The Best Pasta Salad Recipe

The Best Pasta Salad Recipe 1

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How to make a great pasta salad – that’s a real question! We got you covered. And it’s perfect for those little fingers too.

Pasta Salad Recipes and Minnesota Summer Gatherings

I had never heard of or tasted a pasta salad until I moved to Minnesota in 2010. It was either pasta or salad for me growing up, but those two were never married to each other.

There has not been a 4th of July party, a pool party, or a summer cabin trip that a pasta salad of some sort hadn’t been served. It’s truly a signature for a lot of summer gatherings.

There are so many different kinds, too, that you will never run out of trying a new version. For example, Greek pasta salad, strawberry balsamic pasta salad, Tuscan tortellini, chicken pasta salad, tuna macaroni salad, pesto pasta salad, and the list goes on. There is one for each preference and liking out there.

I will share one I made the other weekend when we celebrated Jamie’s birthday, and Morgan threw the best golf-themed party for him!

Ready for the recipe?

Ingredients Needed: 

Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Fusilli 
  • 2 cups diced cucumber 
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained 
  • ½ cup thin red onion slices 
  • 1 cup mozzarella pearls
  • handful fresh basil, torn or shredded

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt 

pasta salad recipe


1. Boil your pasta, drain and set aside. Make sure to salt the water. 

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2. Cut your grape tomatoes in half. Add to pasta. 

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3. Cut cucumbers!

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4. Core and seed your bell pepper. Slice small. 

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5. Slice olives and make sure you get pitted ones. 

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6. Drain and add garbanzo beans. 

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7. Drain and add mozzarella balls and/or mozzarella pearls. It all depends on how much you love cheese! 

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8. Slice your red onion thin. 

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9. Add basil leaves to your pasta salad for aroma and some beautiful green color. 

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Make sure to generously salt water, when you cook pasta

Homemade dressing is always a winner 

I use fresh mozzarella pearls because I like how petite they are. 

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Your pasta salad is ready to be served! Enjoy! 

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