Summer Pasta Salads

Take a peek at some of our Favorite Summer Pasta Salads that we think are share worthy. We all love to try and share really delicious food. We are always in search of the perfect salad for a potluck, a sweet dessert for a party or a main dish that our family and friends will talk about. Cooking for ourselves helps to save money too. We have complied a list of our favorite recipes on our Pinterest board as well. Look for the board Favorite Recipes. Do you have a favorite dish that is share worthy? If so, please pin it to our board on Pinterest.

Summer Pasta Salad

Pro Tips for Making the Perfect Summer Pasta Salad

  • Be sure to use a timer when you boil your pasta to ensure that you don’t overcook it. I like to cook it for 30 seconds less than al dente, as it cools gradually, during which time it finishes cooking.
  • Salt the pasta water well to ensure that the pasta itself has plenty of flavor.
  • Rotini: I love using rotini, it’s extra sturdy for this salad!
  • Don’t rinse your pasta with cool water after it’s drained. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and let it cool on parchment paper or a tray on the counter. The starch on the pasta helps it cling onto the dressing, cheese, etc.
  • Dressing: I use a good bottle of Italian salad dressing.  We love the one from Olive Garden.  It can be found in the grocery store.
  • For a Creamier Italian Dressing: Combine 1/4 cup mayo with 1 cup of Italian dressing for the pasta.
  • Veggies: slice the tomatoes and put them middle-side-down on paper towels to absorb excess juice. I also lay the diced bell peppers on paper towels to remove excess moisture. (To avoid a watery salad.)
  • Store Your Summer Pasta Salad for up to 3 days in an airtight container in your fridge.

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

This Summer Pasta Salad is great because you can make it ahead of time.  The pasta will absorb a lot of the dressing during storage, so be sure to add more dressing just before you serve this dish.


  • 1 lb. Rotini pasta
  • 1 small red bell pepperabout 1 cup diced
  • 1 small green pepperabout 1 cup diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoessliced
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella pearlsabout 1 ¼ cups
  • ¾ cup chopped salami4-5 oz.
  • ¾ cup mini pepperoni
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ¼ cup Italian Salad Dressing


Boil the Pasta

  • Begin by boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Once a boil is reached, salt the water generously. (1 tbsp. kosher salt.)
  • Add the pasta and cook to al dente (or 30 seconds shy, set a timer to ensure you don’t overcook it).
  • Drain and spread it out on a tray or parchment paper and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Let it cool.

Make the Salad

  • Prepare the other salad ingredients while the pasta boils and cools. Ensure your ingredients are finely diced and are of equal size for best results. Use paper towels to dab off any excess moisture from the veggies.
  • Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. If possible chill for 2-3 hours prior to serving.
  • If preparing 8-12 hours ahead of time: Toss with about 1/2 cup additional dressing as needed prior to serving, as the pasta continues to absorb the dressing during storage.

Summer Pasta Salad with Peas

Try a Summer Pasta Salad with Peas


  • elbow macaroni
  • peas
  • green onions
  • mayonnaise
  • white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • sugar
  • cheddar cheese
  • bacon or ham


  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Allow to cool on a tray.
  • Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta, peas, and green onions to the bowl and stir well to coat.
  • Add the cheese and bacon (or ham), if desired, and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving.

Need An Apartment in Southern NH?

Serving delicious food like a summer pasta salad to your family and friends is fun when you do it in your apartment.  Looking for a great place in southern New HampshireRed Oak Apartment Homes has a large variety of locations, prices and styles.

Share This