Spaghetti salad is a simple pasta salad recipe that uses leftover spaghetti to make a fantastic, delicious salad that definitely feeds a crowd!
When you have a houseful of teenagers you have a tendency to plan your “leftovers” to make life as easy as possible. During the busy work week, if pasta is on the menu, I’ll double the amount of pasta to have plenty of leftovers to make this scrumptious pasta salad. While it’s usually made with spaghetti, we also prepare it with rotini or shells.
Living in the South, this is one of our favorite recipes to bring to gatherings and picnic events because it sets well for several hours outside (even in the heat).
There are a few tricks to cooking pasta properly. To avoid mushy pasta, be sure to wait until the water is at a full boil BEFORE adding the pasta to it. The intense heat of the water is necessary to “set” the pasta, which also prevents it from sticking together.
Also, do not add butter or oil to the water when cooking, this actually coats the pasta and prevents the seasonings from properly sticking once it’s been drained.
For the Spaghetti Salad
1 lb cooked spaghetti (or rotini, macaroni or shells)
8 oz your favorite Italian salad dressing
1 large can black olives, sliced
a few scallions, sliced thinly
a green pepper, washed & diced
2-3 tbs McCormick Salad Supreme (or Make your own)
Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour the Italian dressing over the top, toss to coat. Add the salad shakers seasoning, toss to coat. Then, add the diced veggies as well as any other vegetables you wish to add such as diced tomatoes, celery, or cucumber slices, then toss to coat.
Refrigerate at least an hour prior to serving.
If this dish is going to sit longer than 12 hours prior to serving, we highly recommend waiting until last minute to add tomatoes and cucumber slices as these items tend to be more watery and can become soft very easily.
- If you’d like, add one large fresh chopped tomato just prior to serving. Tomatoes have a tendency to water down the dishes they’re added to, and they break down quickly which is why we only add them once we’ve arrived at our destination if traveling with this dish to potluck events or gatherings.
- For an even heartier salad, add 1 cup of finely chopped pepperoni and 1 cup of cheddar cheese cubes
- Other vegetables may be added as well, up to 2 cups without needing additional dressing. However, if you add more than 2 cups of veggies add 1/4 c. dressing and 1 Tbs of McCormick Perfect Pinch Salad Seasoning as well to balance out the additions.
This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc as needed. Here’s a trick for cutting green onions quickly- use a pizza cutter. You can slice them as thin as you’d like, while cutting the entire bunch at once.