Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (2024)

Light and fresh, enjoy this cold spaghetti salad. Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe is a spaghetti salad with fresh veggies and Italian dressing. Watch the video!

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (1)

Using your favorite pasta and Parmesan cheese, add either salami or pepperoni for this cold, Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe. Serve this salad with Best Grilled Chicken Thighs (so good). And friends, I want to tell you about my new book out this year, Big Boards for Families! You can preorder it now!

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Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

This salad is great for any potluck or summer party.

Make homemade Italian dressing, or optional to buy store-bought, when you’re in a pinch for time!

You may have also tried my Potluck Spaghetti Tuna Salad Recipe or Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe.

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (2)

Italian Spaghetti Salad

Friends, we’ve been trying to get together with some good friends from out of town.

It’s hard to get a date on the calendar sometimes, and it takes work and intention to make it happen.

On the menu? This potluck favorite: Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (3)

How do you make Cold Spaghetti Salad

Pairing well with any barbecue, this cold spaghetti salad is perfect to serve with this pepperoncini steak.

  1. Cook the spaghetti pasta according to package directions.
  2. Rinse and drain and cool.
  3. Add the ingredients; coat with dressing.
  4. Optional to make homemade dressing, or you can use a good variety of store-bought.

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (4)

What goes in a spaghetti salad?

This a a spaghetti salad recipe with Italian dressing, and other fresh garden ingredients. Everyone loves it.

These are our favorite ingredients that go into a spaghetti salad:

  • Pasta – use spaghetti
  • Veggies – green pepper, red pepper, cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomatoes – add your favorites!
  • Meat – salami or pepperoni
  • Black olives & delicious cheese!
  • Your favorite dressing – YUM!

Homemade Italian Dressing

Optional to make your own Italian dressing. Here are the ingredients:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried basil and oregano
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (5)

Relaxing at home

Our son asked, are you going to go to your favorite restaurant, mom?

I said, no way. It’s way more authentic in our home, easy, less-expensive, and … I love this plaque.

Stay awhile.

People feel more inclined to sit back, relax, and …stay awhile when we make a home-cooked meal.

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (6)

Double the spaghetti salad recipe

Here’s what I love about summer cooking: COOK EXTRA. Double the recipe for any party!

Eating at home on a regular basis doesn’t mean you need to cook every night, too. So leftovers are great!

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (7)

How do you make Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing?

For the best flavor, it’s optional to make this salad the night before!

So light, fresh, and made with fresh garden veggies.

I sometimes use DeLallo’s Italian dressing–the flavor is so amazing. But you can buy your favorite dressing (or make it).

You can even add the dressing right before serving.

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (8)

Spaghetti Salad Recipe

This time we used gluten-free pasta for our friend Ashley, who has celiac’s. It was super good! Normally we use a whole grain pasta though.

Cook in salted water (no oil), and rinse and cool!

Super yummy served as leftovers!

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (9)

Set the table

Set the table (I’m a daisy lover, are you?), heat up the grill, serve a few side salads, and you’ll have the BEST summer barbecue! (Gray plates from Target, napkins from IKEA, chargers from Simon Pearce, tablecloth from IKEA).

And don’t forget to tell your guests … Stay Awhile!

Happy Hosting!

More summer salads: Easy Pad Thai Salad, BEST Potato Salad, Carrot Prune Fresh Parsley Salad, Avocado Pasta Salad, and Cowboy Pasta Salad.

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (10)

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Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

Cook Time: 15 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Yield: 8

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  • 1 16 oz pkg thin spaghetti, halved
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup Salami slices (or pepperoni, or both), cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, drained, thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle Italian salad dressing, OR MAKE YOUR OWN (recipe below)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon, plus more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, usually 1 minute less in time (el dente); drain and rinse. Add a drizzle of olive oil so pasta does not stick together. Refrigerate until cool.

  • Place in a large bowl; add tomatoes, cucumber, salami, pepper, red onion, and olives.

  • Combine remaining ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese; gently stir together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; serve!


Originally posted JULY 2017

Cuisine: Italian

Course: Salad

Author: Sandy / Reluctant Entertainer

Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

We love these clear glass serving / mixing bowls!

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (11)

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Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe (2024)


What is spaghetti salad made of? ›

Pour salad dressing and vinegar over noodles; mix well. Add onion, pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, seasoning mix, and Parmesan cheese; stir until well combined. Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.

