Isn’t it funny how your tastes in food change when you get older? I know that mine sure have. As a child I HATED Pasta Salad and avoided it at all cost, but as an adult I LOVE it!
So much so, that lately I have been making it at least twice a month. I’d make it once a week, but that’s a little over-kill and it’s kind of expensive to make…
Pasta Salad from scratch really is easier than you’d think! It’s certainly better for you than buying pre-made, because you can control every ingredient and make it as healthy as you want.
I’ve been fiddling around with ingredients and I finally decided on what is now my “go to” recipe for Pasta Salad. I have tried to simplify it so that, hopefully, others can make it from scratch too. Well, here it is broken down into steps to make it easier.
Let’s dive right into the pics/tutorial of the process of making Pasta Salad From Scratch:
First, we prepare the pasta by boiling it until it’s done, draining it, and then let it cool enough to cover and put in the fridge until you are ready to add the other ingredients. You can cool the noodles down faster by rinsing them with cold water when you drain the pasta.
Add the oil to the jar.
Then add the vinegar.
Then add the Parmesan Cheese.
Next I added some of my Home-Made Bulk Italian Seasoning, you can get that recipe here.
Now with the added yummy Green Onions. I only used ½ a cup this time, but you can add more as desired.
Oh, before I forget, I wanted to also share with you several of my other salads that you’ll love:
- Family Favorite Veggie Salad
- Kick-Ass Pasta Salad
- Coleslaw Ramen Chicken Salad
- Bow Tie Chicken Salad
- Lemon Berry Salad
Back to the Pasta Salad From Scratch recipe.
Now we put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix!
Next, cube your Mozzarella Cheese to your desired size. I prefer big chunks, but half of that preference could just be because I’m a little lazy in the kitchen.
Here is my favorite kind of pre-cooked sausage for this recipe. It’s delicious! Just cut it to your desired size…along with cutting down the olives to your desired size.
Here are what the other ingredients looked like when prepped and ready.
It’s time to combine everything! Here are all the ingredients when it’s time to mix them together in my large bowl, you will need a bowl that is at least four quarts to handle this recipe.
One thing to remember is that the oil in the dressing settles…
So make sure to shake it up really well right before you add it.
Here’s what it looks like when everything has been added to the bowl, and it’s time to toss it together/ mix it.
It’s ready to serve! Enjoy!
- 12 Oz Package Pasta (pick your fave pasta. Can use 6-8 cups pasta if using bulk noodles)
- Dressing Mixture:
- 2/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 C Vinegar of Choice (my favorite is White Wine, I've heard that balsamic is good too)
- 1/3 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 T Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 to 1 C Chopped Green Onion or Dried Minced Onion
- Mix Ins:
- 1 lb Mozzarella, Cubed
- 1 Can of Black Olives, Sliced
- 1 to 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes or Sun dried Tomatoes
- 1 lb Pre-Cooked Turkey Sausage or Pepperoni, Cut to your desired size.
- Prepare your pasta by boiling it until it is your desired level of "done". Drain and rinse in cold water. Let cool, place in a large bowl (at least four quarts in size, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to add the other ingredients.
- To make the dressing mixture, use a pint sized jar with a plastic lid. Add all of your ingredients to the jar. Close the lid and shake well. Place this in the refrigerator until you are ready to mix the salad. shake it well before mixing it into the other ingredients. I personally think it tastes best to let the dressing sit and allow the flavors to blend for several hours before you mix up the salad.
- On a large cutting board, cube the Mozzarella, Slice the remaining ingredients to your desired size.
- Gather all the ingredients, shake the dressing, and mix them all together. Serve now or cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Mix well before serving.
This salad should keep in the fridge for several days if both covered and refrigerated properly.
I like to serve this as a whole meal as it has all the food groups that we need. Just go a little heavier on the added veggies if you're doing so.
Remember that the vinegar that you choose affects the taste of the salad more than anything in this recipe. If you make it and don't quite like it, try another vinegar. Like I mentioned in the post, I prefer it with White Wine Vinegar and I have heard others prefer it with Balsamic... so play around with it and see what you prefer. Oh, and you can salt and pepper to taste...though I usually don't.
This is just my preference for the ingredients, but you can do it however you want. Maybe just use my amounts as a guide. I had to use dried tomatoes this time because they were getting soft, I didn’t want them to go to waste so I dried them in the oven.
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Some of my other recipes that you may like are (the pics are links):
*Reposts: Please note that this idea/post was originally posted to this website on 01/11/2014 but it was in great need of a refresh so it now is more user friendly/shareable and now has a free printable recipe card!