Simple Italian Pasta Salad made with pasta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
Simple Italian Pasta Salad
I have been loving these simple Italian (or Mediterranean) flavors for a while now so it made sense to add them to a quick and easy pasta salad to serve all summer long. Cold pasta salads have a special place in my heart and this simple Italian Pasta Salad is forever a favorite of mine. You just can’t go wrong with delicious kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh bright tomatoes, and herbs all served with carb-y pasta and a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. This salad stores and travels well, tastes great for a few days, and you can mix and match what you throw in to what you like or have on hand.
The beauty of making pasta salad in the summer is that the ingredients are all fresh and extra delicious. I like to add both fresh basil and parsley to this recipe, though you can add just one or the other. I also love using garden tomatoes for this because what tastes better than a perfectly ripe garden tomato? You are going to love how easy the dressing is to make, too. Make a double batch and store half for salad later in the week or dip some of my favorite no-knead bread in it.
I typically serve this (as written) as a side dish, but this recipe is really easy to modify to make it more hearty to serve as a main dish.
What can I add to Italian Pasta Salad to make it a main dish:
- Roasted chickpeas
- Cooked white beans
- Grilled chicken (my favorite way to cook chicken breast here)
What type of cheese would be good in Italian Pasta Salad?
I also like to add feta cheese when I have it on hand. The feta kicks it up a notch!
Do I rinse pasta once it is cooked?
When using pasta in a cold salad, you should always drain and rinse it in cold water. This will bring the temperature down of the pasta.
Simple Italian Pasta Salad made with pasta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. This summer salad recipe is an easy pasta dish, and a favorite at barbecues!
- 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup halved Kalamata olives
- 1 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil and/or parsley (I like a combination of the two)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, and fresh herbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add the dressing to the pasta.
- Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.
This is delicious with the addition of chickpeas or white beans, pepperoni or salami, and/or some feta cheese to push this from a side to a main dish.
- Category: Side
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: italian pasta salad, easy italian pasta salad recipe, how to make italian pasta salad, best italian pasta salad recipe, italian pasta salad recipe, summer pasta salad recipes, best cookout side dish recipes
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Add this easy Italian Pasta Salad to your recipe lineup this week. You won’t regret it.