This Whole Wheat Cold Italian Pasta Salad is a healthier version than picnic staples, with whole wheat fusilli pasta, lots of chopped vegetables, and tangy additions. A simple homemade dressing completes this dish to share with friends this summer.
Who is ready for picnics, BBQs and casual park meet ups? I am never one to show up empty-handed, and I love that this simple Cold Italian Pasta Salad is a dish I can count on to be easy to pull together AND a crowd-pleaser.
Time for some truths: I have never been one to reach for the cold pasta salads at deli counters or salad bars. What about you guys? I find that the pasta has been sitting too long, is overly dressed, or the pasta to add-in ratio isn’t to my liking.
This Cold Italian Pasta Salad has changed my mind about this category of picnic food. There’s less pasta than your traditional pasta salad, and I packed it with sliced red pepper, cucumber, red onion, briny green olives, tangy artichoke hearts, and creamy mozzarella pearls.
I have never been a big fan of pre-made salad dressings, as they generally contain added preservatives and sugar, so every salad on my site has a simple recipe to whip together for dressing greens or pastas. This pasta salad is no different – if you have Italian seasoning herbs at home, you can make a simple and delicious Italian dressing with no added sugar in one minute.
- ½ pound (8 ounces) dry whole wheat fusilli pasta
- 1 large red pepper
- ½ of a large English cucumber
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¾ cup pitted ripe green olives
- ¾ cup quartered artichoke hearts
- ½ cup mozzarella pearls
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¾ of a tablespoon Italian seasoning (dried herb mix)
- Dash of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- Boil pasta according to package instructions for al dente noodles. Drain and rinse with cool water.
- Chop up the red pepper, and slice the cucumber. Thinly slice up some red onion.
- Drain the green olives, artichoke hearts and mozzarella if necessary. Halve or quarter all of these ingredients.
- Toss all the ingredients together.
- In a jar, combine all ingredients for the Italian dressing and shake it together to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss well to combine. Enjoy at room temperature or refrigerate before serving.
I hope this salad makes it to your back patio table or local park sometime this summer!