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Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

If you’re as much of a pasta salad lover as my family, then I’m sure your familiar with this style.

Veggies cut up for Italian pasta salad
We call it the Italian style pasta salad. Mainly because of the dressing, which is literally a bottle of Italian salad dressing. I’m sure you can whip up your own Italian salad dressing in a heart beat, but we’re going for ease and speed here people.

Being able to just boil the noodles, cut up some veggies and toss it all together with the dressing, makes this one a weeknight savior. Sometimes, we’ll use this as a main course and serve it with other side-like items. Of course, it’s the perfect cook out companion and pairs amazingly with that type of food. Burgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, all go amazing with this Italian pasta salad.

Green peppers ready for Italian pasta salad
I think what makes this so yummy is the acidity brought forth by the Italian dressing. That, paired with the crunch of the fresh veggies and the soft chew of the noodles, make a perfect combination. All of the contrasting flavors and textures make this beast irresistible.

My family and I love this pasta salad so much, partially for its ability to pair it with whatever kind of cheese you please. We used exclusively use shredded cheddar. Now, we branch out and mix it up. For this specific post, we used feta cheese in the salad. Talk about bumping up the flavor! I recommend this cheese, or something else with a very distinct flavor. It’s nice to get a little burst of feta cheese here and there as your eating this salad.

Another reason you need to be making this salad is how easy it is to make it to fit what you have on hand in your kitchen. You can really throw whatever the heck you want in here, and you’ll love if. We’ve done mushrooms, broccoli, and even zucchini. Whatever you toss in, the Italian dressing will be very accepting and welcome it like a friend that’s always been there.

I do have a couple notes for this recipe. Get your noodles as dry as you can. Any extra liquid will dilute the flavor. Also, when you’re cutting your tomatoes, remove the gelatinous seeded areas. There’s good flavors there, but they hold a lot of the moisture of a tomato and will also water your salad down big time. I always garnish my servings of this with fresh black pepper because it just seems to  pair so well with everything.

Italian pasta salad plated
I hope I’ve convinced you to give this one a go. It’s perfect for quick meals, and pot lucks all the same. No matter what you add to it, when you make it, or who you make it for, make it your own. Make it with love and add your personal touch to it.

Recipe

  • a box favorite shaped pasta, cooked al dente, and allowed to cool and dry
  • 1 bottle Italian dressing
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin (minced for stronger flavor)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets cut small
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced and removed of seeded gelatinous parts
  • 1-2 cups favorite cheese
  1. Combine onion, garlic, scallions, broccoli, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Add in noodles and bottle of Italian dressing. Stir to combine.
  3. If using shredded cheese, add in starting with 1 cup and stir. Add more as needed. If using feta or stronger, crumbly cheese, serve as garnish individually. Also garnish with black pepper.
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