Italian Dressing Pasta Salad is a healthy salad made with classic Mediterranean flavors like green beans, olives, tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and bottled Italian dressing. This super fast pasta salad can be ready in less than 30 minutes and is perfect as a light main dish, or a side dish with grilled meat. Great for potlucks and BBQ’s!
I’m a huge fan of pasta salads any time of the year, but especially when the temperatures rise and all I want to do is stick my head in the refrigerator!
Summers in Texas are no joke!
All kidding aside, this Italian Dressing Pasta Salad is a yummy way to beat the heat. The only stove top cooking required is boiling the pasta.
How do i make Italian Dressing pasta salad?
Be sure to scroll all the way to the recipe card for full instructions.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain then give it a quick rinse. Place pasta in a large mixing bowl. If you’re not adding salad ingredients to the pasta right away toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of dressing (or olive oil) to keep it from sticking. My favorite type of pasta for this salad is called farfalle (they are shaped like bow ties).
I like to set the pasta to boil and get the rest of the ingredients prepped. One of the best kitchen time savers are steam in the bag vegetables. I just cook them according to the directions in the bag and they turn out great every time. I used this type of harioct verts AKA French green beans.
One you steam the green beans, cut them into one or two inch pieces then cut the tomatoes and olives. Add them to the mixing bowl with the pasta. Toss with ½ cup Italian dressing.
Pine nuts are mild, sweet and buttery. If you aren’t familiar with pine nuts, and don’t feel like trying them out for this recipe, substitute walnuts or even pecans. Just be sure to toast them for the nuttiest flavor. To toast the pine nuts: heat a skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast until lightly golden brown. This will not take long-about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir the nuts around to keep them from burning.
Top pasta salad with pine nuts and feta cheese; lightly toss.
What main dish goes with Italian Dressing Pasta Salad?
Pasta salad goes great with chicken. Season it with Italian herbs, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon and sauté or grill. Some super markets have chicken breasts or rotisserie chickens that have already been marinated or cooked in Italian flavorings. This would be a perfect and easy pairing.
This pasta salad is also great with beef. Try it with your grilled steak or even with burgers.
Italian Dressing Pasta Salad is made for the buffet table! Try it for your next party, BBQ, church or work function. It’s a delicious versatile dish that everyone seems to love.
How long can i keep Italian Dressing pasta salad?
This salad is best served immediately or after 2-4 hours of chilling time. If you want to make it a day ahead, prepare the salad and keep the ingredients in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Toss with Italian dressing right before hand. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 5 days. If it’s dried out, toss a couple tablespoons of dressing onto the salad to freshen it up.
Try these other great recipe ideas!
Italian Dressing Pasta Salad
- 1 lb pasta such as farfalle or bow ties
- 16 oz. bag French green beans haricot verts or substitute with regular green beans; microwave in bag according to package directions or cooked until crisp-tender
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- 1-6 oz can black olives halved
- ½ cup bottled or prepared Italian dressing plus 2 tablespoons
- ½ cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse, then place in a large mixing bowl. If you’re not adding salad ingredients to the pasta right away toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of dressing to keep it from sticking.
- While the pasta cooks: steam green beans then cut them into one or two inch pieces; cut the tomatoes and olives. Add them to the mixing bowl with the pasta. Toss with ½ cup Italian dressing.
- To toast the pine nuts: heat a skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast until lightly golden brown. Stir the nuts around to keep them from burning.
- Top pasta salad with pine nuts and feta cheese; lightly toss.
If you made this Italian Dressing Pasta Salad, or any other recipe on the blog, don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below. I love hearing from my readers! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!