This Summertime Pasta Salad is colorful, fresh and full of flavor from all of the vegetables and the zesty dressing. Not to mention, it’s quick to make and is perfect for your next picnic or cookout.
One of the things I love about summertime foods is this pasta salad. It comes together so quick and can be easily adapted to a main meal by adding cooked chicken or ham. I must admit, this is my go-to salad when I have vegetables nearing there end in the refrigerator. The pasta can be any type you wish or have on hand. Occasionally, I will have near empty boxes of different types of pasta (spirals, bow ties, etc) and will just cook them all for this pasta salad. The dressing for this salad is a bottled zesty Italian dressing – of course, you can use a homemade Italian dressing if you wish.
The beauty of this salad is that you use the ingredients you like. I often will add broccoli or zucchini to this salad in place of the cucumbers. Even fresh spinach when I have it and need to use it up. I have two daughters that both like different veggies in this salad – one can’t stand broccoli and the other loves it. Simple solution is to make one bowl with all of the things they both like and then divide it up and add the other ingredients separately. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Let’s be honest here, I don’t measure so I’m going to do my best with the amounts. Really, you can’t go wrong with the amounts – just don’t overdo the dressing.
- 1 (12 oz) box Ronzoni Garden Delight Tri-color Rotini
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 2 bell peppers (I used yellow and red)
- 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced into quarters
- ½ - 1 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (8oz) bottle of zesty Italian dressing
- ** opitional or additional add-in vegetables: small broccoli florets, diced or sliced onions, zucchini slices, cooked chicken or ham cubes, pepperoni slices
- Cook pasta according to package direction and drain. Run cold water over pasta to chill a bit. Let drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking prepare vegetables and place in large bowl. Add the cheese cubes
- Once pasta is cooked and cooled, add to prepared vegetables and cheese, give it a toss.
- Add ¾ of the bottled dressing and toss to coat well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, mix the pasta salad and add the rest of the dressing if necessary. The pasta will have absorb some of the dressing so you may need to add a bit more.