Penne Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Olives

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This Penne Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Olives is a light and tangy penne pasta salad that is potluck, party, and summer barbecue friendly, with no mayo or other ingredients to spoil in the heat.

A light dressing keeps everything tangy and moist, while the pasta won’t dry out, even if it’s left on a table for a couple of hours.

Penne Pasta Salad made without mayo - perfect for potlucks and summer parties! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

This Italian Pasta Salad is one of the simplest pasta salads you can make.

You’ll have the entire salad assembled in the time it takes to boil the pasta if you start chopping ingredients while the pasta is cooking. I often toss everything together while the pasta is warm and serve the salad immediately.

However, this is also delicious cold and will keep nicely in the refrigerator for a few days. Italian Pasta Salad is a terrific make-ahead dinner or lunch for busy days.

Cucumber Tomato Pasta Salad

Fresh tomato and cucumber tossed together in a salad is like summertime in a bowl.

When I’m in the mood for a crisp and refreshing side, Cucumber Tomato Salad never disappoints. All these veggies need is a splash of oil and vinegar, a little seasoning and I’ll happily eat a whole bowl.

Adding pasta to the idea of a cucumber tomato salad only made it all the more delicious. I love the way the juicy tomatoes and fresh cucumbers taste together with tender penne noodles in this pasta salad.

If you like the combination of flavors in this Italian Pasta Salad, you should also give Cucumber Salad with Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette a try for your next potluck dish. For a creamier cucumber tomato salad recipe, try this Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad, too.

Italian Pasta Salad

If you can boil pasta and chop a vegetable, you can make a delicious homemade pasta salad.

Along with the cucumber and tomatoes, this penne pasta salad gets its Italian flavors from a combination of fresh herbs. I use plenty of chopped fresh basil leaves for amazing flavor and fragrance. Italian parsley add a fresh taste that makes this dish irresistible.

A combination of grape and cherry tomatoes work beautifully here. Red wine vinegar compliments the sweetness from fresh tomatoes while adding a nice tang.

Black olives finish this salad with a rich and salty flavor. Even people who’ve told me they’re not the biggest fans of olives have enjoyed them here.

Served cold or at room temperature, this pasta salad recipe is a keeper!

We also love plenty of garlic in our pasta salad! I throw three chopped cloves into mine, but feel free to adjust based on your garlic preference.

This recipe calls for a super simple dressing that really lets the flavors of the fresh veggies shine. The olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing is moist enough to keep the pasta from drying out but light enough not to overpower everything else.

Italian Pasta Salad is delicious and filling enough to serve on its own as a quick lunch or dinner. It also makes a fabulous side dish for any of your favorite entrees.

Pair it with Italian Red Wine Pork Roast for a hearty meal any time of year. Try it with a cup of Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup for a delicious lunch. It’s wonderful eaten as-is or sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese.

However you enjoy this simple penne pasta salad, I hope you like it as much as we do!

This summer pasta salad is loaded with Italian flavors - you're going to love it!

Mayo Free Pasta Salads

I’m a gigantic fan of pasta salad made without mayonnaise. These mayo-free salads keep nicely at room temperature for hours, making them super convenient and tasty for summer parties and other outdoor activities in the heat.

While I love a Creamy Pasta Salad, I also like a pasta salad I can serve year-round with no worries. I typically take these salads to potlucks in big disposable pans or plastic containers. This way, I can set it on the table and then forget about it. I never have to worry about a mayo free pasta salad spoiling quickly in the sun.

In the summertime, I often make a double or triple batch of pasta salads like this one. Leftovers are great to keep in the fridge and dish out for a quick lunch.

This Spinach Pasta Salad and this Summer Israeli Couscous Salad are two more excellent salads that are perfect for summer. And this Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad is a must any time you have fresh strawberries around!

This Tangy Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a mayo-free salad that is perfect for summer parties! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

For more pasta salads, you’ll want Creamy Pasta Salad and Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad on your list to try soon. This Taco Pasta Salad and this Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad both sound delicious too.

If you’re looking for a warm pasta dish that the entire family is certain to love, this Easy Baked Ziti is guaranteed to thrill them. One Pot Lazy Lasagna is another easy delicious dinner that comes together.

Check out all my Pasta Salad Recipes for more ideas!

