Two Peas and Their Pod

Easy Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad

During the hot summer months, we like to eat salads for lunch and dinner. Sometimes Josh gets tired of green salads, so I mix things up with pasta salads. This easy pasta salad is one of our favorites. It is a great salad to serve at bbq’s, picnics, and pool parties.

You can use any pasta, but I like the colorful rotini noodles. It keeps the salad fun and kids love it too. I toss in as many vegetables that will fit in the bowl. Cucumber, tomatoes, green and red pepper brighten up this salad. I used Maple Grove’s Balsamic Dressing, it is a great pre-made dressing for lazy days. You can use your favorite brand or make your own dressing if you wish. I finished things off with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

If you are having a bbq for Father’s Day-this is a great side dish that all dad’s will love. We will be serving this easy pasta salad at all of our summer parties-we hope it will make an appearance at yours too! Enjoy!

Easy Pasta Salad

Yield: Serves 8-10


1 box rotini pasta (16 ounces)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup balsamic dressing-we used Maple Grove's Fat Free Balsamic
10-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot of boiling water with salt, add the rotini pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.

2. In a large bowl, add the pasta and vegetables. Stir in the balsamic dressing until pasta noodles and vegetables are well coated.

3. Add basil, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well.

4. Serve cold.

*Note-this salad is also good with Italian dressing. Use your favorite vegetables, we like to toss in whatever vegetables we have on hand. If you want to add extra protein, feel free to add in beans or chicken.

If you like this pasta salad, you might also like:

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Spinach, and Feta from Two Peas and Their Pod
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod
Pesto Pasta Salad from Simply Recipes
Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad from The Pioneer Woman

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59 Responses to “Easy Pasta Salad”

  1. Erica — June 17, 2010 @ 4:25 am

    We are also HUGE cold pasta salad fans in the summer. It is the perfect dinner. I love that I can toss some chopped salami in Josh’s and mozzarella in mine! I will have to check out that dressing- thank you 😉

  2. bellini valli — June 17, 2010 @ 4:49 am

    Nothing like pasta salad to highlight a meal:D

  3. Brooke (Baking with Basil) — June 17, 2010 @ 5:37 am

    I’m a big fan of pasta salad. So many times they are loaded with dressing and oily tasting. This one looks light and summery! Perfect for a BBQ on a hot summer day.

  4. Tracy — June 17, 2010 @ 6:23 am

    Healthy and easy! Can’t get any better than that. :-)

  5. Tracey — June 17, 2010 @ 6:36 am

    Looks great Maria! I love seeing new salad ideas as I definitely get sick of green salads too.

  6. Elle — June 17, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    Beautiful! Pasta salad is one of my all time faves–any time of year.

  7. kamran siddiqi — June 17, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    I will kindly take all of this pasta salad off of your hands! Looks absolutely delicious!

  8. DessertForTwo — June 17, 2010 @ 7:30 am

    I’m collecting recipes that don’t require me to turn on my stove. This just made the list :)

  9. Shannon — June 17, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    definitely a great option for the summer! i need to remember to make them :)

  10. Reeni — June 17, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    So colorful and delicious! I get tired of green salads too…

  11. Megan — June 17, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    I made something similar not too long ago. Love pasta salads on hot nights!

  12. Cooking with Kait — June 17, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    What a colorful and healthy salad. Rotini is such a great pasta for salads.

  13. Joanne — June 17, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    I love all of the fresh ingredients in this! Perfect weeknight meal!

  14. anne — June 17, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    We love Pasta and we love cold pasta salads ..mmmmm yummy!

  15. Sarah — June 17, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Sounds tasty and fresh. Anything with fresh basil is great.

  16. Natalie (The Sweets Life) — June 17, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    This looks so bright and fresh—I’m all about bright and fresh :) …and if you made it, I know it’s a win!

  17. Milisa — June 17, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    What a great photo & delicious recipe. We love pasta salad!

  18. alison — June 17, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    My kids would love this recipe. So fresh and colorful! Thanks for sharing and I hope to meet you in Utah next week at EVO. Best, Alison

    • twopeas replied: — June 17th, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

      I look forward to meeting you too! Make sure you say hello.

  19. Pam — June 17, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    It looks fresh and healthy!

  20. chris — June 17, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

    Oooh! Love this! Love pasta salads, and ones that are not cream based. :) Stunning pic, as always!

  21. Katrina — June 17, 2010 @ 4:32 pm


  22. Mags — June 17, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    Too, too hot to cook and I’m scarfing up every salad recipe I can find. This one looks perfect!

  23. Kristen — June 17, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    This would be perfect on a crazy summer night. Such wonderful veggies and the kids would love this!

  24. Diana — June 17, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    What lovely color. I too enjoy cold pasta salads for the summer. We always have one in the frig. waiting for us. This one may be next. Have a great day!

  25. Bridgett — June 17, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    Perfect for those nights when you really don’t feel like eating all that much. Great recipe!

  26. pigpigscorner — June 18, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    This looks so light and refreshing!

  27. Angie's Recipes — June 18, 2010 @ 1:24 am

    A healthy, light and flavourful pasta salad! I would love some for my lunch.

  28. grace — June 18, 2010 @ 2:09 am

    i love the colors here, maria, and the fact that you brought out freshly-grated parmesan rather than the shtuff from the green bottle. :)

  29. SLCFoodie — June 18, 2010 @ 6:55 am

    Looks perfect for this weekend!

  30. Cristie — June 18, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    A fresh vegetable salad and a perfect dressing sounds so nice on a summer evening. Thank you for the post. Can’t wait to see you next week.

  31. Mary — June 18, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    This looks delightfully different and very healthy as well. I’ll bet he loved this. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  32. Dee — June 18, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    That looks really good. I will have to make this when my cucumber and bell peppers are ready in my garden.

  33. The Food Hunter — June 18, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    I love all the colors in your pasta salad

  34. Cookin' Canuck — June 18, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Very healthy and refreshing. I could eat this kind of salad all summer long.

  35. Blond Duck — June 18, 2010 @ 11:22 am

    I love pasta.

  36. Lovely summery pasta salad!

  37. This is simple & healthy and that is what we need in summer. Everyone here would love this pasta salad too :) xo

  38. Lynn — June 19, 2010 @ 7:04 am

    This looks like a perfect dinner for the crazy busy months of summer. Light, fresh, and fast!

  39. Kerstin — June 19, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    Mmm, looks like the perfect dish to bring to a potluck!

  40. Whatever DeeDee Wants — June 21, 2010 @ 6:14 am

    That looks so yummy!

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