With just five simple ingredients and 20 minutes you can whip up this tasty and crowd pleasing 5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe. Serve it as a side or bulk it up for a super-fast dinner!
It’s almost pasta salad season! You know, the season when warm months beckon us to potlucks, barbecues, picnics, and all the fun casual ways of eating that spring and summer inspired.
When we visit my husband’s family in Upstate New York on the Finger Lakes, pasta salad is definitely a staple. Theirs is a classic version, one that I adapted in this Garden Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing recipe. It’s basically exactly what you think of when you think of the classic recipe, only bumped up with extra veggies and an easy, tangy homemade dressing.
As pasta salad season rolls around once again I wanted to share this ultra-simple version because it’s perfect for parties, potlucks, picnics, barbecues, or any other occasion when you want a side dish that’s special, but that doesn’t take much fuss.
The only real cooking required for this recipe is boiling a pot of water and cooking the pasta. Otherwise, it’s an open-the-jars-and-dump operation. And, yes, I realize that there are technically seven ingredients listed, but since salt and olive oil don’t really count, I feel good about classifying this one as a 5-ingredient recipe.
This has definitely been a go-to side in our house as of late, but it also doubles as an easy main dish with a few add-ins. I’ve provided a list of ideas in the recipe, so use your imagination and make it your own. Now, let’s make some pasta salad!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Use any type or shape of pasta you like and have on hand for this simple pasta salad recipe.
2 | Keep it streamlined by sticking to the base recipe, or bulk it up with any add-in you like. I’ve provided a list of ideas to get you started, but really the sky is the limit in terms of what you want to add.
3 | Turn this side into a main by adding a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas, chopped hard-boiled egg, shredded rotisserie or roasted chicken, or a can of drained tuna.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan
5-Ingredient Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 8 oz pasta gluten-free or whole wheat, any shape
- 1 12- oz jar artichoke hearts drained
- 1 1.5- oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
- 1 12- oz jar kalamata olive drained and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar regular is fine, too
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley thinly sliced red onion, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, baby spinach, baby arugula, cooked crumbled sausage, shredded rotisserie or roasted chicken, one can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, one can of drained tuna, crumbled feta cheese.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then cook the pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. When the pasta is just tender, but not mushy, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.
Add the warm, drained pasta to the bowl, stirring to combine. Add any optional add-ins at this time as well. Pour over the olive oil and vinegar, and sprinkle with salt. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar to taste.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keep it streamlined by sticking to the base recipe, or bulk it up with any add-in you like. I've provided a list of ideas to get you started, but really the sky is the limit in terms of what you want to add.
Turn this side into a main by adding a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas, chopped hard-boiled egg, shredded rotisserie or roasted chicken, or a can of drained tuna.