Fast and Easy Pasta Salad

Growing up there was one thing we could always count on…my mom’s family being there. We were with them on Sunday’s, birthdays, holidays, big life events, and most summer days! Our cousins were our best friends, aunts and uncles another mom and dad, and my grandparents were always there loving us unconditionally. Another thing we could always count on was this pasta salad showing up at most get togethers.

There is a reason this pasta salad always came to family parties. It is easy to make, is full of delicious robust flavor, comes together in no time and is a light and fresh salad everyone will enjoy! We always double this salad to feed big crowds, but the recipe below still feeds plenty…about 6-7 cups!

For this pasta salad, I use Rotini Pasta. I love the multicolored pasta to add some color to the salad. I add in cut up broccoli, sliced black olives, sweet peas (make sure they are sweet peas), and diced cheddar or Colby jack cheese. The easiest part of all is the dressing. It is store bought Zesty Italian salad dressing. The Zesty Italian Dressing, is more robust than regular Italian Dressing and is perfect for the pasta and mix-ins.

This salad is perfect for your next BBQ, family dinner, or just when you need a simple, light and delicious salad! everyone will love it and it is even still delicious the next day as leftovers!

Here are some other options to mix in your salad: pepperoni, cucumbers, tomatoes, diced or cherry tomatoes, cooked, cut-up chicken breast, or green olives. The sky is the limit with this salad, so pick add ins that everyone will love!

This salad will stay good for about 3 days. You will need to add some extra dressing probably if eaten as leftovers.

Hope you enjoy!

Fast and Easy Pasta Salad

This salad is easy to make and is perfect for any occasion. It is light and fresh and can easily be adapted to your liking.
This salad makes about 6-7 cups
Course Salad
Keyword Dressing/Sauce, salad
Prep Time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb. Rotini (Spiral Pasta), cooked and cooled I love the multicolored pasta
  • 1 16 oz. bottle, Zesty Italian Dressing see notes
  • 1 6.5 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 12 oz. package, frozen Sweet Peas, thawed see notes
  • 1/2 lb. cheddar or colby jack cheese, cubed
  • 2-3 cups. fresh brocolli, cut up into small pieces as much or as little as you like


  • Mix up all the ingredients in a large bowl. I use about 3/4 of the bottle of dressing, but you can add more or less to taste.


I use Zesty Italian Dressing for the robust flavor.  I have found it is better tasting than straight Italian.  I use about 3/4 of the bottle and then save the rest of the bottle to mix in the salad later as needed (or the next day if I have leftovers).  The pasta tends to soak up the dressing, so save the extra dressing to mix in later.
I use cheddar or Colby jack cheese and cut it into smaller cubes (you can see in the photo).
I use frozen sweet peas.  I like the frozen better because they taste better in my opinion.  Make sure they are thawed before adding them to the salad.   I usually only use 1/2 the package, but you can use the entire package if you like peas.  Canned peas would work too, just make sure you drain them first before adding them to the salad.
Here are some other options to mix in your salad: pepperoni, salami, cucumbers, tomatoes (diced) or cherry tomatoes, cooked, cut-up chicken breast, green peppers, or green olives.
We double this salad for big family parties.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Avocado Cream Sauce is perfect for salads, Mexican Dishes or as a dip.

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