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Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad

This Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad is just that. Super easy, fast, and tasty. It’s picnic perfect and cookout ready.

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Who else feels like Memorial Weekend snuck up on you?

Memorial Day always signals the official start of summer; especially here in Minneapolis where we literally wait 6 (sometimes 8?!) months for its arrival.

Even so, I’m shocked that our hugely anticipated day is already here. With allthethings the boys are involved in, to the ever growing piles of cleats and sneakers that drive me nutty, to the weeds that desperately need pulling…we haven’t even had time to figure out Monday’s menu.

That’s precisely the reason there’s this Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad. For people like me, who are rolling last minute with the picnic eats…

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Thank goodness for simply surefire winners that come to the rescue at the eleventh hour.

Last time, I literally tossed this together at 11pm for a big lunch party the following day.

Our Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad is yummy and keeps extremely well with zero sog-factor.

In fact, Leftovers work nicely for lunch at the office without the fuss of reheating anything.

easiest pasta salad

Simply spruce up your favorite Italian dressing  with a bit of real mayo and dashes of spices.

Add the chewy pasta, crispy veggies, plenty of bacon (yes!) and shower it all with parm.

Plus more bacon and more parm, according to your 💖  and taste buds’ wishes.

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So. Yes, I mad dashed into my kids’ school today with my wet hair and half-done makeup, after making up my own parking spot.

Despite being overwhelmed and having nothing ready for the holiday weekend this year, I still made it to my second grader’s Patriotic Show honoring Memorial Day today.

And somehow it’s fine that I don’t have any glorious pulled pork marinating in foil or rainbow finger jello in the fridge.

Because the 2nd graders sang God Bless America and I welled up with tears at this:


Happy Memorial Weekend, Everyone. 🇱🇷

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easiest summer italian pasta salad

Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad

5 from 30 ratings
This Easiest Summer Italian Pasta Salad is just that. Super easy, fast, and tasty. It’s picnic perfect and cookout ready.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Author: Amy Dong


For the Pasta Salad:

  • 16 oz dry pasta, corkscrew or bowtie work well
  • 3-4 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large sweet bell peppers, red, yellows, or oranges seeded and diced
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • 1 cup crumbled crispy bacon
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan

For the Dressing:


  • Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instruction, taking care not to over-cook. Drain (don’t rinse) and sprinkle with olive oil to prevent sticking while it cools to room temp.

Make Dressing

  • Gently hand-whisk together all dressing ingredients in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Cover and chill until ready to use.


  • In a large serving bowl, toss cooled pasta with your prepared dressing. Add peppers, cucumbers, and olives. Toss gently to coat thoroughly. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Gently toss in the bacon and parmesan. Serve at room temp or chilled. Keeps very well covered and chilled until ready to serve (up to 24 hours.)


Leftovers should be covered and chilled. Great for lunch the next day!
Grape/cherry tomatoes are a nice sub for the peppers, if you like.
Feel free to add more bacon and parm to taste.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 605IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: American, Italian
Method: Assemble, Stovetop
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