The Best Pasta Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Find

Happy Wednesday Friends! I’m so dang excited for today, because it’s date night at our house! He told me I could pick anywhere to go celebrate my new job and your girl picked Wahlburgers. I just want to celebrate with Marky Mark eat some delicious cheeseburgers and get macarons at Astroia after! Lucky for him, I’m a cheap date 😉

Want to know what else is cheap? Pasta Salad. LOL at my attempt to segue into today’s post. But seriously, Pasta Salad is delicious, and literally 98% of people on this planet love it! And it just so happens that pasta salad is super easy to make, and the perfect edition to every single one of the LDW BBQs you’re about to go to in a few days. I mean max flavor, minimal effort. Can you say win-win?!

When it comes to Pasta Salad, everyone makes it a little bit differently. Rotini or bow ties, cheese or no cheese, a massive variety of veggies, it’s all up to you. However, there is one secret ingredient that will take your pasta salad to the next level. This ingredient takes the flavors to the next level, and will have people coming back for seconds and thirds.

Whenever we have to bring a dish to pass in the summertime, we bring pasta salad, and people ALWAYS ask what we did to make it so delicious. You ready for my super top secret ingredient?!!!

It’s this!


That’s right. Olive Garden Italian Dressing. I’m not even joking. This stuff is the BOMB (anyone who has ever eaten at Olive Garden already knows this) and literally makes all the difference in the taste of our pasta salad. No matter if we change up the veggies or the meat, we ALWAYS use this dressing and it makes the world of difference. It’s seriously one of those things that when you use it once, you’ll never go back to any other way!

I feel like a crazy person even typing out directions for pasta salad, because it’s literally just chopping and mixing all together, but I’m going to do it anyways… mainly so you can see what we like to put in ours! We’re big believers in less is more, especially when it comes to our food. But just remember, if you want to spruce it up a little bit, go for it!

Shopping List

1 Box of Pasta (I used Meijer Brand Rotini this time, but usually I like their Rotelle. It’s not the wheels but like super fat rotini! It’s my favorite. But they were sold out!)

Veggies of Choice (We use a sweet onion, red bell pepper, yellow belle pepper, and a cucumber.)

1 Bag of Mini Pepperonis 

1 Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing (The big bottle!)

Parmesan Cheese 


Start by cooking up your pasta! I actually like to leave mine just a little bit chewier than I normally would. I find that it softens up after being soaked in dressing, and by leaving it a bit chewier it doesn’t get “soggy”.

While my pasta is boiling, I start chopping up my veggies!

When my pasta is done, I drain and rinse in cool water. Then I dump the pasta, veggies, pepperoni and salad dressing into a giant Tupperware bowl. I mix it all up, put the lid on, and leave it in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have all night to let it chill, leave it in for a few hours at least! I promise it tastes a whole lot better the longer the flavors have time to settle in together!

Side note on the dressing… I don’t use the entire bottle! I use about half of it, and then add some more in just before I serve it 🙂

Just before it’s time to serve, I add parmesan cheese to the top!

And that’s it! It will honestly take you 15 minutes and you’ll have the most delicious pasta salad to take along with you this weekend.

What do you like to put in your pasta salad?!

Ugh. You guys, it’s 8 in the morning and now I’m sitting here craving pasta salad. Hurry up lunch time… I’m waiting for you!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a round up on the BEST places to snag great deals this Labor Day Weekend! Have a great Wednesday!


5 thoughts on “The Best Pasta Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Find

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