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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, very creamy, not enough flavor.
How to make Italian Pasta Salad:
So tonight I went with 1 cup dressing and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, and it was perfect.....
Mix dressing and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place cooked, drained noodles into a large bowl.
Add the zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, basil and olives. (Add mozzarella pearls if using).
Pour dressing mixture over noodles and vegetables.
Toss to thoroughly combine.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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 🙂
More delicious pasta salad recipes:
Hawaiian Potato Salad - this one has potatoes and pasta
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup Italian dressing I used Newman's Own Oil & Vinegar
- 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
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese pearls Optional
- Mix dressing and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place cooked, drained noodles into a large bowl.
- Add zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, basil and olives. (Add mozzarella pearls if using).
- Pour dressing mixture over noodles and vegetables.
- Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.