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HomeHealthy FoodThe BEST Pasta Salad - Zesty and Zippy

The BEST Pasta Salad – Zesty and Zippy

The BEST Pasta Salad is an previous household recipe that is successful at events, potlucks, or as a zesty aspect dish with dinner. Stuffed with taste and punch!

overhead photo of a bowl of pasta salad

The recipe for The BEST Pasta Salad has at all times passed by one other identify in my household: “Grandpa’s Pasta Salad“. That’s as a result of this recipe was one in every of his very favorites and he at all times requested that or not it’s served at particular events. That stated, I can’t inform you how comfortable it makes me that this pasta salad recipe can 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 half a serving bowl of pasta salad heavier. 😉

Ahh, the ability 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 obtained their very own particular mixture of elements that makes their pasta salad the most effective. That stated, I humbly imagine there isn’t 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 least as soon as every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The key’s within the seasoning mix…

Elements Wanted

  • Pasta: My Grandpa liked this dish made with fettuccini (attempt it someday – tremendous enjoyable!) although I normally use gluten free rotini pasta. I favor Jovial Brown Rice Rotini vs a corn/rice mix rotini pasta. For those who don’t must eat gluten free, use common rotini pasta.
  • Tomatoes: Usually I take advantage of Roma tomatoes on this dish, however be happy to make use of no matter appears to be like finest 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 chunk of this pasta salad. I strongly imagine Applegate Naturals makes the most effective pepperoni!
  • Sliced Olives: Olives add to the savory, satisfying taste to this dish.
  • McCormick Salad Supreme: Particular secret ingredient alert!! This seasoning mix is likely one of the finest on the planet and actually units this pasta salad aside from every other. 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 actually makes this pasta salad sing. I favor Ken’s Zesty Italian, which is gluten free. For those who don’t must eat gluten free you should use Kraft’s model. I’ll additionally hyperlink to my do-it-yourself Italian dressing under.

overhead photo of best pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Oil Free Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

How Do You Hold Gluten Free Pasta from Getting Arduous?

Quick reply: you possibly can’t. 🙁 Sorry! Cooked gluten free pasta usually does NOT hold 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 a bit longer and higher than a corn/rice mix pasta, however this recipe is certainly finest when made then served instantly, or you possibly can 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 when you refrigerate it first.

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

overhead photo of a bowl of best pasta salad

Find out how to Make The Finest Pasta Salad

Begin by cooking pasta in salted, boiling water till cooked by means of. Once more, I like Jovial model gluten free brown rice pasta. That stated, when you’re native, Hy-Vee’s Good Graces gluten free pasta is a good 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 beneath 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, when you can’t discover this specific dressing, you may make my Finest Ever Italian French dressing and use that as a substitute. For those who can’t discover the seasoning, here’s a fabulous copycat seasoning mix.

NOTE: Generally the Salad Supreme Seasoning is situated by the salad dressings on the grocery retailer, close to the croutons, and many others. vs within the spice aisle, so look in each locations when you’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 chunk – take pleasure in!

fork in a bowl of the best pasta salad

Extra Summery Facet Dish Concepts


The BEST Pasta Salad is a household recipe that is successful at events, potlucks, or as a zest aspect dish with dinner. Stuffed 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 beneficial)
  • 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 prepare dinner till tender. Drain then rinse beneath 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 instantly or chilled for as much as 2 hours previous to serving. You could must toss with further 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 Woman Eats,

Photo collage of best ever pasta salad

Photographs by Ashley McLaughlin


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