This Easy Spaghetti Salad is served cold with cooked pasta, veggies, and drizzled in Italian dressing. This is a great side dish for a weeknight meal or when you need to serve a crowd for a cookout or BBQ.
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This post was originally published in 2021. It has since been updated.
I love a great pasta salad! I also love to whip them up whenever I have leftover spaghetti. It’s quick and convenient and helps with food waste.
My mom has made this recipe for years for most holidays! It’s a great addition to any meal spread.
- Red Peppers
- Green Peppers
- Black Olives
- Parmesan Cheese
- Italian Dressing
- Grape Tomatoes
- Cubed Ham (Optional, but I love it!)
What Type of Pasta To Use
You can use whatever you like. I use spaghetti. Something like penne or linguine will also work. If you are looking for low carb, check out my Keto Low Carb Pasta Salad.
How to Make Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing
- Cook the pasta in accordance with the instructions on the package.
- Drain and add the pasta to a bowl or serving dish.
- Add in red peppers, green peppers, black olives, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and ham. Stir.
What Type of Salad Dressing to Use
I use Italian dressing here, but you can use whatever you prefer. Greek salad dressings work well and if you want a creamy pasta salad, go for ranch!
How to Make it Vegetarian
Simply omit the ham.
Additional Substitutions and Toppings
- Chopped Dill Pickles
- Crumbled Bacon
Can You Make it Ahead/How to Store It
This is one that I recommend you plan to make ahead! I like to make this dish the night before because all of the flavor really sinks into the pasta. If you like a wet pasta, then serving immediately after chilling the dish will work best for you.
It will last up to 4 days tightly sealed and in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze It
Yes. If you want it to retain the similar texture you will need to freeze it immediately upon preparation. Otherwise, it will be dry. You can bring it back to life by adding more Italian dressing.
More Salad and Pasta Recipes
Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Southern Potato Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Instant Pot Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Broccoli Salad
Keto Low Carb Egg Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta
Southwest Salad Recipe
More Cookout and BBQ Recipes
Southern Baked Beans
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese
Smoked Mac and Cheese
Air Fryer Ribs
Instant Pot Ribs
Traeger Smoked Ribs (3-2-1 Method)
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Homemade BBQ Seasoning
Chicken and Avocado Salsa
How to Make a Charcuterie Cheese Board
Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs
How to Grill the Best Burgers
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Mushroom Swiss Burgers
How to Grill Chicken Wings
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing
- 1 pound spaghetti pasta
- 1 cup Italian dressing See notes.
- 1 cup cubed and diced ham
- 1/2 cup chopped onion I used red onion.
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup cherry/grape tomatoes Sliced in half
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the spaghetti in accordance with the package instructions.
- Rinse the spaghetti in cold water and pat dry.
- Add the spaghetti to your serving dish along with the remaining ingredients. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour. 2-3 hours is optimal.
- I’ve always made this dish for a crowd. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. You can cut the recipe in half by using half of the ingredients noted.
- You can double the recipe by using double the ingredients.
- If you like a wet pasta salad, then serving immediately after chilling the dish will work best for you. You may find that you need additional dressing. Add additional dressing to suit your taste and texture needs.
- You can omit the ham to make the dish vegetarian.
- You can use whatever pasta you like. Anything will work, i.e. penne, linguine, etc.
- You can use any dressing you wish, Greek salad dressings work well and if you want a creamy pasta salad, go for ranch!
Friday 1st of July 2022
Just made a batch to have on hand for the 4th weekend. Yum! I added mozzarella pearls. I’ll grate fresh parm on and throw in some salami when we serve it. Thank you for sharing!
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
Wonderful! That sounds great!
Monday 30th of May 2022
Made this twice: with and without ham and love both versions. Definitely want to try with pepperoni next time! So easy.
Tuesday 31st of May 2022
I’m glad you liked both versions!
Monday 30th of August 2021
This is definitely a hit! I left out the black olives but everything else was used from the recipe! I made a bowl of it and I had for a few days after work during the week! This will definitely be a new go to for me! Thanks for the recipe
Tuesday 31st of August 2021
You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.
Saturday 5th of June 2021
This was easy to make and so delicious! I had it for lunch for the entire week and never got sick of it.
Monday 7th of June 2021
That's so good to hear!
Saturday 29th of May 2021
This is SO good! I tried this without black olives or onions and its a hit! Everyone loved it, i didn’t have ham so I added pepperoni and chicken and did the trick. This is so easy, and my new go-to dish I’m bringing to the cookout
Friday 11th of June 2021
I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.