Easy Pasta Salad

by Eleanor Craig
Easy Pasta Salad With Broccoli And Italian Dressing

It is raining today. I know that this post is titled Easy Pasta Salad, but please bear with me.

As an avid (obsessed) gardener, the only time I get anything accomplished inside my home is when it rains. By anything, I mean cooking, cleaning, and laundry, pretty much all of the things that are necessary to live a filth-free life that does not include starvation. I have a one-track mind this time of year, and it is to get the gardens cleaned up and prepared for planting the tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables that I want to add to my summertime menu.

I am addicted to the touch, textures, colors, and smells of herbs and flowers. They make me SOOOO happy!!

I planted the English Daisies in a hanging basket outside of my kitchen window so I can enjoy them as I wash dishes (that is when I actually have the time to wash the dishes.)

During this extremely busy time of the year, all I eat, it seems, is quick-grab fast food, heavy on carbs and low on nutrition. I feel like a slug, and my pants are shrinking despite all of the physical labor. I spend every free waking daylight hour working in the garden, and I have no time to prepare healthy food that will sustain and nourish me. Well, by golly, today I will embrace the gardening reprieve, and I am filling my refrigerator with healthy snacks and make-ahead meals!! The first dish on my list is this easy pasta salad. It is full of vegetables and will keep me in lunches for at least a week.

Why Easy Pasta Salad?

The great thing about this easy salad recipe is that you can add anything you like to it. The vegetable options are limitless, and there are wide varieties of olives as well. I made this version vegetarian, but if you like, you can add cubed salami or cheese to it for more of an antipasti-type pasta salad.

Easy Pasta Salad Dressing

The dressing for this Easy Pasta Salad is a copy-cat recipe of Olive Garden’s Italian salad dressing that I got from DessertNowDinnerLater.com, and it has become a favorite of mine.

So, thank you, rain!! I now have clean clothes and a week’s worth of healthy food that will keep me going as I garden to my heart’s content and as I work my way through my latest diversion, (er, obsession) the Outlander series. What’s a girl to do? I hope you stop by again soon. 

Easy Pasta Salad With Broccoli And Italian Dressing

Easy Pasta Salad

Eleanor CraigEleanor Craig
This Easy Pasta Salad is a very simple recipe that you can make ahead of time and customize to your taste.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 612 kcal


  • 1 pound dried pasta any shape you like
  • 2 cups broccoli florets blanched and drained
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 15 ounces can peas drained

Italian Salad Dressing

  • 2 packets dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • cups vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise


Easy Pasta Salad

  • Boil pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine drained, cooked pasta, broccoli, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, and peas. Toss to mix well. Pour Italian salad dressing over the pasta salad and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Italian Salad Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and the dressing is smooth. Refrigerate any leftover salad dressing.


Calories: 612kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 10gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 5gSodium: 481mgPotassium: 415mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3214IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg

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