The perfect easy pasta salad! Loaded with veggies and a creamy dressing that comes from a bottle! This is a classic, go-to summer sidedish that never goes out of style!
One of my favorite dishes to take to any potluck is this pasta salad recipe. It’s always a huge hit and it couldn’t be easier!
I get the most compliments for this dish and I have a secret to share….I don’t even make the sauce homemade! NO! I use a jar mix of….well, just read on and I’ll share with you below!
I’m all about being in the kitchen and making homemade food for my family, but I’m not about spending hours and hours standing at the kitchen counter. I am always looking to create easy recipes that always turn out delicious. This Pasta Salad is one of those recipes!
(Want something a little lighter? Try my Spaghetti Salad!)
How To Make Easy Pasta Salad
You will be shocked at just how easy this dish is to make and you’ll wonder why you ever bought one of those little containers of pasta in the deli!
Pasta Salad Ingredients
- rainbow rotini pasta
- cherry tomatoes
- purple onion
- bottled creamy sauce
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Pasta Salad
- First, boil 1 box of pasta until al dente. I like to use rainbow rotini pasta for this dish. You could use any kind that you like, but I’ve found that it holds the sauce well and it looks pretty! Do not overcook. The pasta will soak up all of the sauce and will get softer as it sits.
- While the pasta is boiling, cut up 1 cucumber into bite-size pieces, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes in half and 1/4 of a purple onion – if desired. My kids don’t like the onion so I leave it out. BUT I really like it in this dish. It gives it a great flavor that isn’t overwhelming.
- Once the pasta is done cooking – about 8 minutes or so – drain all the water and add to a large bowl.
- Next, toss in your veggies and sauce.
- Finally, mix together and chill for at least 3-4 hours. Give a good stir when you’re ready to serve it. That’s it!
My secret sauce for the most amazing pasta salad
Oh, wait ……I didn’t tell you what the sauce was yet. It’s……..
Marzetti’s Original Slaw Dressing!!!
YES! I know it sounds really odd but it is THE PERFECT compliment to your pasta salad. Everyone loves it and is shocked to find out exactly what I use!
Well, the cat’s out of the bag. It’s COLESLAW DRESSING!
Make sure to use Marzetti’s! It’s the best!!
In case you have a few questions about making this pasta salad recipe….
What goes well with pasta salad?
Pasta salad goes great as a side dish to any sandwich recipe you’re having! My favorite sandwich to have with this pasta salad is this Mississippi Roast Sandwich. The mild flavors of this recipe really compliment just about anything.
Can you make pasta salad the day before?
Of course, you can make pasta salad the day before. I actually recommend it so that all the flavors mingle together and really develop.
How long does pasta salad last?
Pasta salad will last about 5-7 days in the refrigerator. After that, I’d toss it out.
Do you rinse pasta for cold pasta salad?
For best results, rinse your pasta in cold water before you add in the veggies and sauce.
Several years ago I made a video with my kids and I’m sharing it again today. I’ll make a new video tutorial soon, but in the meantime – enjoy this throwback!
- 1 box of Tri-Color Rotini Pasta
- 1 cucumber - cut up into bite size pieces
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 small purple onion - diced
- 1 jar of Marzetti's Orignial Slaw Dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil pasta according to box directions - drain
- Prepare veggies by cutting into bite-size pieces
- Mix entire jar of dressing into pasta in a large bowl
- Add veggies along with salt and pepper
- Chill for several hours or overnight before serving
If you’re looking for more amazing side dish recipes, try these next!