Best Italian Spaghetti Salad

Summer Spaghetti Salad is a simple twist on the classic pasta salad. Made with just a few ingredients like pasta and veggies and a simple but zesty dressing, this will become your new go to summer side dish!

a tan napkin, parsley, a bowl of parmesan cheese, a wooden bowl with wooden spoons, spaghetti, cucumbers, olives and tomatoes.

Hi everyone! Amanda here from Old House to New Home sharing a simple summer spaghetti salad recipe inspired by one of my favorite summer memories. Pasta Salads are a constant in the summertime, with some of our favorites being Chinese Chicken Pasta SaladTuna Pasta Salad and Greek Pasta Salad.

When I was young, we spent many summer days at our favorite local amusement park. All of my friends and their families would get together and rent a pavilion and we would all bring food. My friend’s mom would  bring this delicious linguine salad that was so simple. Tomatoes, cucumbers, linguine and dressing. I have always loved pasta salad, so even as a kid, I would eat plates and plates of this simple linguine salad.

Summer days as a kid are the best. No responsibilities, frequent trips to the pool and the park, and lots of lounging. I always really loved summer BBQs as well and I can’t say that has changed! I look forward to picnics and BBQs all year long and definitely love any occasion to make tasty food, which is why I usually volunteer to bring spaghetti salad because a picnic isn’t complete without it!

a wood cutting board, a gray background, a bowl of cooked spaghetti noodles, small bowls of Italian dressing, parmesan cheese and olives, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, parsley and salt and pepper shakers.

How to Make the Best Spaghetti Salad

This Summer Spaghetti Salad recipe is so easy and uses minimal ingredients. It is the perfect salad to whip together when you are short on time.

Cook the pasta and toss all the ingredients together. Thats it! Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Spaghetti – Like the name says, this is a spaghetti salad, so of course that’s the first ingredient. You can use a small cut noodle instead if that’s what you have on hand, like rotini or penne.
  2. Veggies – cut up some cucumbers, tomatoes and onion. Open a can of salty sliced olive and drain them.
  3. Zesty Italian Dressing – I use Kraft brand that I linked or you can use a homemade dressing. The Olive Garden Salad copycat dressing would be a great Italian dressing to use for this salad.
  4. Parmesan cheese – Every good salad needs cheese. Freshly shredded or grated Parmesan is pretty much a requirement.
  5. Garnishes – Finish your salad off with some fresh chopped parsley and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Top Tips for the Best Spaghetti Salad

I have a couple pasta salad tips that will ensure you are always asked to bring the pasta salad to the party too!

  • No matter the recipe, make sure you add a lot of salt to the boiling water and also slightly under cook your pasta. The salt helps add a lot of flavor to your spaghetti salad and by undercooking your pasta, you help the noodles stand up to the dressing.
  • Most pasta salads taste better when they get to sit for a while, but after all that sitting, sometimes the noodles get mushy if you overcooked them.
  • Cut all the veggies bite-sized so its easy to grab with your fork and eat everything together.
  • If you’re concerned about being able to scoop up salad servings, you can cut the spaghetti with a knife or with kitchen scissors to make the pieces smaller.

Serving Suggestions

So, what goes best with this spaghetti salad? As a perfect summer potluck salad, this salad will go great with your favorite backyard grilled favorites like juicy Grilled HamburgersCajun Grilled Pork Chops and Chicken Kabobs.

Spaghetti Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and cheese

More Pasta Salad Recipes

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A bowl of spaghetti, olives, and tomatoes.

Summer Spaghetti Salad

Summer Spaghetti Salad is a simple twist on the classic pasta salad. Made with just a few simple ingredients, this will become your new go to summer side dish!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 413kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 2 medium sized cucumbers seeded and diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes quarted
  • 12 ounce can black olives drained and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Zesty Italian dressing more or less, to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook spaghetti to al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside. *Note, normally we say don't rinse, but for pasta salad it's necessary to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta.
  • Add cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, parsley and onions to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with spaghetti.
  • Pour 1 cup of Italian dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Toss to combine, taste, and add more dressing as desired.
  • Refrigerate, covered for at least four hours. Serve cold, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley.

Notes

Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days for optimal freshness.
Feel free to swap out veggies for ones you'd prefer.
Add some protein to your salad with salami or chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 10gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1159mgPotassium: 425mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 637IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 2mg
Keyword spaghetti salad

 

Amanda

Amanda blogs at Old House to New Home where she shares easy ways to eat, create, and decorate, all while raising two young girls! Amanda is a Spanish teacher, wife to a great husband, and mommy to the two most beautiful little girls! Amanda loves food, traveling, and transforming their 115 year old house into their home.

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Comments

  1. I made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! I used angel hair pasta because it’s my preferred pasta, and I used the store bought Olive Garden dressing. I also had pepperoni as an optional add in for protein.

  2. With store-bought spaghetti salad, it always seems too oily. It’s definitely a side dish I prefer homemade. Nonetheless, the salami is a great addition. Its also so quick!

    1. There is no wine in this recipe. It calls for red wine vinegar which is where a lot of the flavor in the dressing comes from. But it’s a vinegar, not alcohol.