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.