Pasta Salad Recipe

Looking for a delightful dish that perfectly captures the essence of summer? Look no further than this vibrant and refreshing Summer Spaghetti Pasta Salad. Packed with fresh vegetables, savory cheese, and optional meaty add-ons, this salad is a celebration of seasonal flavors and textures.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, packing a picnic, or simply craving a light and satisfying meal, this recipe is sure to please.


  • Spaghetti Noodles: Use about 8 ounces of spaghetti noodles. You can use regular or whole wheat noodles, depending on your preference.
  • Chopped Cheddar Cheese: Around 1 cup of chopped cheddar cheese. You can also use a different type of cheese if you prefer.
  • Olives: Use about 1/2 cup of sliced olives. You can choose black or green olives based on your taste.
  • Cucumber: Around 1/2 cup of diced cucumber. English cucumbers work well because they have fewer seeds and a milder flavor.
  • Celery: Use about 1/2 cup of diced celery. Make sure to wash the celery thoroughly and remove any tough strings before dicing.
  • Tomatoes: About 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes. You can use cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or regular tomatoes, depending on what you have available.
  • Optional Ingredients:
    • Pepperoni: Approximately 1/4 cup of diced pepperoni, if desired.
    • Onions: About 1/4 cup of diced onions. Red onions or green onions can add a nice flavor to the salad.
    • Hard Carrots: Around 1/4 cup of diced hard carrots. Make sure to peel and finely dice the carrots so they blend well with the other ingredients.
    • Sausage Crumbles: Roughly 1/4 cup of cooked sausage crumbles, if you want to add a meaty element to the salad.
  • Dressing: Use your favorite dressing to coat the salad. Ranch dressing and Italian dressing are popular choices. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of dressing, but you can adjust the amount based on your preference.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste to enhance the flavors of the salad.


  1. Cook the Spaghetti Noodles:
    • Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the instructions on the package until they are al dente (firm to the bite). Avoid overcooking them to ensure they maintain their texture. Once cooked, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold water to cool them down quickly. This step helps prevent the cheese from melting too much when mixed with the warm noodles.
  2. Prepare the Ingredients:
    • While the noodles are cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Chop the cheddar cheese into small cubes, slice the olives, dice the cucumber, celery, and tomatoes, and prepare any optional ingredients you plan to add, such as pepperoni, onions, hard carrots, or cooked sausage crumbles.
  3. Combine the Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled spaghetti noodles with the chopped cheddar cheese, sliced olives, diced cucumber, diced celery, diced tomatoes, and any optional ingredients you’re using.
  4. Add Dressing:
    • Pour your desired amount of dressing over the pasta salad mixture. Start with about 1/2 cup of dressing, then add more to taste. The dressing adds flavor and helps bind the ingredients together. Use a spoon or spatula to gently toss the salad until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Season with Salt and Pepper:
    • Taste the pasta salad and season with salt and pepper as needed. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.
  6. Chill the Salad:
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together and gives the salad a refreshing coolness.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once chilled, remove the pasta salad from the refrigerator and give it a final toss before serving. Serve the summer spaghetti pasta salad cold as a refreshing side dish or a light main course. Enjoy the delicious flavors of the fresh veggies, cheese, and dressing!

Why You’ll Love It:

  • Fresh and Flavorful: Crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy celery combine to create a symphony of fresh flavors that burst with every bite.
  • Versatile and Customizable: This recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to tailor it to your taste preferences. Add pepperoni for a hint of spice, onions for a zesty kick, or sausage crumbles for a hearty twist.
  • Easy to Prepare: With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this pasta salad comes together in no time. Plus, it can be made ahead of time, making it perfect for busy weeknights or on-the-go lunches.
  • Perfect for Summer Gatherings: Whether you’re planning a picnic in the park, a poolside party, or a family barbecue, this salad is a crowd-pleaser that will impress guests of all ages.

Tips for Success:

  • Cool Down the Noodles: After cooking the spaghetti noodles, be sure to rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent the cheese from melting too much.
  • Choose Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor and texture, use high-quality, fresh ingredients. Consider sourcing your vegetables from a local farm stand or farmer’s market for peak seasonal produce.
  • Experiment with Dressings: While ranch and Italian dressings are classic choices, feel free to get creative with your dressing selection. Balsamic vinaigrette, lemon tahini, or Greek yogurt-based dressings can all add delicious depth to this salad.

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