Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad by Nancy

Looking for an easy pasta salad recipe?  Try this simple recipe to create a delicious dish that will keep everyone coming back for more!

Pasta salad is a great side dish and it keeps getting better day after day.  It is perfect for packing in your lunch or taking to a tailgate party. This easy recipe is full of delicious vegetables that you can tailor to your tastes and use whatever you have on hand.  It is economical and keeps for several days in the refrigerator.  Make it for a special side dish tonight or plan to take it to the game celebration this weekend!

How to Make Pasta Salad

Begin by boiling 4 cups of water with a teaspoon of salt added.  When water begins to boil rapidly, add 2 cups of dried rotini pasta.  Let water begin to boil again and stir frequently.  Do not cover.

Turn down heat slightly to get a gentle rolling boil, one where it does not boil over the pot.  You can add a teaspoon of olive oil to help keep pasta from boiling over.  Cook at a gentle rolling boil for 8 minutes or until pasta is done.  Do not let it overcook or it will be too soft.  I like to test it by piercing a piece of pasta with a fork to see how firm it is. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Add your choice of fresh vegetables that have been washed and chopped into bite size pieces.  I like to use carrots, radishes, and broccoli.  It will take about a cup of each vegetable to get a nice result.

Stir all ingredients gently to mix.  Top with about 3/4 to 1 cup of Olive Garden Italian Dressing.  You want it covered lightly but do not want to drown it in dressing.  Stir gently to mix in dressing.  Refrigerate several hours before serving.  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.  It gets more flavorful each day!


Update:  Thanks to my friend, Nancy H., for the beautiful picture.  It makes a great featured image for this post!



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Pasta Salad

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Serves: 8
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups Rotini Pasta
  • 1 cup raw broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup raw carrots, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup raw radishes, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing



Bring 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon salt added to a rolling boil. Add dried pasta.


Allow water to return to rapid boil. Turn down slightly to get a gentle rolling boil.


Stir pasta frequently for 8 minutes or until pasta is done. Do not overcook or it will be too soft.


Pour pasta into a colander in the sink to drain.


Rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking and to cool it down before adding the vegetables.


Pour pasta into a large bowl.


Add raw vegetable and stir gently to combine.


Add 1 cup of Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing and stir gently to mix all ingredients.


Pour into a storage container, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy!


Recipe can be increased or decreased to suit your serving size. A variety of raw vegetables can be used. Great for using leftover vegetables. Can add cooked, chopped ham or chicken for a main dish. Always refrigerate promptly.



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