Classic Italian flavors make this super easy spaghetti pasta salad with pepperoni, veggies and dressing a potluck favorite everyone will love.
Picky eaters. Just like dust bunnies and crumbs dropped and forgotten (or ignored?) in the corners of the kitchen, there’s always a few in the room.
This salad is made for picky eaters. Minus the onions, maybe. Because who doesn’t love spaghetti? And pepperoni? And olives doused with a tangy Italian dressing?
I made this pasta salad along with this Broccoli Salad for a potluck dinner a few weeks ago. I knew there were picky eaters in the crowd, and I knew there was a very slim chance those eaters were going to be partaking of broccoli, especially in a salad.
This was my offering for them. A crowd pleaser was in the house.
About the Recipe
This salad has all the flavors of a classic Italian pizza, but with the crunch of cucumbers red bell pepper and slither of spaghetti topped with tangy Parmesan cheese.
The key to good pasta is to cook it in water that has been heavily seasoned with salt. That’s where the flavor starts.
This salad comes together quickly and easily and is a snap to make for even the most novice of home cooks.
Sure, there’s a bit of chopping to be done, but once you’ve wielded your way through the cucumbers, onion, red bell pepper and halved a few tomatoes, all that’s left is shaking your groove thing. For the dressing that is.
Using a jar to make salad dressing might be the easiest shortcut you’ll make this week.
You could easily double this dressing and keep it on hand for green salads throughout the week if you’re looking for the second easiest shortcut of the week.
And the third shortcut? Forget making this salad for the masses and make it for yourself to eat for lunch for the week. With this ingredient list it will hold up well for several days on end.
If you’re having a hard time finding mini pepperoni, you can always use the larger pieces and simply chop in half. Or use salami or chunks of chicken instead.
And if you’re feeling like switching things up even more, feel free to use green, yellow or orange bell peppers or add marinated artichoke hearts to the mix.
This is one of those salads that totally works with what you have on hand. Or for pleasing those picky little eaters.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 cucumbers quartered and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 ounces mini pepperoni
- 1 4- ounce can sliced black olives drained
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 garlic clove pressed or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in boiling water seasoned with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Drain, rinse and cool. Add the spaghetti to a large bowl with the cucumbers, red bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mini pepperoni, black olives and parmesan cheese. In a pint jar with a lid, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, sugar, garlic clove, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake well and pour over the spaghetti mixture and toss to coat. Add more parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes up to overnight.
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