Italian Pasta Salad & love the green light

There’s something you should know about me…I love creamy!  Creamy dressings, sauces, and desserts.  I can’t explain it, I was just born this way.  So this Italian Pasta Salad is my favorite side dish!

I have made variations of this salad since high school.  Of course back then, I was using a box!  Yes folks, a box 😛  Does anyone remember Suddenly Salad?  My sister-in law still teases me about the first time I was at their house and they were making dinner.  Someone asked if I wanted to start the potato salad…..”Sure, where’s the box?” was my response.  You need to remember, my mother is not big on cooking.

I think I have made up for it now, don’t you?  Look at me all grown up and publishing a blog about cooking of all things!  I’m sure my mother is still mortified.  I was supposed to grow up to be a doctor or the president, not a stay at home mom living in Iowa!  Funny how things turn out 😉

I didn’t really have a recipe when I made this salad last week.  I usually just throw stuff together in a bowl until it looks right….the normal way we all do it!  So this is 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup Italian dressing…..

IPS small bowl WM

very creamy, not enough flavor.  So tonight I went with 1 cup dressing and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, and it was perfect…..

Italian Pasta Salad Mixed WM

it’s funny how you don’t realize how much you use, until you have to stop and measure!  This salad is also delicious with mozzarella cheese pearls and diced salami 🙂

So in addition to all of the social media that I have been trying to learn, I have also started learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  As I am typing in my recipes and posts, there is a box at the bottom of the screen prompting me to write in a way that is easiest for search engines to read.  As I do things correctly, the red No turns into a green Yes 🙂  It’s kind of like filling in the blanks in a puzzle.  When I am finished and my post is published, I see a green light on my toolbar…..

SEO screen shot

cool huh?  In theory, my website will be easier for people to find based on the keywords that have been used.  The easier it is to find, the more people will come and visit me 🙂  Of course now I have to go back and play with the other 109 posts to get the green light on those as well!  It’s hard to believe that I have already written 112 posts!!!


Italian Pasta Salad

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 27 minutes
Meal type Side Dish
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad featuring zucchini, tomatoes, olives, shredded carrots, and basil.


  • 1 Pound pasta (cooked, drained - I used Barilla Cellentaini)
  • 1 Medium zucchini (sliced thin, cut into half circles)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 1 cup Italian dressing (I used Newman's Own Oil & Vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese pearls (Optional)


IPS Noodles
Place cooked, drained noodles into a large bowl.
IPS Zucchini
Add zucchini.
IPS Carrots
Add carrots.
IPS Tomatoes
Add tomatoes.
IPS Green Onions
Add green onions.
Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients Bowl
Add basil and olives. (Add mozzarella pearls if using).
Italian Pasta Salad Dressing
Mix dressing and mayonnaise together in a small bowl.
IPS add Dressing
Pour over noodles and vegetables.
Italian Pasta Salad Mixed WM
Stir to combine.
Italian Pasta Salad by cookingwithcurls
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

You can find this recipe partying at these link Parties this week!

This recipe has been featured here:
     Bubbly Nature Creations
Daily Dish Magazine


  1. says

    I love anything creamy as well. Unfortunately, since discovering my lactose intolerance, I have to improvise a lot, but luckily there’s pretty much a worthy substitute for evertyhing 🙂 This salad looks fabulous.

  2. says

    Yummmy!! Looks amazing! And you are so funny posting about “the green light” – I knew exactly what you were talking about when I read the title! All I can say is this… be thankful that you only have 109 posts to go back and deal with. LOL I have quite a few to fix as well so just take them one at a time, sister!
    Glad you are a SAHM in Iowa as opposed to being “The President”, btw, so we get to experience all of your awesome creations in the kitchen!! So much more fun!
    Claire @ A Little Claireification recently posted…TGIF! Best Of The Weekend Party {Week 7}My Profile

  3. says

    What a lovely and fresh salad! 🙂 I am making this for my next barbecue! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!

  4. says

    I have been making cold salads since this heat wave hit, it is all I have an appetite for! Your Italian Pasta Salad looks like it might be my dinner tonight! I am sharing this today!

  5. says

    This looks delicious! I use the same dressing for my pasta salad…mayo with Ken’s Ceasar Dressing. AND yes, the mayo makes the difference! Sharing with my Walking on Sunshine FB page later today. Thank you for linking up with Foodie Friends Friday!

  6. says

    This looks delicious. I love pasta salad. I chose it for my Foodie Friends Friday host favorite this week, so it will be featured on Daily Dish Magazine Monday. Thanks so much for sharing!


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