Should you let pasta cool before making pasta salad? ›

My Best Pasta Salad Tips

I find that the higher time range listed on box instructions is usually just about right for pasta salad. Let your pasta cool completely before tossing it with the other ingredients. If it's still warm, the hot pasta will start to cook and wilt the veggies.

What is pasta salad dressing made of? ›

Make Pasta Salad Dressing

Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid. Tightly seal the jar, then shake until combined.

How long is spaghetti salad good for? ›

Storing Pasta Salad and Making Ahead Of Time

For storing: After I make this pasta salad, whether making it ahead or storing leftovers, I just pop it in the fridge and it will keep for 2-3 days. For making ahead: I love to make pasta salad 12-24 hours ahead of time.

Do you rinse spaghetti for spaghetti salad? ›

When you're making cold pasta salads, it's helpful to rinse your cooked pasta because it's going to lower the temperature of the pasta, which is ideal given that it's going to be served chilled — often alongside other cool and/or raw ingredients.

Why do people put mayo in spaghetti? ›

Here's the trick to take it up a notch: add mayonnaise to the sauce. Unusual? Definitely. But the mayo makes the sauce extra smooth and creamy.

Do you rinse pasta after boiling for pasta salad? ›

If you're making a dish that will be served chilled or at room temp—think cold soba, rice noodles, pasta salad—you do want to rinse so that you get toothsome (sorry) individual strands rather than one big gummy clump. Certain types of noodles benefit from a rinse in almost all applications.

What is the best olive oil for pasta salad? ›

If you prefer an oil-based pasta salad over a mayo-based pasta salad, using quality, flavorful oil is key. You can't go wrong with California Olive Ranch's extra virgin olive oil. “You can use it for just about anything,” Danny wrote in his ranking of the best olive oil.

Why does my pasta salad have no flavor? ›

Cold foods taste blander because the cold dulls our tastebuds a bit. This means that even properly seasoned pasta salad might be a little bland just out of the fridge. Try this instead: Taste the salad again and add a pinch of salt or a drizzle of lemon juice to brighten it up just before serving.

What is Olive Garden Italian dressing made of? ›

Water, Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Eggs, Romano Cheese (Pasteurized Part Skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Dehydrated Garlic, Spice, Xanthan Gum, Dextrose, Annatto Color, Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor, Natural Flavor.

Does pasta salad contain mayo? ›

In addition to the mayonnaise and sour cream, we use these ingredients: Yellow mustard adds a bit of color and rounds out the flavor of the dressing nicely. We usually use Dijon mustard in our recipes, but just like when making our potato salad, we prefer regular yellow mustard for the best pasta salad.

Do Italians use salad dressing? ›

Italians rarely pre-mix a dressing and usually dress a salad just before serving. Instead of a recipe, we have a proverb for how to dress a good Italian salad. A good rule of thumb is about three parts olive oil to one part vinegar.

Can you eat 2 week old pasta salad? ›

If you have leftover pasta salad, you can store it in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can you eat spaghetti after 7 days? ›

If the spaghetti has been stored on its own, it can be consumed at the 5-day mark even if the texture is slightly off. Cooked pasta lasts longer when not stored with sauce. If it is mixed with sauce, I recommend throwing it away after 5 days.

Can you eat spaghetti 3 days old? ›

The Bottom Line is spaghetti or pasta has an average shelf life of 3 to 5 days before it reaches its expiration date. If you attempt to eat this pasta past 5 or 6 days, it can cause you potential food poisoning.

How long does spaghetti salad last in the fridge? ›

How long does pasta salad last in the fridge? When stored in an airtight container, pasta salad will stay fresh for 3-5 days. If some of the fresh ingredients go bad faster, it might only last 2 days, i.e. Deli/cured meats can lose their color after 2 days but will still be flavorful.

Do Italians eat pasta salad? ›

Just as we tote bowls of pasta salad along to our summer potlucks in the 'states, Italy follows suite with a similar tradition. Pasta Fredda, which translates to "cold pasta," is Italy's version of pasta salad.

Why do Italians eat salad after pasta? ›

Serving salad after the main course of a meal is an older tradition in Italy, and nowadays it is usually observed at large and formal dinners rather than during everyday meals. Eating a salad after a meal can help digestion, while eating one before a meal may help discourage overeating.

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