Kitchen Tip: I use this pot, this strainer, and this mixing bowl to make this recipe.

Penne Pasta Salad

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Stir and let sit while assembling the rest of the salad.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, olives, red onion, and cooked pasta. Add the tomatoes and all of the juices from the bowl. Stir to coat everything in the dressing.
  4. Sprinkle with basil and parsley and toss again. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve or refrigerator until ready to eat.

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Penne Pasta Salad made without mayo - perfect for potlucks and summer parties! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Penne Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Olives

4.6 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8 -10 servings

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces mini penne pasta or regular penne pasta
  • 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (red or yellow is fine)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 2 cups cucumbers, chopped small
  • 6 ounce can whole black olives, drained and halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced very thin and chopped small
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, sliced very thin, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped small

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Stir and let sit while assembling the rest of the salad. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, olives, red onion, and cooked pasta. Add the tomatoes and all of the juices from the bowl. Stir to coat everything in the dressing.
  • Sprinkle with basil and parsley and toss again. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve or refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal · Carbohydrates: 26g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 17g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Sodium: 338mg · Potassium: 305mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 730IU · Vitamin C: 12mg · Calcium: 31mg · Iron: 0.9mg
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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. Donna Lawrence says

    I don’t know what age your children are, but if they are in school a “must see” in D.C. is the Ford Museum. It is a few blocks off the mall, but fascinating for history buffs. You first sit in the theatre itself for a re-enactment (at least that’s what they did several years ago), of the assasination of Lincoln, than you tour a museum with all sorts of memorabilia of that part of history. I remember they had a bed with bloody pillow on it, the actual gun used, I don’t remember what else, but it was one of our favorite parts of D.C. Off the main Mall and probably not even known about by many people, so not crowded at all. I think it is part of the National Parks and Forests , so if you have that annual pass it would be included. Love your recipes. I am writing from Baton Rouge, LA–where are you at? Just curious!!

    • Mary says

      Thanks so much! I hadn’t heard of the Ford Museum. That sounds great. Our boys are 14, 12, and 8 and we live in Phoenix, AZ. Thanks again for the suggestion!

  2. Heather C says

    Delicious salad! Thank you for sharing. I always like to “doctor” things up a bit though. I added juice from half a lemon just squeezed right over after salad and feta cheese.5 stars

  3. Shirley Carroll says

    DEAR MARY,
    My Daughters and Grand daughter have made many of your delicious recipes.
    ” THANK YOU “soo much for sharing these.
    I am going to make your BEACON RANCH SALAD this week- end. I’M SURE IT WILL BE A BIG HIT.🤗
    You are so right about the GF Pastas getting hard when cold.
    I have Celiac Decease , as does my oldesdt son Tom, we are very sensitive to gluten . So any GLUTEN FREE recipes we can find are great to try.
    God Bless you for your generous , out reached help to making cooking not only easier but healthier also.
    Greatfully your,
    ~~💗~~
    SHIRLEY CARROLL

  4. Marcy youker says

    love , love your penne pasta salad recipe, took it to a seniors meeting and had great reviews, 8 ladies came to my table to tell me how delicious it was, they discrabe it as superb good, I am not crazy about pasta salads, but they all like it,so kudos to you ,will keep it in my salad files, will try your couscous salad next meeting,.{ I did double the dressing add more chopped garlic, cut on the amount of oil(too much) add more vinegar,more salt ,pepper,was great.thank you so much5 stars

  5. Elizabeth J McFadden says

    Maybe I did something wrong? I went a little light on the tomatoes (I only had 3 cups worth in the house) but otherwise followed the recipe, but it seemed bland, and heavy on the oil when assembled. Added extra vinegar and some additional herbs — more fresh basil, and some dried dill and rosemary, as well as some good grated parmesan and that perked it up.3 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      It’s not a bland salad, so I’m not sure what went wrong, Elizabeth. Just a handful fewer tomatoes shouldn’t have affected it that much. I’m glad you were able to perk it up to your tastes though!

  6. Valerie says

    I love this recipe. It is my go to, make ahead salad for camping. I pair it with whatever is cooked over the fire; mainly burgers and brats. So much better than any of the deli salads from the supermarket! And my camping crew absolutely love it!5 stars