It’s that time of the year for pasta salad. It’s spring over here and with the weather warming up slowly, I can’t think of anything better than this easy pasta salad for a quick lunch or dinner. Super healthy, and can be eaten as a meal on it’s own, or as an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes.
This pasta salad is a breeze to make. Packed full of fresh ingredients with some mediterranean vibes bursting through the flavours. Make this salad now and thank me later 🙂
Pasta Salad Ingredients
This pasta salad goes perfectly well with an italian-style dressing. To make the salad dressing, I’ve used my home-made pesto as one of the main ingredients. Mixed with some olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dijon mustard.
Using cooked Italian Farfalle Pasta, shaped like little bow-ties makes this salad dish look really pretty. Any short-cut pasta would also work well in this recipe. Ideally you’d want the pasta to cook for 8-12 minutes, drain and leave to cool before adding the other ingredients. Once the pasta is cooked and cooled, toss in some sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives, mozarella cheese, sweet peppers, red onions, cucumber and celery.
How to make it your own
Salads are easy to customise. Feel free to swap some of the ingredients with what you have available, or leave out ingredients you don’t like, to suit your taste. These are my recommendations:
Salami – An italian style pasta salad isn’t complete without some salami. For a vegan or vegetarian friendly salad, leave out the salami or add in some grilled spicy tofu.
Mozarella cheese – The mozarella cheese balls gives this salad some lovely texture. Feta cheese will also go really well in this dish. You can make this vegan by replacing the cheese with some chickpeas or quinoa.
Tomatoes – I’ve added in some nice juicy cherry and sundried tomatoes for a big flavour punch and some sweetness. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, simply substitute the tomatoes with diced cooked sweet potatoes.
Herbs – Basil pairs nicely with a lot of vegetables. Throw in some fresh basil leaves for some added flavour boost. My homemade pesto sauce already had basil in it, so i didn’t include any in the salad itself.
Less Carbs – I’ve gone a bit heavy on the pasta in this salad. However, you can easily make it low carb by using only half the pasta and adding in more vegetables.
If you love this Easy Pasta Salad recipe, why not try our Sweet Potato Couscous Salad
Easy Pasta Salad – Italian Style
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 4 tbsp Mayonnaise
- A Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper (Optional)
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbsp Pesto Sauce
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice (optional)
- 3 cups Cooked Pasta
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup Sweet Pepper
- ½ cup Sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup Mozarella Balls
- 1 cup Cucumber
- ½ cup Celery
- 1 cup Salami Slices
- In a bowl, mix the Olive oil, pesto sauce, mayonnaise, dijon mustard and lemon juice.
- Season with Salt and pepper to taste.
- Whisk together to combine thoroughly.
- Cook the Pasta for 8-12 minutes, drain, add some olive oil (to prevent the pasta sticking together) and set aside to cool.
- Transfer to a bowl with the cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, cucumber, celery, diced sweet peppers, mozarella and salami.
- Add the salad dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with some basil leaves.