Easy Italian Pasta Salad takes just minutes to make with spiral rotini pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, black olives, and feta cheese covered in Italian dressing. So quick, easy, and delicious!
Keyword Italian pasta salad, pasta salad, side dish
Prep Time 15minutes
Total Time 15minutes
Servings 10side dish servings
1box(12 oz) tricolor rotini pasta
1cupchopped cucumber(peeled and seeded, about 1 cucumber)
1cuphalved cherry or grape tomates
1cupcrumbled feta cheese
1can(2.25 oz) sliced black olivesdrained
1/4cupfinely diced red onion
1/2 - 1cupItalian salad dressing
Cook pasta according to box instructions. Remember to salt your pasta water with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. When pasta is done, drain it and run cold water over it so the noodles can cool.
In a large mixing bowl, c½ombine the cooked and cooled pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and red onion. Pour Italian dressing over it and stir together. *Start with 1/2 cup Italian dressing and go from there. I put about 3/4 cup dressing on the salad and then reserve the rest to add to the salad before serving to moisten it back up.
Can be eaten right away or refrigerated for a few hours before serving.* I like it cold so I refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving.
Tip : This Italian pasta salad recipe is so versatile! If you like more pasta than go ahead and use more than the one box called for (of course you will probably have to add more dressing). If you prefer more olive or tomato, or even the red onion, then add more of that ingredient. I always add more feta cheese because I absolutely love feta cheese. Italian Dressing : Use an Italian dressing that you like. The flavor really comes through so use a good one. I highly recommend the Olive Garden Italian Dressing. It is the best tasting store-bought dressing I have found. Feel free to use a lite Italian salad dressing if you prefer. Leftovers : They keep well in a covered container in the fridge for several days (about 3-4 days). If you are making this salad the day ahead of when you need it, then be sure and stir it together and add slightly more dressing to moisten it all back up. As a pasta salad sits in the fridge the pasta will soak up the dressing which can dry out the salad a bit. But adding additional dressing will fix that problem. I prefer to make this salad the day of and let it refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving. I prefer a cold pasta salad but this salad can be eaten right away after making it. Cucumbers : I like to use mini cucumbers, also called salad cucumbers, because they have hardly any seeds in them. So all I do is peel halfway (I like some green skin in the salad), cut in half lengthwise and then cut into small pieces. You can use regular cucumbers but they do have more water and seeds in them so be sure and take the seeds and pulpy stuff out of the middle before chopping. I use a metal table spoon and just slide it down the middle to remove all that stuff. You will be left with a crescent moon shape that you can chop small. This recipe has been updated with new pictures & some more helpful tips in January 2021. Recipe is the same, it's just new pictures.