Summer Pasta Salad

July 10, 2018

Pasta salad is my favorite summer side dish. I love the colors of fresh produce, the fun noodles you can pick and the chilling, refreshing taste on a hot summer day. The beauty of pasta salad is that you can truly mix and match anything you have in your fridge, anything that looks good at the store or anything you’re craving. Personally, I like about a 50/50 ratio of pasta to produce and toppings. Cheese is a must. Nuts or veggies with texture like cucumbers and onions add a great crunch. The dressing can be a simple vinaigrette mix, like EVOO, vinegar, salt, pepper and usually a little sweetness from sugar, honey or agave. For this salad, I decided to blend together my vinaigrette mix with a whole bunch of parsley to color the salad like pesto. It was so aromatic and added a beautiful, vibrant green color. The best part of pasta salad is that it gets better with time. Make it a day ahead for maximum flavor at your party!

Just a note – the batch above is HUGE, so cut it in half if you’re not entertaining a big crowd. If you have any leftover pasta noodles, try making this baked pasta dish! If you’re looking for other summer sides, this list has a few of my ultimate summer faves.

What do you like to include in your pasta salad? Comment below!

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Summer Pasta Salad

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Recipe by Gabriela Rodiles Difficulty: Easy


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It’s fresh, colorful and refreshing for summer. Swap in your favorite veggies, noodles and cheese to personalize. This makes a HUGE batch (perfect for big summer parties), but cut in half if you’d like a more manageable serving side for smaller group!


  • One sixteen-ounce box pasta

  • 2 bell peppers, diced

  • 4 Persian cucumbers, cut into half moons

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • One 8-ounce block feta cheese, cubed

  • 1 small bunch parsley

  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or any nut

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  • Meanwhile, make parsley dressing. Blend together parsley leaves with olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper, oregano and 1 tablespoon on sunflower seeds until smooth.
  • Toss dressing with onions in a large bowl and let sit while pasta continues cooking. This will help take a little bite off of the red onion.
  • Once pasta is completely cooked and slightly cooled, toss with remaining veggies, cheese and nuts. Add in parsley dressing and onions. Taste to adjust seasoning as needed. Chill until serving.


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