Pasta salad with Italian dressing made with crunchy vegetables, cheese, and fresh herbs. It’s an effortless, filling, and easy to make dish!
Cold pasta salad just might be the easiest dish to make year-round. Because it makes for easy meal prep. Not to mention delicious leftovers.This veggie pasta salad with Italian dressing is a lighter twist on the traditional salad. It’s loaded with crunchy vegetables such as cauliflower, cucumbers, and chickpeas. All of these vegetables are readily available year round.
It is made with no meat but instead with extra veggies, cheese, and fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are the star of this recipe! They make this pasta salad so appetizing and fresh!
Quick tip: this cold pasta salad tastes best when it had time to chill. So make sure to chill your salad!
Even better, make it up to one day ahead of time. As a result, the flavors will intensity the longer the pasta salad sits.
Ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
- pasta – such as penne, fusilli, farfalle
- canned chickpeas
- fresh cauliflower
- grape tomatoes
- cucumbers or bell pepper
- red onion
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- feta cheese
- fresh herbs – parsley, dill
- for the dressing – olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, honey, Italian seasoning, lemon zest
How to Make Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
- Firstly, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. About 10 minutes depending on the type of pasta. Then drain and rinse under cold water. Set over a colander to drain.
- In the meantime, prepare the Italian dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Next, assemble the veggie pasta salad. In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chickpeas, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and herbs. Pour the dressing over the salad and throughly toss to coat. Additionally, taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.
- Lastly, cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to overnight. Before serving, mix the salad and also taste for salt.
Top Tips for Making Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
- Chop your veggies into roughly same size as your pasta.
- Rinse your pasta under cold water to remove excess starch. Additionally, store the veggie pasta salad in an airtight container. Both of these tips will help keep your pasta salad from drying out.
- Make sure your pasta salad is well-seasoned and flavorful. You can do that by cooking your pasta in salted water. In addition, taste and adjust the seasoning as you add the dressing and other ingredients.
- Do not overcook your pasta noodles.
- This particular veggie pasta salad lasts 3-4 days refrigerated.
Pasta salad with Italian dressing is a cold veggie pasta salad made with crunchy vegetables, cheese, and fresh herbs. It’s effortless, healthy, and easy dish to make!
- 8 oz. small shaped pasta, such as penne, fusilli, or farfalle
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped fresh cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente, about 10 minutes depending on the type of pasta. Immediately drain and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Set over a colander to drain and cool slightly.
- In the meantime, prepare the Italian dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- To assemble the pasta salad: in a large salad bowl, combine the pasta, chickpeas, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, parsley, and dill. Pour the dressing over the salad and throughly toss to coat. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.
- Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to overnight. Before serving, mix the salad to incorporate all of the juices from the bottom and taste again for salt.
Keywords: italian pasta salad, cold pasta salad, pasta salad with feta cheese, pasta salad with vegetables