Italian Pasta Salad

by Melanie on October 5, 2010

I have had several requests for this recipe that I had pictured with my weekely menu on my Melandboys blog. It is super simple, so I almost feel silly posting it as a recipe. It comes together super fast and my family LOVES it, so maybe yours will too. This is a throw together pasta dish, so I have never measured. I just put in the amounts I think we would like. I love an easy quick dinner, don’t you?!
*I was asked to teach a cooking class next month on how to make family dinners easier. I would love to hear of any ideas/recipes that work for you. Leave a comment here or email me at . Thanks so much!!

Italian Pasta Salad
submitted by Melanie

1/2 -1 package of bowtie pasta
broccoli florets–bite size pieces
sliced pepperoni (cut in half)
sliced olives
mozzerella cheese-cubed (or just slice up cheese sticks like I did)
cherry tomatoes (I was out so they are not pictured)
favorite italian dressing (I like the good seasonings dry packets, made with red wine vinegar and add a TB or so of fresh parmasen)

Boil the pasta in water according to the package directions. For the last minute of cooking add the broccoli florets. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Add to a bowl with the pepperoni, olives, cheese and tomoatoes. Toss with your favorite italian dressing. Remember that the pasta will soak in some of the dressing so put in a little more than you think. Or add some right before serving, so it is not too dry. Chill and enjoy!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brudcrew October 6, 2010 at 8:43 am

I posted a couple of our family's favorite recipes here:
Good luck!


2 brudcrew October 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

This is not really a recipe but an idea that I use when Dad's not home and I want something EASY. The kids love to be able to choose what they want to eat.


3 Cicily October 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I have found that if I chop veggies, and prepare as much as I can while my boys are sleeping,then I just have to throw everything together when it's time to cook. I like to use small glass bowls for garlic and herbs, ect. I use breakfast bowls for veggies, and put them in bowls depending on when I will put them in (ie: if carrots have to cook longer than the onions and garlic, then I will put them seperate from the onions/garlic) I will also put all the bowls on a baking sheet and either stick in the fridge, if need be, or keep it on the counter neatly tucked in a corner. I used to keep fresh veggies cut in tupperware, but have gotten out of that habit. Kinda the same concept though.


4 Natalie October 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Be sure to post the notes from your class that you teach. I've learned so much from you already, Melanie! You've inspired me as I've tried to feed my family healthy meals.

One thing we do to make meal time easier is this: I cook three days in a row and the fourth day is called "Fridge Buffet." My kids love it cause they think it's something exciting and new, when really it's just a night to use up all the leftovers. A simple idea, I know. But I'll use any trick I can to get my kids excited about leftovers

We also do a "Pokey Meal." It's on my blog – check it out if you have a chance.


5 Kimberly October 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Like many suggestions I've heard over the years, it helps to have a game plan (especially for the weekly shopping, etc). I make a list before I go to the store, including sides, of 5 dinners for the week (5 because we invariably have leftovers or get invited to someone's house or get a hankering for nachos or something as easy a few times a week). I try to have one from each ethnic cuisine we like, at least one vegetarian meal, and at least one new recipe (but no more than 2 for the husband/toddler sake). However, my mood changes often and I need the flexibility to decide what to eat in the afternoon, so I make a list on the kitchen whiteboard of available choices for the week and we go from there. It has been a very effective balance between spontaneity and preparation. And like Natalie, we have leftovers every few days. I've never thought to call it anything fun, though. Good idea!


6 tarryn October 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I keep thinking that I need to come up with a Fabulous Five – 5 easy meals with recipes I know off the top of my head and ingredients I can always have on hand, and that most in my family will like to eat. This way there is always something to fall back on. But I have yet to actually do this ( :


7 Brittany October 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

looks easy and good Mel! Great comments from every one…


8 Mindy October 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm

That does look easy and yummy, Mel. Thx for the idea. Great ideas from everyone, too!


9 Crystal October 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

Easy salsa chicken salt, pepper and garlic powder, salsa, broken tortilla chips and cheese. Bake at 350 until done. I use chicken tenders because they cook really fast! It is yummy and easy.


10 Brittany October 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

made this for dinner – a hit! and sooo easy – thanks sis!


11 Erin @ The Sisters Cafe November 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm

We had this for dinner the other night, when Jed was going to be working all evening and I didn't particularly want to spend a long time on dinner. It was such a cinch to whip up, and it was delish! thanks for the quick dinner idea!


12 Mindy January 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I made this for dinner tonight. Super easy and super yummy. Thanks for the great go to recipe, sis.


13 Muenchen Restaurant March 21, 2011 at 1:22 am

Pasta can be cooked separately from the sauce, or stir, then pour the sauce later. Agents can also be mixed with pasta or to apply, and then baked. Frankly, there are many other ways to cook pasta. It 'an adventure, not just those who love to eat, but also for those who cook.


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