Pasta, Potato & Grain Salads | October 28, 2008

Marinated Pasta Salad

Simple, fresh, and light- this marinated pasta salad is full of flavorful delicious ingredients! It’s the perfect side dish to any picnic, potluck, or family dinner!

Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook

Way back, when I had less cookbooks and more sense, I used one cookbook over and over. It was “A Pinch of Salt Lake”. It was my close friend when we moved from Salt Lake to Portland, Oregon (mid 80’s). Grant was in law school. Corrine ( two years old) and I spent a lot of time in our little apartment. I tried most of the recipes out in that book, and loved or at least liked the majority. Some of my fav’s were: Layered Seafood Spread, Crustless Crab Quiche, Mexican Breakfast, Orange Glazed Crescent Rolls, Spinach Herb Twists, Asian Noodles and Slaw, Crepes with Crab and Spinach, Cold Lemon Chicken. The list goes on and on.

Even after collecting cookbooks for over 25 years, POSL is still one of my favorites for consistently great recipes. This is a delish salad, easy, fresh. Sprinkling the dry Good Season’s Italian over the veggies and pasta really make the flavor stick to all of the ingredients. You can change the vegetable to suit your taste. I like the olives, not only bc I’m an olive lover, but also for the color. Oh- one last thing – I think it’s out of print now, but can always be found on ebay or Amazon.

Marinated Pasta Salad

Easy Marinated Pasta Salad

One of the best things about this simple recipe is that you can change up the vegetables however you prefer! This recipe calls for a Bermuda onion, yellow pepper, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, and olives. Feel free to substitute or take out any of those. Here are other veggie options you could try:

  • chopped tomatoes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • red, orange, or green bell peppers
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • peas
  • green onions

The list goes on and on! So many possibilities for this yummy marinated pasta salad. This salad needs to marinated for about 3 hours. You can let it marinate overnight if you want to make it ahead of time- just be sure to wait and add the mushrooms and grated cheese right before serving.

Making and Serving

Once you’ve decided on which vegetables you’re going to use you can get started on the recipe. Start by cooking your pasta according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside. Wash and cut the vegetables and place them in a large bowl. Add the cooked pasta and sprinkle with the dry dressing mix. Add a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. Pour the bottled dressing over everything. Toss it all together, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge.

Let it marinate for at least 3 hours before serving. Just before you are going to serve it, grate fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese over the salad.


Other Pasta Salad recipes to try:

Marinated Pasta Salad

Pinch of Salt Lake


  • 1 lb pasta any shape
  • 1/4 of a Bermuda onion chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 2 small zucchini thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups broccoli flowerlettes
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large can pitted olives whole
  • 1 .07 oz package dry Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
  • 1 16 oz. Bernstein's Cheese and Garlic Italian dressing


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Immerse in cold water, drain and set aside.
  2. Wash and cut vegetables, place in a large bowl. Add cooked pasta and sprinkle with dry dressing mix. Add a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. Pour bottled dressing over all, toss and refrigerate.
  3. Just before serving, grate fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese over all of the salad.
  4. -If you are waiting more than 3 hours to serve, add the mushrooms and grated cheese just before serving.

Recipe Notes

-If you are waiting more than 3 hours to serve, add the mushrooms and grated cheese just before serving.

-If you like the broccoli tender, and bright green, blanch before adding to salad. What is blanching? Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food preparation wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.

4 thoughts on “Marinated Pasta Salad

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  1. LOVE that cookbook too! This post made me remember how much. . .what the crazy birds outside my window??! (sorry–they’re a little nutso, though. .)

  2. Ebay, why didn’t I think of that earlier. I have wanted this cookbook for years, and now as of 5minutes ago I will soon have it in my posession! I paid $4.89 with shipping! Yum Yum I love the recipes in this book, especially the mint brownies, which I have eaten about 5 of today.

  3. This is the best pasta salad! My mom has this cookbook and I hope I get to inherit it one day. Until then I am always coming back to your website for this one. Such a good mix of everything and the dressing is the best! It’s a family favorite made year round with your breadsticks. Yum!