Pasta salad is an old standby regarding potluck recipes. Most recipes take less than an hour to make and involve inexpensive ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. However, since pasta salad is such a diverse dish, there is an overwhelming amount of different recipes available.
If you’re not sure where to start, here is a simple recipe for a crowd-pleasing Italian pasta salad for your next potluck.
1 box or package of your choice of pasta
1 cup chopped cucumber1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 can of sliced black olives
1/4 cup of diced red onion
Your favorite Italian salad dressing
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box, adding a pinch of salt to the water.
- Drain the pasta and set aside while you prep the veggies.
- Move the pasta into a bowl and add in the prepared veggies. Mix with a large, flat spoon to avoid pasta breakage.
- Add salad dressing to taste. For this size of batch, anywhere from half a cup to one cup should work well.
- Place the entire bowl in the refrigerator for a while before serving. This will bring everything to the same cool, refreshing temperature and keep the veggies fresh as possible.
Here are some additional expert tips for your pasta salad:
- Opt for a pasta shape that’s small and easy to combine with veggies. Some popular choices include farfalle, rotini and penne.
- Once you drain the pasta into a strainer, run it under cold water to reduce the temperature instantly.
- Before adding onions to the mixture, let them soak in a small amount of salad dressing for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to enjoy the flavor of the onions without it overpowering the rest of the salad.
- Skinning the cucumbers is completely up to your preference. However, consider removing the seeds. This reduces the amount of excess moisture in your pasta salad and makes for a cleaner look.
- Drain the olives carefully to avoid adding extra water to your mixture.
- Slice the tomatoes in half if you wish. For larger cherry tomatoes, this might make them more convenient to eat in combination with the other ingredients.
- Add finely chopped pepperoni, salami, ham or your favorite cheese to add some protein to your pasta salad. You can also top with grated parmesan cheese for a savory garnish.