Get ready to hand this Spaghetti Salad recipe out to everyone who tries it -- you're about to become the most popular girl at the potluck. And for good reason! Spaghetti salad is all about texture, flavor, and keeping you cool when the weather is hot, which makes it perfect for Summer.
People swoon for this dish of cooked spaghetti noodles, loaded with fresh veggies and parmesan cheese. It's got just the right amount of tang and savory thanks to store-bought Italian dressing and a few friends from the spice drawer. Plus those crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes really take it to the next level.
Spaghetti Salad is great for when you're craving something cool and refreshing. It's filling without being heavy and goes well with literally everything. You'll love how eye-catching and vibrant these simple ingredients become when they're all tossed together and ready to serve at your next gathering.
Whether it's a potluck, casual entertaining, or a backyard BBQ, this dish is perfect for feeding a crowd and it's always a hit. You can also add chicken or shrimp to turn it into a hearty, make-ahead lunch. For more like this, try our tortellini pasta salad, pesto pasta salad, and tuna pasta salad as well!
HOW TO MAKE SPAGHETTI PASTA SALAD
To kick off your Spaghetti Pasta Salad recipe, the first thing you want to do is get a big pot of water going over high heat. Bring your pasta water to a roaring boil and add a generous pinch of kosher salt to the water. It is extremely important that you salt your pasta water. This will give your pasta salad so much more flavor!
For the pasta, I prefer to use thin spaghetti noodles, but if you already have regular spaghetti noodles or that is your preference, feel free to go that direction. Break up the spaghetti noodles into thirds and add them to the boiling water.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, and note if you are using thin spaghetti, it will cook faster than regular spaghetti. When your pasta has cooked to al dente or to your liking, drain and rinse the noodles under cold water to cool them off a bit and stop the cooking. Then, transfer your spaghetti to a large mixing bowl.
Now it's time to whip up the Spaghetti Salad dressing! Rather than investing the time in a homemade Italian dressing, we're actually just going to call on a few extra ingredients to spruce up the store-bought stuff. Trust us -- the flavors in this pasta salad are so big and deliciously bold, no one will ever know!
This amped-up, zesty Italian dressing is extremely easy to make and basically consists of a store-bought Italian dressing spruced up with a few extra spices. Our dressing of choice is Olive Garden Italian dressing, which you can find at most grocery stores. This dressing is just the right amount of tangy and savory, thanks to lots of Parmesan cheese!
Add the Italian dressing of your choice to a small mixing bowl, along with kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, and celery seeds. The celery seeds make a massive difference in the flavor of this Cold Spaghetti Salad, and it is so insanely irresistible!
Just mix these ingredients together and pour them over your cooked spaghetti noodles. Then, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let those noodles cool down while you chop up all those delicious vegetables!
The vegetables you will chop for your Spaghetti Salad are red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cherry or grape tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Try to dice all of your vegetables right about the same size for consistency's sake. And, one little note on the cherry tomatoes, take care to remove the seeds! They will water down your dressing and dull the flavor of your Spaghetti Pasta Salad if you don't.
You'll also want to chop up about a quarter cup of fresh Italian parsley and drain 2 cans of sliced black olives. The last ingredient you'll want to be sure to have on hand is grated Parmesan cheese.
To finish off your Spaghetti Salad, all you have to do is add all of your vegetables, parsley, black olives, and Parmesan cheese to the top of the noodles and toss until combined. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill. This will likely take 2 to 3 hours. Your pasta salad is ready to serve as soon as it is fully chilled through, but is also perfectly delicious within 24 hours of going into the fridge. And there you have it, the perfect side dish!
For another easy pasta salad, try our Italian pasta salad next!
HOW TO STORE SPAGHETTI PASTA SALAD
Spaghetti Pasta Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It is best served either just after the chilling time ends or the next day. After day four, you'll notice the vegetables will start to lose their crunch and integrity of flavor.
We don't recommend freezing Spaghetti Pasta Salad for that exact reason. Fresh vegetables, like cucumber and tomato, will not return to their original crisp and vibrant state after being frozen.
6 MORE POTLUCK SALADS YOU’LL LOVE
- Tuna Egg Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Mexican Bean Salad
- Bowtie Pasta Salad
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Black Eyed Pea Salad
This Spaghetti Salad is the perfect, easy, and crowd-pleasing side to bring to any potluck, cookout, or BBQ!
- 1 (16-ounce) package thin spaghetti noodles
- 2 cups store-bought Italian dressing
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 (2-ounce) cans sliced black olives (drained)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water that has been generously salted to a roaring boil. Break the spaghetti noodles into thirds and carefully drop them into the water. Boil for about 5 minutes or until cooked to al dente. Strain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine Italian dressing, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and celery seeds. Pour the dressing over the noodles and stir to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while you chop vegetables.
Add the vegetables, parsley, olives, and Parmesan to the dressed noodles and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and continue to chill for about 2-3 hours more. Once chilled, serve right away or within 24 hours.