Simple Summer Pasta Salad

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Simple Summer Pasta Salad

This Simple Summer Pasta Salad recipe was born from needing a potluck for my kids to take to another house. It was the best of the best of leftovers combined with pasta and then adding the dressing. It was basically a way to use up various ingredients and adding pasta. It was so well-received that it has become a signature dish that I take to gatherings.

The Ingredients

This is a great recipe for cleaning out the refrigerator. The recipe calls for a mix of “add-ins” totaling two cups. Listed are my selections, but you can really mix up this group of ingredients as you see fit.

I chose roasted sweet peppers, pepperoni, black olives, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, scallions and corn. I chopped them all to a similar size using the 7-5/8″ Petite Chef.

Ingredients with a Petite Chef.

For some aromatics, chop up a bit of fresh basil, using the same knife and toss that in.

Chopped basil with a Petite Chef.

The dressing is super simple, containing just five ingredients. Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper and dried oregano. Cutco’s Mix-Stir is a great tool to fully emulsify the ingredients.

Mixing the dressing with a Mix-Stir.

From here, it’s just a matter of cooking the pasta and letting it cool, before tossing it all together.

Simple Salad

I honestly can’t think of a pasta salad that is easier than this Simple Summer Pasta Salad. It is very adaptable, since you can change up the ingredients to suit your taste or based on what leftovers you have in your refrigerator.

Put the dressing on overnight as it gets even better with time. When you’re ready to serve, bring the salad back to room temp, grab a Cutco Slotted Spoon so you can get a big helping, and dig in.

While the recipe title mentions summer, this pasta salad can be served any time of year!

Simple Summer Pasta Salad

Print Recipe


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12-ounce package pasta (cooked according to package and cooled)
  • 2 cups total "extras" of your choice, diced:
  • Roasted sweet peppers
  • Pepperoni
  • Green or black olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Scallions
  • Corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.
  2. Combine pasta, your choice of extras and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over pasta mixture and stir.
  3. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
  4. That's it! Amazing, right? 

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