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A white bowl is filled with Italian pasta salad.
4.34 from 6 votes
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Italian Dressing Pasta Salad Recipe

This quick and easy Italian dressing pasta salad recipe is the best Summer side dish! Bring this vegetarian and easily made gluten-free dish to picnics, potlucks, and BBQs.

Course Dinner, lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients

  • 10-12 oz. rotini pasta gluten-free
  • 1 cup Italian dressing bottled or homemade
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into 1-inch slices
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cool running water.
  2. Once pasta is cooled to room temperature, combine it with ¾ cup of Italian dressing in a large bowl. Toss until well coated.
  3. Add bell peppers, onion, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Toss until all ingredients are well combined.*
  4. Refrigerate pasta salad for 1-2 hours, or until chilled.
  5. Just before serving pour in additional ¼ cup of Italian dressing and mix in spinach leaves.
  6. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can also mix in the remaining Italian dressing and spinach leaves if you would like to serve it immediately without chilling.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse pasta under cold water. This gets rid of the extra starchy coating. It also stops the cooking process so the pasta stays firm and doesn't get mushy.
  • Use fusilli or rotini. These pastas have more area to soak up sauce.
  • Make it homemade. Whip up your own Italian dressing at home for the most flavor and the healthiest option.
  • Cut into bite-sized pieces. Dice the bell peppers and onion small so you get flavor in every bite.
  • Chill for 2 hours. This is long enough so the flavors meld, but not so long that the pasta loses its texture.
  • Up the nutritional value! Olives, cucumbers, asparagus, zucchini, and squash would all taste great in here.

Nutrition Facts
Italian Dressing Pasta Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 822mg36%
Potassium 238mg7%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 3165IU63%
Vitamin C 53.4mg65%
Calcium 166mg17%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.