Garden Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing
A fresh twist on a classic, this Garden Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing is full of fresh summer veggies and tossed with a tangy, quick vinaigrette. Perfect for summer barbecues, potlucks, or a simple supper at home.
For the Dressing:
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 6 medium carrots diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large yellow bell pepper diced (about 1 cup)
- 4-5 stalks celery diced 6 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- ¼ small red onion diced (about ¼ cup)
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 pound cooked and cooled elbow pasta or pasta shape of choice (whole wheat or gluten-free)
In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid place the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and vinegar. Whisk or shake until well combined. Add the olive oil and whisk or shake again until well combined. The dressing will naturally settle as it sits, so give it a good whisk or shake before serving.
In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, celery, red onion, and parsley. Pour over the dressing and stir to combine. Let sit at least 30 minutes for the dressing to absorb and the flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature.
Hold some cooked pasta aside before tossing with the veggies and/or the dressing. Then, serve the pasta tossed with just the dressing and some raw chopped veggies on the side or serve the plain pasta tossed with the veggies and no dressing.
Serve all the parts separately on the plate (my 3-year-old's preferred option): plain pasta, chopped carrots, chopped celery, and chopped bell pepper with optional dressing on the side for dipping.