Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing


Do you have a problem with attacking the fridge and snack cabinets in the afternoon!? Because boyyyy… I sure do. (…Why do I keep buying Cheez-Its by the way?!)

When I get home from work I have a badddd case of the munchies. I snack my way out of dinner most of the time- it’s bad. My husband likes to snack too but he does it in a normal way. Like he’ll come home, have a few crackers, some of this pasta salad, and then patiently wait for dinner time like a normal human being. Meanwhile I’m attacking the kitchen as if I have five minutes left before all of the world’s food disappears forever. Ugghhh.  


Well anyway. This pasta salad helps keep one of us under control at least. When you have hungry people coming home throughout the day, having a prepared pasta salad in the fridge keeps everyone content and gives you time to make a meal. It’s pretty convenient. I make a big ‘ol batch every Sunday these days and just store it in the fridge. The homemade dressing is delish. Just shake the living heck out of it and pour it on immediately after, because the vinegar and oil separate like nobody’s business.

So… do you guys get a case of the snack attacks in the afternoon orrrrrr??….. is it just me?

Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
Pasta Salad
  • 1 (1 lb) box fusilli pasta
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups chopped red onions
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups sliced pepperoni
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3⁄4 cup pompeian extra virgin olive oil
  • 3⁄4 cup pompeian red wine vinegar (this brand is excellent in this dish)
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Mix together the dressing ingredients until well-combined and refrigerate. Note: I like to put it in a bottle and shake it thoroughly. The oil and vinegar will separate so you’ll need to shake again and pour immediately once the pasta is cooked.

  2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and perhaps a little beyond al-dente as you’ll be cooling the pasta and won’t be reheating it.

  3. Rinse the pasta with cool water and drain- leave it just slightly warm as this will help the dressing absorb it better than if it’s completely cool. Place the pasta in a large bowl and mix with desired amount of dressing.

  4. Mix in other salad ingredients and chill well (at least 30 minutes) prior to serving.
You can also use provolone cheese if desired. For that, I'd recommend adding the cheese just before serving it so that it doesn't get soggy.

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