This vegetable loaded pasta salad tastes like summer! It is the perfect side dish for BBQs, baby showers, potlucks, picnics, and other gatherings. It is also delicious for a light, healthy, cold meal on a hot summer day.
I love tossing fresh summer veggies with pasta! There are so many ways to enjoy it like my tortellini caprese salad and tomato and brie linguine. This easy pasta salad another perfect way to enjoy the bounty of veggies available in summer!
Once you try this easy recipe, you will want to eat it all summer long. It is quick, delicious, and loaded with fresh summer vegetables. Pasta salad is a perfect make ahead dish, and the leftovers stay good for several days.
It is one of those recipes that actually tastes better the next day! You can easily double or even triple this recipe. I love to serve this at gatherings or make it for meal prep.
This salad is beautiful and packed with flavor but is versatile enough to satisfy a crowd. All of the veggies are served big enough to be picked out by any picky eaters.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This tastes best in the summer when the veggies are at their peak! I love making this with bounty straight from the garden or farmers market.
- Fresh corn is worth the effort if it is available! If you can’t find fresh corn on the cob, you can substitute 1 can of corn. Drain it and toss it in.
- I love using multi-colored mini sweet peppers here. They are delicious and look pretty sliced into little rings. You can substitute 1 large red bell pepper for the mini sweet peppers if you would like. Remove the stem and seeds and chop it into bite size pieces.
- Any fresh summer tomatoes will work here. I love the little cherry tomatoes because they are easy to find and taste good, even from a grocery store. You can substitute 2 cups of sliced ripe tomatoes.
- Fresh herbs add a burst of color and flavor. If you don’t have fresh basil, you can omit it or swap it for chopped fresh parsley.
- Pre-made Italian dressing keeps the recipe as simple as can be. Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing is my favorite dressing to use. You can you your favorite Italian dressing.
- Make it vegan & dairy free by using a vegan Italian dressing such as Daiya brand.
Tips for preparing pasta salad
- Be sure to cook the rotini al dente. This will help it hold its shape and prevent it from getting mushy as it sits in the dressing. I always follow the package instructions when cooking dried pasta. Every brand will be different.
- Do not skip the chilling step. The pasta salad needs time for the flavors to meld.
- This can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. It makes delicious leftovers, and they will keep in the fridge for at least 3 days.
Looking for more deli-style salads?
- Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
- 5 Minute Coleslaw
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Crunchy Broccoli Salad
- Caprese Tortellini Salad
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