Creamy Pasta Salad

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Light and slightly tangy Creamy Pasta Salad, with just enough creamy dressing to coat the noodles and vegetables, this is one heck of an awesome cold pasta salad.

Perfect on its own for a light meal or as a side dish for all the summer potlucks and barbecues. A homemade pasta salad is better than any deli salad you can buy at the store!

Creamy Pasta Salad is a favorite all year long

A few years ago, while visiting my aunt and uncle, we were fortunate enough to arrive around dinnertime. (My aunt is a fabulous cook, so I tend to time my arrivals that way. You know, accidentally on purpose?)

Speaking of Aunt Judy’s amazing foods, have you tried her Almond Bars yet? Put them on your holiday baking list right now.

Her pasta salad was so simple and so delicious, I had to recreate it for my family as soon as I got back home. Thanks once again for the inspiration, Aunt Judy.

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This cold pasta salad is filled with broccoli, cucumber, red pepper, black olives, and green onions. Everything gets tossed in a light creamy dressing and the result is a fresh, slightly tangy pasta salad with plenty of different flavors.

I love salads with more vegetables than pasta. Recipes like this Asian Pasta Salad and this Summer Couscous Salad are great salads that thrill my vegetable loving heart.

Creamy Pasta Salad with Vegetables

Cooking the broccoli just long enough to brighten the color and soften the crunch gives this salad a little something extra. (So, I highly recommend that you don’t skip that step.)

Last time I made this, I shot a video to share with you. Be sure to check it out.

Pasta Salad Dressing

The dressing for this pasta salad is creamy, slightly tangy, a little bit sweet, and provides the perfect light complement to this salad.

As simple as it is, it’s absolutely perfect. A scoop of mayonnaise, a splash of vinegar, a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and sugar add up to a terrific pasta salad dressing that everyone enjoys.

If you haven’t tried the salad yet, I hope that you’ll love it every bit as much as we do. Every time I make this salad, I stash containers of it in the fridge for my lunches all week.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Cold Pasta Salad

If you love pasta salad for easy meals all year round, you’ll want to try this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and the Italian Artichoke and Tomato Pasta Salad after you’ve finished the last bite of this Creamy Pasta Salad.

Many of you are still going crazy over the Spinach Pasta Salad as well. I make that simple salad on repeat all year long. I have this Greek Pasta Salad and this Tuna Pasta Salad on my list to try soon too. You just can’t have too many great pasta salads at your fingertips, right?

Summer Pasta Salad with Vegetables and a Creamy Dressing

How To Make Creamy Pasta Salad

  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks.

  2. Just before the noodles are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large strainer. Rinse well with cold water.

  3.  Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat.

  5. Add the cucumber, pepper, olives, and onions and stir again.

  6. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving.

If you forget to toss the broccoli in the boiling water at the end of the pasta’s cooking time, you can also steam it in the microwave. Place the broccoli in a glass bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the broccoli is bright green and barely softened.

Creamy Cold Summer Pasta Salad recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Creamy Pasta Salad

Creamy Summer Pasta Salad

4.8 from 49 votes
This is a fresh, slightly tangy pasta salad with plenty of different flavors.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 min
Total Time: 11 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • SALAD INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 ounces salad macaroni or ditalini pasta
  • 1 cup tiny broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion
  • DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine or plain vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the noodles are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. Rinse well with cold water.
  •  Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat. Add the cucumber, pepper, olives, and onions and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

If you forget to toss the broccoli in the boiling water at the end of the pasta's cooking time, you can also steam it in the microwave. Place the broccoli in a glass bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, until the broccoli is bright green and barely softened.

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal · Carbohydrates: 31g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 16g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 7mg · Sodium: 496mg · Potassium: 184mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 580IU · Vitamin C: 30.5mg · Calcium: 24mg · Iron: 0.8mg
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(originally published 6/6/14 – recipe notes and photos updated 09/4/20}

The BEST Creamy Pasta Salad is everyone's favorite! Get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Kirsten says

    I have an unholy love for pasta salad and this is the absolute best recipe I’ve found. 100% perfect. Thanks so much for the recipe!5 stars

  2. Beth says

    That salad looks absolutely delicious. I must make this. I cant rate it cause I havent tried it yet but I just can tell it will be so yummy.

  3. Carol Paulsen says

    The recipe needs to have the olives added I assume with the cucumber, pepper, and onions. I found the dressing needed “something”. I ended up adding some garlic powder and garlic salt. I’d say it was an okay recipe but not one of my favs this time. I’m thinking I might try it again and add some Uncle Dan’s ranch dressing mix to the dressing for the flavor I was looking for.3 stars

  4. Judy Nachtigal says

    I have made this salad a few times, and I absolutely love it. The first time I made it, (as I always do with new recipes,) I made it as listed…with just one change. I hate olives! (I love olive oil though. I know, weird! ) So I subbed them for diced spicy dill pickles. I liked it a lot, but then adapted it to my preferences. I really appreciate how a great chef can offer her unique recipes, and then her readers can make their adaptations.
    I felt the salad soaked up so much of the delicious sauce after it sat a bit, so I added extra sauce. And because I love tangy, I made this with about 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. dill pickle juice, a little more black pepper, a pinch of sugar. Yum! Hard to resist a little snack of this salad when I open the refrigerator door.
    Thank you Mary for another inspiring recipe.5 stars

  5. Carol says

    This is a truly delicious pasta salad. I have a hard time resisting it when I have some in the fridge. I followed the recipe except for omitting the olives, which I don’t care for, and adding an ear of fresh corn at my husband’s suggestion. Fantastic!5 stars

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