Recipes | Salads

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe: Summer Side Dish

This easy pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish for a summer picnic or gathering! Uses all fresh ingredients and can be made a day ahead.

rotini pasta salad recipe in bowl

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe 

This pasta salad recipe has been a favorite of my family for years. I posted it here on my blog way back in 2013, but wanted to share it again with a printable recipe. There are updated images and all sorts of tips. It’s one of those dishes that, for some reason, I only make in the summer. Which is crazy, because it would be a perfect side dish for the holidays. This recipe is one my mom made when I was growing up, and I’ve been making it for almost 40 years. It makes a huge bowl, and is actually better the second day, so making it ahead is no problem…and the leftovers are absolutely delicious.

pasta salad recipe ingredients

Easy Pasta Salad Tips

  • Begin by putting the pasta water on the stove, and prepare to cook the eggs. While all that is boiling, begin chopping. By the time the pasta is finished and the eggs are done, you will have most of your chopping out of the way.
  • The measurements for the veggies are just for guidance. You can use as much or as little of each vegetable as you like. Also, substitutions can be made for the ones listed in the recipe. The one ingredient I would not skip is the sweet onion. It adds a wonderful flavor.
  • My mom never removed the seeds from the tomatoes, but sometimes I do. If it’s summer, and the tomatoes are nice and meaty, there is no need. Sometimes the seeds are very runny, so I simply slice them out before chopping. 
  • If you are generous with the salt in the pasta water, there should be no reason to add additional salt and pepper. This pasta salad gets plenty of taste from the dressing.
  • The Marzetti Slaw Dressing can be found in the salad dressing and mayo aisle at the grocery store.  
  • This easy pasta salad recipe stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Keep it in an airtight container, and if the pasta soaks up the dressing, just add more. 

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

jar of marzetti

rotini pasta salad recipe in bowl

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

This easy pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish for a summer picnic or gathering! Uses all fresh ingredients and can be made a day ahead.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Pasta cooking time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta
  • 1/2 large sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (seeded if desired and chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 eggs (hard boiled and chopped)
  • 16 oz. Marzetti Slaw Dressing (The jar is 24 oz. You won't use the whole thing)

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. I add salt and olive oil to the boiling water. Drain when finished cooking.
  • Put prepared tomatoes, onion, carrots, cucumber, and eggs into a large bowl.
  • Pour about 1/2 of the jar of Marzetti dressing on the chopped veggies/eggs.
  • Stir to coat.
  • Add pasta and enough Marzetti dressing to coat the pasta. Keep stirring until it's all mixed together well.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours, longer is better.
  • Can be made a day ahead. If pasta soaks up too much of the dressing, just add more and stir well.

Notes

If using an English cucumber, there is no need to remove the peel.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1646IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
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pasta salad ingredients in bowl

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