Super Easy Pasta Salad

This super easy pasta salad is perfect for family dinners, parties, or picnics!

Back in the day, I was the person who would always bring the soda or napkins to cookouts. It wasn’t that I was lazy. I just didn’t want folks to talk about my cooking!

Well, I’m a grown woman now, and I know that a good cookout requires people to bring more than just soda. Especially since I’m rolling four people deep!

Now, if you really can’t cook, by all means, keep bringing the easy stuff. Otherwise, it’s time to put some simple recipes in your back pocket to pull out whenever you’re invited somewhere.

This super easy pasta recipe is one that you can use over and over again. It’s a foundational recipe, meaning you can make it as is, but make it your own if you want. 

Take our family for example. The people that I live with only like simple vegetables. You know, carrots, cucumbers—veggies with very mild flavor. Your family might enjoy mushrooms, asparagus, or zucchini. 

With this pasta salad recipe, you can adapt based on your family’s preferences with no problem!

What Kind of Pasta Should You Use

When I’m making pasta salad, I love using farfalle, or the bow tie shape. Rotini is my second favorite. 

The best thing about this easy pasta salad recipe is that any shape of pasta will do, really. 

Just keep in mind that you’re taking it to a party, so you want to use a cute shape. Yes, I said a cute shape. Y’all know what I mean!

How To Adapt This Pasta Salad Recipe

This is the only pasta salad recipe you will ever need. I’m so serious. It’s basic and encompasses everything that makes a good pasta salad.

As I said above, my family isn’t keen on a ton of different vegetables. However, I can get away with switching out some of the herbs, cheeses, and vinegar that I use to make this pasta salad. 

If you know you’re going to want to take pasta salad to a few different events this summer, or even just switch things up for your family, do it!

Try different cheeses: feta, parmesan, blue cheese, shredded or chunked sharp cheddar

Add some protein: shredded chicken, chopped salami, turkey pepperoni

Swap flavors: add soy sauce, use rice wine vinegar instead, squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the salad

Use herbs: Swap rosemary for cilantro, instead of dried oregano, use fresh, or add your favorite herb

Super Easy Pasta Salad

Super Easy Pasta Salad

Super Easy Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad can be made in minutes and is perfect for family meals, picnics, or parties!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotini (or other)pasta
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • fresh cilantro to taste
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package.
  2. Wash and chop the vegetables. Set aside in a bowl.
  3. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, and seasoning. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. When pasta is done, rinse with cold water and strain.
  5. Thoroughly mix pasta and vinaigrette in a big bowl.
  6. Add cheese to pasta salad mixture if using.
  7. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  8. Top chilled pasta with cilantro before serving.

Notes

I like to combine cilantro with the pasta salad so that you get the flavor throughout, but if you’re making for a large group, just add it at the end!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 681mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

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