Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

This is not your supermarket deli Italian pasta salad, it is waaaaay better. This is all the freshness, no sugar, and easily made to suit all the different dietary preferences and needs. I have been making a version of this pasta salad for YEARS, one that people are always like, whoa! It’s like my secret weapon for parties and potlucks, everyone loves it. I used to use a bottle of whatever Italian dressing I had laying around but now I know how easy it is to make my own so I shake it up in a mason jar and get grooving. Pasta salads are so perfect to prep ahead because they don’t get mushy (make sure to rinse with cold water after draining the pasta), and it still absorbs some of that awesome dressing flavor. Below I have a couple variations to make it perfect for the way you eat, any way you make it, it will be delicious!

  • Gluten Free - use GF pasta, I know tons of peeps love Banza pasta for their dishes to up their protein too.

  • Low Carb or Keto - Low carb pasta or swap the twirls for some spiralized zucchini, keep it raw for great crunch

  • Dairy Free and Vegan - swap the feta for some nut-based ricotta (I LOVE Kite Hill’s Ricotta), just make sure to salt and pepper it.

  • Paleo and Whole30 - Use those zucchini noodles and that nut-based ricotta

  • Protein? - Throw some grilled chicken or seared salmon for a beautiful and light meal. Even mixing in oil packed tuna or shrimp would be delicious

Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

  • 1 box (12 oz) pasta of choice or zucchini noodles

  • 1 jar roasted red peppers

  • 4 mini cucumbers, diced

  • 4 stalks celery, sliced

  • 6 oz feta or dairy free ricotta

  • 3/4 cup Italian Dressing, I like The Whole Cook’s version

  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 packed cups arugula

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Optional - grilled chicken, seared salmon, tuna packed in oil, shrimp

- Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Place in a large bowl.

- Add the remaining ingredients, excluding the arugula, and toss until everything is well combined. Chill until ready to serve and then stir in the arugula.

- Keeps for several days in the fridge.

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