This garden pasta salad is easy to make and comes together quickly. It’s a cold pasta salad that’s made with rotini, tomatoes, cucumbers and a light homemade oil and vinegar dressing.
This pasta salad is the perfect side dish for summer. Make it ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve at your next party or barbecue.
Garden pasta salad ingredients
- Pasta – Tricolor rotini pasta looks really pretty but regular rotini or other corkscrew or tube pasta will work
- Salt – For the finished dish plus extra for the pasta water (we use kosher salt
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil works really well but light tasting olive oil will also be good
- Vinegar – I like red wine vinegar for this cold garden pasta salad but white vinegar will work in a pinch
- Garlic – Use a smaller clove because it will raw and quite powerful
- Seasoning – Dried oregano and black pepper
- Tomatoes – Make sure they are ripe but not too ripe so they hold their shape when diced
- Cucumber – If you’re using a hothouse (or English) cucumber, peeling and seeding is not necessary. If using a garden cucumber, then you may want to remove most, or all of the peel. Slice the cucumber in half and gently remove the seeds with a spoon. Here, we use a hothouse cucumber so we left the peel mostly intact; we added a little visual interest by scoring it with a lemon zester (a fork, will work too)
Make the dressing
Add the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated garlic, dried oregano salt and black pepper to a small jar, or a container with a tight fitting lid. Cover the container and shake vigorously to mix.
Make the garden pasta salad
Cook the tricolor rotini pasta to package directions, remember to salt the water. When the pasta is done, drain and allow it to cool.
Cut the cucumber and the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Refrigerate the ingredients until ready to use.
Combine the pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the dressing in a large bowl. Toss the pasta salad gently to combine the ingredients well.
Taste the garden pasta salad, and add salt, if needed. Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.
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Garden Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces Tricolor Rotini Pasta cooked to package directions for al-dente
- ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water (we use kosher salt)
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Garlic Clove grated or minced finely
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper or to taste
- 2 Large Tomatoes seeded and diced
- 1 Cucumber peeled, seeded, quartered and cut into slices
- Cook the tricolor rotini pasta to package directions for al-dente, remember to salt the water. When the pasta is done, drain and allow it to cool.
- Cut the cucumber and the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the dressing – In a small jar, or a container with a tight fitting lid, add the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated garlic, dried oregano salt and black pepper. Cover the container and shake vigorously to mix.
- Make the garden pasta salad – In a large bowl combine the pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the dressing. Toss the pasta salad gently to combine the ingredients well.
- Try the garden pasta salad, and add salt to taste, only if needed.
- Refrigerate the pasta salad until ready to serve.