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4 from 1 vote

Classic Pasta Salad Recipe

This Classic Pasta Salad recipe is a staple at just about every summer picnic! Pair the vegetarian dish with grilled chicken, fish, steak or burgers for a healthy and easy dinner that the whole family will love!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword classic pasta salad, easy pasta salad, pasta salad recipe, vegetarian pasta salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 14 cups
Calories 202.6kcal
Author Blair


  • 1 lb. uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) container of grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 (24 ounce) bottle Wishbone Italian salad dressing


  • Boil pasta in salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled pasta with vegetables. Add half of the salad dressing (about 12 ounces) and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. Just before serving, stir the salad and add more Italian dressing, as desired.


  • This is an easy pasta salad for a crowd, because it yields about 14 cups. If you're cooking for a smaller group, I recommend cutting all of the ingredients in half. The rest of the instructions remain the same.
  • Teresa always uses Wishbone Italian dressing, and I agree that it just has that classic taste that everyone loves. Of course, if you prefer a different brand of store-bought or homemade Italian dressing, that will work as well!
  • For an easy Ranch pasta salad, try swapping out the Italian salad dressing and replacing it with an equal amount of Ranch salad dressing instead.
  • Turn this salad into a main dish by adding your favorite protein! Grilled chicken would be great, as well as cooked shrimp. You can even make a canned chicken pasta salad recipe by adding some chunked canned chicken to the base.
  • Pick your favorite vegetables -- almost anything goes! If you have other veggies that you prefer, swap them into the mix.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 202.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.7g | Protein: 4.6g | Fat: 7.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Sodium: 420.4mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 4.3g | Sugar: 4.6g