Pasta Salad Recipe

April 18, 2016
pasta salad recipe

Y’all. My mom is a kitchen genius. From baking to marinating to straight up cooking, she has it down and I’m constantly trying to learn from her. The hard part? The woman doesn’t use recipes! It’s all in her head and she just eyeballs it, adding and subtracting until it looks right. Luckily though, I can get her to write things down every once in a while, which is why I’m able to share this pasta salad recipe today!

pasta salad recipe

I could eat this pasta salad all day, every day! It’s super light taste and tons of colors make it a perfect addition to a BBQ or picnic. I am not a fan of mayonnaise-based salads for a variety of reasons so I love that this salad packs tons of flavor without it.  Plus, without any mayonnaise, it’s a great option for entertaining outside.

It also is really really good the next day. Or even the day after that so if you make too much (which is almost impossible), you can definitely enjoy the leftovers.

pasta salad recipe

Now, without the dressing, this pasta salad recipe would just be a bowl of noodles and veggies. The dressing is what makes it special. It’s super easy to make and you can really tweak it to your taste. The olives give the salad quite a bit of saltiness so I would suggest going light on the additional salt until you’ve tasted it.  Bonus here: you get to taste test it before anyone else, multiple times if you have to!


Pasta Salad Recipe


  • 1 box tricolor rotini, cooked to package directions
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can medium pitted black olives, halved
  • 1/2 jar of green olives, halved
  • 5 oz of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta to package directions and then drain.
  2. Prep celery, onion, olives and tomatoes to mix into the pasta. Chill mixture for about an hour to ensure the pasta is really cool.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and pour half of it over the salad. Stir until all the ingredients are coated. Set the remainder aside.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Pour the remaining dressing over the pasta salad and mix thoroughly.

pasta salad recipe

I’m sharing this post with Mary and Alesha for Delicious Dish Tuesday.

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  • Jen

    I LOVE pasta salad, it is definitely one of my favorite side dishes.

    • Me too! I like it the best out of all the picnic side dishes.

  • Chelsea Stephanie

    Oh gosh I normally don’t love pasta salad but this just looks so yummy that I am going to have to try it!

    • This one is super good. It’s not heavy like I normally think of when it comes to pasta salad. Let me know if you like it!

  • Oh I love been looking for the perfect pasta salad to bring on picnics! I think I have all these ingredients!!

    • They’re so stinking tasty!! I think this one will be a crowd pleaser for sure!

  • This pasta salad looks so good! I also love how easy it looks! It would be perfect for a big get-together!

    • It’s awesome! And you could easily up the quantity for a big group!

  • I completely forgot about pasta salad- such an easy thing I can make and have for lunch! I don’t like the ones with mayo so this is perfect.

    • Yeah I hate mayo so this one is my go-to picnic contribution.

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