The next time you’re asked to bring a dish to a party, bring this Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad. It’s a pasta salad full of plenty of vegetables, cheese and tossed with a good vinaigrette. Watch the video showing you how to make this recipe, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.
It’s funny because I pretty much think of the typical pasta salad as having been around forever. I used to make them in college with a quick toss of store-bought Italian dressing. It was so easy to make pasta salads that way, but when I think back… they really were not anything stellar.
And I made a lot of pasta salad for parties when I worked for a caterer back in the day. We made them in bulk in huge tubs for parties of 300 people. They were made much the same way as my college salads- with bottled Italian dressing. The truth is: everyone loves a good pasta salad, no matter how it’s made!
Now that I’m older and much, much wiser… I still make a good pasta salad. Nowadays though I add in plenty of fresh vegetables and I toss it all with a very simple, homemade vinaigrette. I think the dressing can make all the difference in a pasta salad, so homemade is the way to go!
Oh, and since I’m addicted to cheese all day every day… I add in cheese cubes too. This is the perfect recipe for bringing to a potluck party. It’s easy to make, and you can prepare it several hours ahead. Just toss it again lightly before serving.
My big secret for making pasta salads for parties (when your refrigerator is stuffed full of other things) is to put the prepared pasta salad in large zip baggies. Then you can easily plop it into a serving bowl when it’s time for your party!
Here are a few more salad recipes you might enjoy:
If you happen to be following the Weight Watchers WW plan, you’ll find a link to the WW Points on the recipe card below.
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces rainbow rotini pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 1½ cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
- 1 large zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
- 1½ cups chopped carrots
- 1½ cups seeded and chopped red bell pepper
- 1½ cups cubed sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 bunches green onions, chopped (white and some green)
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspooon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake until well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.