California Pasta Salad

This California Pasta Salad is a delicious salad for your next BBQ. Full of healthy vegetables. You will never eat Macaroni Salad again.

California Pasta Salad

I don’t think I have ever been to a BBQ that didn’t have macaroni salad, potato salad or some coleslaw. Those are the type of cold side dishes you would expect at a summer BBQ. But this California Pasta Salad is my new favorite salad to bring to a BBQ.

California Pasta Salad

This recipe is a nice variation on your typical pasta salad. I made this for a potluck recently and got rave reviews.

Make sure you refrigerate the salad for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the dressing to marinate the pasta and veggies.

california pasta salad with chicken

I use thin spaghetti when I make this recipe but you can really use whatever kind of pasta you want. I just think you rarely see pasta salads that use spaghetti so used that to make something different.

california pasta salad

For another delicious California-inspired recipe, check out my California Poutine. Yummy!

celery seed

When making pasta, it’s important to cook the pasta al dente to ensure to best texture possible. If you are not familiar with the term “al dente”, it means cooking the pasta so it’s still chewy and firm and that it will hold its shape when the sauce is added to it.

california pasta salad

You will need the following ingredients to make this California Pasta Salad recipe. For ingredient amounts please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Thin Spaghetti
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Black Olives
  • Italian Salad Dressing
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Paprika
  • Celery Seed
  • Garlic Powder
  1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, red onion and olives to large pasta bowl. Mix well.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking together Italian salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, and garlic powder.
  4. Pour over salad and toss until everything is well coated.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Printable Recipe Card

California Pasta Salad

California Pasta Salad

This California Pasta Salad is a delicious salad for your next BBQ. Full of healthy vegetables. You will never eat Macaroni Salad again.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time3 hours
Course Salads, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 363 kcal

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Bowl for Serving
  • Bowl for Mixing

Ingredients
 

SALAD
  • 1 lbs Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Large Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 8 oz Black Olives, chopped
DRESSING
  • 16 oz Italian Salad Dressing
  • ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • ½ Tsp Celery Seed
  • ¼ Tsp Garlic Powder

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in large serving bowl.
  • Add cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, red onion and olives to large pasta bowl. Mix well.
  • Make the dressing by whisking together Italian salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed and garlic powder.
  • Pour over salad and toss until everything is well coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1429mgPotassium: 408mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1005IUVitamin C: 37.1mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 1.7mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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2 Comments

  1. Karen says:

    My family and I just loved this salad. Did not take me long to put it together and was delicious.

  2. Nathalie says:

    This salad is the perfect paring for your BBQ. The first time I made it I used the thin spaghetti, then the next time I used the regular spaghetti. Both were equally delicious. This recipe will be a regular addition to my BBQ’s.

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