Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

This pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing is my daughter’s favorite. She begs me to make it for her and packs any leftovers in her lunch box. For this recipe I like to make my own dressing. Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world to mix it on your own. It takes just a few minutes, and it doesn’t contain all the nasty chemicals that are found in the store-bought dressings. Also, when you make your own dressing, you control the amount of salt and sugar you add. This is especially important if you are on a diet.

pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing

Why should you make this recipe?

This salad is delicious and filling. You can have a serving of it instead of lunch or dinner. It is a complete meal. It has carbohydrates, protein, dairy, vegetables and a dressing made with a heart healthy fat. This combination of products will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. You can prepare this salad for gatherings, parties, game nights and everyday meals.

This recipe is not complicated. You can make this pasta salad in 30 minutes or less. The salad dressing comes together fast too. You just add its ingredients in a blender, and it is done. I use a small smoothie maker to blend in my salad dressings.

pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing

Helpful tips

Use whatever pasta you like for this recipe. If you use whole wheat pasta you can increase the nutritional value of this salad. Follow the cooking directions on the packet to achieve the pasta texture you like.

I always roast my own peppers, but you can definitely use one from a jar. Just keep in mind that using a marinated pepper will slightly change the flavor of the salad.

Use a vegetable peeler to create the Parmesan savings. You can also grate it if you prefer.

You can prepare the pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing in advance. Just make sure you store it in the fridge until it is time to serve it. I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge for longer than three days, because the fresh vegetables will wilt.

pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing

Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cherry tomato, Mozzarella, onion, Parmesan cheese, pasta, Roasted pepper

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 2 cups dry rotini pasta About 8 oz. I used tri-coclor rotini
  • ½ cup roasted bell pepper coarse chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup baby mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives other type of olives work too
  • Parmesan cheese shavings

For the dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium sized garlic clove pressed or chopped finely
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add a pot filled with water to the stove and bring it to a boil. Then add a generous pinch of salt and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking chop your vegetables. Slice the onion to thin slices and the pepper coarsely. You can use marinated roasted red pepper or roast your own.
  • Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients in a blender or chopper. If you don’t have one chop the basil very finely add it to the other ingredients and stir well.
  • When the pasta is ready drain it and rinse it with cold water. Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and stir well.
  • Store covered in the fridge no longer than 3 days.
pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing

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