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The BEST Pasta Salad – Zesty and Zippy

The BEST Pasta Salad is an outdated household recipe that is a success at events, potlucks, or as a zesty facet dish with dinner. Filled with taste and punch!

The recipe for The BEST Pasta Salad has all the time passed by one other title in my household: “Grandpa’s Pasta Salad“. That’s as a result of this recipe was certainly one of his very favorites and he all the time requested that or not it’s served at particular events. That stated, I can’t inform you how pleased it makes me that this pasta salad recipe can also be my husband’s favourite recipe.

Not ONE of his favourite recipes…his VERY favourite recipe…of all time. He actually groans when he appears me making it as a result of he is aware of he’s about to be at the very least half a serving bowl of pasta salad heavier. 😉

Ahh, the facility of The BEST Pasta Salad!

the best pasta salad in a bowl with a fork

The BEST Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a summer season staple within the Midwest and it looks like everybody’s acquired their very own particular mixture of components that makes their pasta salad the very best. That stated, I humbly consider there is no such thing as a higher pasta salad ingredient combo than mine. There, I stated it! This dish is chewy, crispy, crunchy, savory, zesty, and zippy, and we make it at the very least as soon as per week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The key’s within the seasoning mix…

Components Wanted

  • Pasta: My Grandpa beloved this dish made with fettuccini (strive it someday – tremendous enjoyable!) although I normally use gluten free rotini pasta. I desire Jovial Brown Rice Rotini vs a corn/rice mix rotini pasta. For those who don’t have to eat gluten free, use common rotini pasta.
  • Tomatoes: Sometimes I take advantage of Roma tomatoes on this dish, however be at liberty to make use of no matter seems greatest in your space on the time.
  • Cucumber: A peeled, seeded, then diced cucumber provides crunch and freshness to this pasta salad recipe. You need to use a daily or English cucumber.
  • Pepperoni: We LOVE the savory, salty taste pepperoni provides to every chew of this pasta salad. I strongly consider Applegate Naturals makes the very best pepperoni!
  • Sliced Olives: Olives add to the savory, satisfying taste to this dish.
  • McCormick Salad Supreme: Particular secret ingredient alert!! This seasoning mix is among the greatest on the planet and actually units this pasta salad aside from another. On the time of this writing, 5/22, it’s gluten free. I add an ungodly quantity of it to this dish.
  • Zesty Italian Dressing: Zesty Italian Dressing is the opposite ingredient that basically makes this pasta salad sing. I desire Ken’s Zesty Italian, which is gluten free. For those who don’t have to eat gluten free you should utilize Kraft’s model. I’ll additionally hyperlink to my do-it-yourself Italian dressing beneath.

overhead photo of best pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Tropical Fruit Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

How Do You Maintain Gluten Free Pasta from Getting Onerous?

Brief reply: you may’t. 🙁 Sorry! Cooked gluten free pasta sometimes does NOT preserve properly within the fridge for greater than 2-3 hours earlier than it hardens and turns into crumbly. I discover cooked brown rice pasta holds up somewhat longer and higher than a corn/rice mix pasta, however this recipe is unquestionably greatest when made then served instantly, or you may refrigerate it for as much as 2 hours earlier than serving. You may want so as to add a contact extra dressing earlier than serving for those who refrigerate it first.

Okay, okay!! Are you able to dive into this bowl of deliciousness?!

overhead photo of a bowl of best pasta salad

How you can Make The Finest Pasta Salad

Begin by cooking pasta in salted, boiling water till cooked by. Once more, I like Jovial model gluten free brown rice pasta. That stated, for those who’re native, Hy-Vee’s Good Graces gluten free pasta is a superb selection too. It’s chewy and spring like “actual” pasta!

box of jovial rotini next to a pot of water

As soon as the pasta is tender, drain then rinse underneath chilly water till the pasta is cool, then add to a big mixing bowl.

Subsequent add chopped recent cucumber and tomato, diced pepperoni, and sliced olives. 

ingredients for the best pasta salad in a mixing bowl

Lastly sprinkle on McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning then drizzle with Ken’s Zesty Italian Dressing. I normally use as much as 1/2 cup of the seasoning (YES) and round 1/2 of the bottle of salad dressing. Use as little or as a lot of each as you want!

Now, for those who can’t discover this explicit dressing, you can also make my Finest Ever Italian French dressing and use that as an alternative. For those who can’t discover the seasoning, here’s a fabulous copycat seasoning mix.

Observe: Generally the Salad Supreme Seasoning is positioned by the salad dressings on the grocery retailer, close to the croutons, and so on. vs within the spice aisle, so look in each locations for those who’re having bother finding it.

seasoning and dressing for the best pasta salad

Merely stir to coat and mix then serve instantly or chill for as much as 2 hours. I’m telling you — BEST. PASTSA. SALAD. EVER!! I hope you’re keen on every zippy and zesty chew – get pleasure from!

fork in a bowl of the best pasta salad

Extra Summery Facet Dish Concepts


The BEST Pasta Salad is a household recipe that is a success at events, potlucks, or as a zest facet dish with dinner. Filled with taste and punch!


  • 12oz gluten free rotini pasta
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded then chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded then chopped
  • 4oz pepperoni, chopped (Applegate Farms really helpful)
  • 2.25oz can sliced olives, drained
  • 4oz jar McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning OR 1 recipe do-it-yourself seasoning (see notes)
  • 16oz bottle Ken’s Zesty Italian Dressing OR 1 recipe do-it-yourself Italian French dressing (see notes)


  1. Deliver a big pot of water to a boil then add rotini and cook dinner till tender. Drain then rinse underneath chilly water till pasta is chilly. Drain very properly then add to a big mixing bowl.
  2. To the cooled pasta add tomatoes, cucumber, pepperoni, black olives, 1/3 of the bottle of Italian Dressing, and 1/4 cup Salad Supreme Seasoning then combine to mix. Style then add extra dressing and/or Salad Supreme Seasoning if desired. Serve instantly or refrigerate for as much as 2 hours.


  • As a result of this pasta salad is made with gluten free pasta, it is best eaten immediately or chilled for as much as 2 hours previous to serving. You could have to toss with extra dressing earlier than serving if chilling first. 
  • Search for McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning by the salad dressings on the grocery retailer, or within the spice aisle.
  • Click on right here for the do-it-yourself Italian French dressing recipe >
  • Click on right here for Copycat Salad Supreme Seasoning recipe >

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Lady Eats,

Photo collage of best ever pasta salad

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