Italian Pasta Salad is a quick, easy & colorful cold summer salad with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, fresh herbs and Italian seasoning vinaigrette all tossed together for a great potluck dish!
This Italian Caprese Salad is going to be your new favorite side dish for a summer gathering , an outdoor party / bbq, or a potluck. It’s hearty enough to serve for dinner as well. And guess what, it tastes AMAZING the following day. Make a big batch so you have leftovers to devour.
This rainbow veggies and pasta salad has all my favorite ingredients together in one happy place. Al dente spiral tri color pasta, crisp cucumbers, ripe cherry tomatoes and creamy mozzarella bites all coated in zesty Italian dressing. It is beautiful, colorful, delicious and oh soo refreshing.
If you are like me, on beautiful summer days, you don’t want to spend too much time cooking indoors . You also want nourishing, wholesome meals that come together quickly. This salad is a perfect to make everyone happy.
How to make ITALIAN HERB VINAIGRETTE:
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS ITALIAN PASTA SALAD?
How to Make Pasta in InstantPot or Electrical Presure Cooker?
Making pasta in InstantPot or electrical pressure cooker is super simple. Pour pasta in the main insert. Add a teaspoon of oil and salt. Pour just enough water to cover the pasta. DO NOT SUBMERGE. Close the lid. Place the knob in Sealing position. Now the fun part to select the cooking time. Read the cooking time on the pasta package. You want to choose 1/2 that time minus 1 minute. So for example, if pasta box suggests you to boil pasta for 8 minutes , for InstantPot you will do 1/2 -1 so 3 minutes. ( 8-4-1=3).
Choose Manual 3 minutes high presure. After InstantPot does cooking and beeps, Wait for 3 minutes on keep warm timer and release the pressure. ( quick presure release by turning the knob from sealing to venting)
Carefully open the lid. Dump the pasta in a colander and run cold water over it for few minutes. Your Al Dante pasta is ready !!
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- 12 oz tri-colored rotini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil ( to avoid pasta doesn't stick together)
- water for boiling
- 1 cucumber diced
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese balls or any Italian cheese cubes
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage roughly chopped or 1 small red onion diced
- 1 cup favorite Italian dressing
Boil the pasta with the salt in the water according to the package until al dente.
While the pasta is happening, wash and dice all of the vegetables.
After the pasta is finished, rinse it under cold tap water. Drain well.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, and all chopped vegetables. Toss in cheese balls. Drizzle the Italian Herb Vinaigrette on top, then toss to combine.
Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked black pepper. Bon appetite!!
Using InstantPot for cooking Pasta
If using the Instant Pot, cover the pasta with water, season with salt and then cook on Manual HIGH for 3 min and then wait for 3 min keep warm counter and then release the pressure by turning the knob to venting.
Note about using purple cabbage or red onion.
I personally prefer to use purple cabbage in no cook recipes over red onion. Red onion starts to emit pungent smell after some time. So if you are planning to keep the salad for later use, you may notice unpleasant taste if using red onion. Purple cabbage stays firm and fresh for longer duration without the odor. So for cold salads I think it's a better choice. But it's a personal preference so choose accrodingly.
To make Glutenfree Italian Summer Pasta Salad :
You can use gluten free pasta instead of regular pasta to make this recipe Gluten free .
To make Vegan Italian SUmmer Pasta Salad :
You can use vegan and dairy free cheese instead of regular cheese to make this recipe Vegan. You can simply skip the cheese as well.
To Make this Italian Summer Pasta Salad WFPB compliant and oil free
Use the whole grain wheat pasta instead of regular pasta . You can skip the oil in Italian Vinaigrette and use water or veggi broth instead.
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- Simply Organic Italian Seasoning Certified Organic, 0.95-Ounce Container
- Barilla Tri-Color Rotini - 12 oz
- Real Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. First Cold press. Imported from Italy. Awards Winner 16 Fl Oz Bottle
- Lipper International 1154 Acacia Round Flair Serving Bowl for Fruits or Salads, Large, 12" Diameter x 4.5" Height, Single Bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 391mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g