Pretty Life! Sharing a simple home life through uncomplicated home tips, home decor and fresh and easy recipes.