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Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Updated on December 23, 2011
Broccoli growing in the field, and some being harvested
Broccoli growing in the field, and some being harvested | Source

Easy Broccoli Pasta Salad

I like this easy recipe for a cool, colorful salad any time of the year, but especially in the Summertime. It uses frozen broccoli florets and italian dressing. The hardest part is just chopping up the broccoli into smaller pieces, chopping tomato and boiling the pasta. Pretty simple!

It calls for colored or plain pasta, but it looks especially festive if you have the tri colored or colored pasta. I like to add some different herbs, fresh or dried that I have on hand, for their health benefits and tremendous flavor they add. Try it today, take it to a get together or invite some people over. Its great as a small meal all its own. It wouldn't take much to add some chicken if you wanted to add a little protein as well.

Easy Broccoli Pasta Salad


Your favorite curly pasta, colored or plain- One 12 ounce package

One package (10 ounces approximately) of frozen broccoli florets. (defrosted)

1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons of vinegar

Dash of cracked black pepper (I add cayenne too, just a dash)

1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing (I sometimes use a little more than that)

One can of pitted black olives, drained (about 6 ounces)

I like to add some basil, oregano, and garlic for some pizazz

Tomatoes on their vine
Tomatoes on their vine


First, allow time for the broccoli to defrost well. As it defrosts, allow for it to drain or drain after if there is any moisture there.

Next, cook your pasta according to its directions, and don't overcook it, or it will get mushy and fall apart easier. Make sure it is cooked al dente, a bit firm to the bite.

Combine Italian dressing, vinegar, olives, tomatoes, and any extra herbs you want to add. Gently mix with the pasta and the broccoli. Allow to chill for several hours, or even better, allow to chill overnight. Gently toss again before serving.

I double this recipe if I need a lot more of it. Fun to take to a picnic or a potluck or just to have on hand at home. Its good for leftovers as well, and you get your broccoli! The green of the broccoli and the red of the tomatoes, along with the pasta and black olives make this an inviting salad.

Possible additions: You could have some grated parmesan cheese on the side, for people to sprinkle on if they like. Parmesan is a great source of calcium.

I am growing some different colored peppers this year, green, yellow and red bell peppers, and it would be easy to chop those up into small pieces as well, and add them.  If you got some orange bell peppers, and some red onions, there are even more colors to add.  Very festive!


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks Phoenix!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      sounds yummy

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Sally's Trove, my kind of dish as well, easy and fast! The vinegar adds a nice extra touch, but if you wanted to leave that out its fine also because of the Italian dressing. You could just as easily add that much more dressing if you like. Thank you for your comment.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Just my kind of dish...easy, fast, colorful, and good for you. I'm curious about adding the vinegar to the Italian dressing?