Pasta/Noodles/ Salads/ Vegetables/ Vegetarian

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad ~ The Complete Savorist

 Have you ever been invited to an impromptu gathering, pot luck, or backyard bbq? It happens to me from time to time.  Sometimes, I don’t have the time to make a dish to bring, forcing me to pick something up at the market.  I have a reputation as a decent cook among my friends, so I hate having to buy something.
Today, it happened again. I needed to make a dish for a large gathering and was pinched for time.  I wanted tasty, but fast.  This was my solution. If you find yourself in this situation, this dish is quick and easy using most pantry staples.  And it tastes fantastic.
The thing I love most about this salad is that it is a “toss it in” type salad.  Don’t have a cucumber, but have a zucchini, toss it in.  Don’t have fresh tomatoes, but have canned, toss it in.  Don’t have whole olives but have diced, toss it in.  Have some extra salami, toss it in.  That’s really how this salad came to be.  I was invited somewhere, didn’t want to buy anything, but didn’t have a lot of time to make anything laborious.  I rummaged around in the pantry and refrigerator and came up with this dish.  Simple to do, but full of flavor.
Pasta Salad ~ The Complete Savorist

Pasta Salad

Author: Michelle


  • 1 lb rotini pasta (or similar)
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese; cubed
  • 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber; quartered and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion; thinly sliced
  • 2-2.25 oz cans diced olives; drained
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese; finely grated
  • 11/2 cups light Italian salad dressing +/- to taste
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Once boiling, generously salt it and add the pasta.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  4. Drain and shake the water from the pasta.
  5. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of the salad dressing to the warm pasta and mix well.
  7. This will help prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  8. Set aside and allow the pasta to cool down.
  9. Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the pasta is cooling.
  10. Once the pasta has cooled, add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and mozzarella cheese.  Toss well.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add the parmesan cheese and salad dressing.  Mix well.
  13. Serve it immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Pasta Salad ~ The Complete Savorist

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    to me, this is THE classic pasta salad! the first time I ever made a cold pasta salad, it was with flavors similar to this, I was about 10 years old (obviously guided by mom…). I became obsessed with that salad that summer – I wanted it every day!

    I need to make this – such nostalgia! 🙂

    • Reply
      July 21, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Thank you, it felt like a total throw back to me as well. Let me know when you make yours.

  • Reply
    Florian @ContentednessCooking
    July 21, 2015 at 3:59 am

    This looks so vibrant and colorful, beautiful pictures and flavors! Perfect for hot summer days!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Thank you Florian, and it’s easily made vegan for you.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    July 21, 2015 at 4:38 am

    This is my kind of pasta salad because the cheese amount is NOT pitiful- Chucks > shredded. Also- Pasta.

    • Reply
      July 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Chunks of cheese is always wonderful.

  • Reply
    Joy @ Joy Love Food
    July 21, 2015 at 5:54 am

    I love these “toss it in” types of recipes, this pasta salad sounds delicious, and easy to make too!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

      “Toss it in” are the most fun to make.

  • Reply
    Manila Spoon
    July 21, 2015 at 6:37 am

    5 stars
    I see olives and I am already in love with this salad – love the flavor combination here!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2015 at 7:00 am

    This pasta salad looks really yummy!

  • Reply
    Alisa Fleming
    July 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I remember a potluck salad just like this from my childhood! So flavorful, popular and easy to whip up.

  • Reply
    Nibbles By Nic
    July 21, 2015 at 9:15 am

    There is nothing I would not take this pasta salad to! It’s light, tasty and freaking delicious!

  • Reply
    Karen @ The Food Charlatan
    July 22, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Maybe we should call this a “Toss it in” salad” haha. I love salads that are versatile like that! Looks amazing!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

      I like the name. How might that do for SEO?

  • Reply
    Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)
    July 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I LOVE olives in pasta salad! This looks like the perfect dish to take to potlucks, yum!

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