This Classic Italian Pasta Salad is heavy on the veggies and bursting with flavor!
I love this salad because it’s so easy to make and the perfect side dish to bring to parties and pot lucks!
I took this pasta salad to my son’s Cub Scout “Blue and Gold” meeting earlier this week.
Are you familiar with Cub Scouts? Growing up, my brother never did cub scouts and I only have one son, so this is my first experience with it.
My husband (who is very familiar with the program) has been working out of town for the past year, so I’m trying to do all the scouting things with my son on my own. Mom style.
The boys had to come up with carnival games to play at their latest meeting and my son chose to do a ring toss. I bought several 2 liter bottles of soda and some pool rings. I gave my son and his friend a poster board and told them to make a sign for their game. I left the room and came back to a scribbled, barely legible sign.
I suggested for them to turn the poster board over and start over. But they had already scribbled on the back. Letting go of my OCD I just went with it and prayed I wasn’t going to be that mom that let their kid have a mess of a poster.
Lucky for my son, I do know what I’m doing in the kitchen.
I was able to whip up this delicious Italian Pasta Salad in no time.
I love tons of fresh veggies in my salad, so I added lots of cucumber, red bell pepper, onion and broccoli. And since my kids love olives, I added a bunch of those too. No Italian pasta salad is complete without some pepperoni, so don’t forget to add that!
HERE’S A TIP:
If you’re not a fan of chomping down on raw broccoli, just add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water for the last two minutes and then drain. Quickly rinse with cold water so the broccoli stops cooking, and you’re left with a tender-crisp bite. It’s perfect.
Toss everything with your favorite Italian dressing and you’re set!
I truly adore this salad. You’re going to love it too!
Oh and my son’s poster fit right in with all the other 8 and 9 year old boys. 😉
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. tri colored rotini pasta, uncooked
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups English cucumber, thick sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium black olives, 6 oz can, sliced
- 1/2 purple onion, diced
- 1 cup pepperoni, sliced (quartered)
- 1 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta and 1 tsp olive oil. Cook until the pasta is al dente, and then add the broccoli florets. Cook 2 more minutes and then stain pasta and broccoli in a colander and run cold water over it until the pasta and broccoli are cooled. Drain completely and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, olives, onion and pepperoni. Add in the pasta and broccoli and stir to combine. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat.
- Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve (up to 4 hours ahead of time for best results). Stir again before serving. Enjoy!