Garden Spaghetti Salad

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Garden Spaghetti Salad is a creamy blend of spaghetti, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pesto, and cheese. It's a cold spaghetti salad recipe you'll crave when garden veggies are at their peak!

swirl of garden spaghetti salad wrapped around a fork with pasta underneath

Perfect Cold Pasta Salad Recipe

  • uses fresh vegetables that pack in a lot of healthy vitamins
  • easy to make and take to cookouts and barbecues
  • comes together quickly so you can make it at the last minute
  • can add protein such as chicken or pepperoni if desired
  • feeds a big crowd and stores well in the fridge

Why This Recipe is Special

Garden Spaghetti Salad began as an experiment, and ended up being one of my favorite pasta salads ever. It's fresh, loaded with veggies, and absolutely delicious. It's also easy and quick...taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

Planting a garden was high on my list of things to do this summer, and I was thrilled when I saw my first cherry tomato on the vine! It was also surprising when all of the vegetables needed to be harvested at the same time.

I made Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles, chow-chow, canned tomato sauce, and homemade salsa. It wasn't long before I needed to come up with a summer spaghetti salad to make use of the garden veggies bursting at the seams.

cucumbers, tomatoes and olives on a cutting board with a bowl of Italian dressing on the side

Ingredients You'll Need

This easy spaghetti salad recipe gets its flavor from garlic and zesty Italian salad dressing. See recipe card for quantities.

  • spaghetti noodles
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • onion
  • minced garlic
  • kalamata olives
  • parmesan cheese
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • bottle of zesty Italian dressing
  • basil pesto
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh mint or parsley to garnish

Can I Make Substitutions?


This is a cold pasta salad you can empty your refrigerator into and it will be delicious! If you have a favorite condiment or herb you'd like to add, feel free to be as creative as you like.

If you have an abundance of zucchini, green bell pepper or red pepper in your garden, throw it in the mix. Try using English cucumbers or fresh broccoli florets as a delicious addition.

Add some green onions, red onion or celery seed. This easy recipe also tastes great with sesame seed, poppy seeds and fresh mozzarella. I also like adding romano cheese and a sprinkling of fresh parsley to the mix.

Prefer black olives over kalamata? Make a trade! Don't like mayonnaise? Since it's only a tablespoon, leave it out and this recipe will still have delicious flavor.

The beauty of spaghetti salad is that as long as you have a great dressing, all of the ingredients will blend together nicely. You could even use Olive Garden dressing (ad) if you like. Then, it will taste just like an Olive Garden pasta salad recipe!

This easy pasta salad recipe can also be served as a tasty side dish to most entrees like chicken or fish. It's one of those great recipes you can take to a summer potluck or serve at special occasions such as Memorial Day or the 4th of July.

fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and olives on top of spaghetti pasta in a clear bowl

How to Make It

Start by breaking a pound of spaghetti in half, then boil it until it's al dente. Rinse in cold water, drain, and place in a large bowl.

Cut cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and cheddar cheese into small pieces. Add to bowl. Add pitted kalamata olives, minced garlic and shredded parmesan. Give it a stir.

In a separate bowl, mix the bottle of Italian dressing with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Add pesto with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Pour dressing on top of cold spaghetti with veggies and mix together with tongs. Place pasta in a large serving bowl and garnish with fresh mint or parsley.

Refrigerate pasta until ready to serve.

cold spaghetti salad with a variety of vegetables in a green bowl with a mint garnish

What to Serve With Garden Spaghetti Salad

This cold spaghetti salad is so gorgeous, it's nice to serve it in your prettiest bowl that highlights the colors of the fresh vegetables.

Since we eat with our eyes first, you'll get lots of oohs and ahhs when you place this dish on the table!

I like to serve Garden Spaghetti Salad with other vegetarian recipes like Strawberry Pecan Salad or Heirloom Tomato Salad. Together, these salads fill you up, but provide a meatless entree your family will love.

If you're looking for the perfect meat entree to serve alongside this salad supreme, try my Grilled Pork Tenderloin or Crunchy Parmesan Chicken.

Recipe FAQS

Can I use a different pasta?

Absolutely! If you'd like to change the type of pasta, consider using penne, rotini or cavatappi for an entirely different shape and taste.

What if I don't have a garden?

No worries! If you have a farmer's market in your town, that is a great place to find fresh vegetables. Many grocery stores or supermarkets have local produce as well.

Is there a substitute for Italian dressing?

Any type of bottled dressing will work in this recipe such as Greek dressing, poppyseed, or even ranch! Use your favorite Italian salad dressing from Olive Garden or make your own! You could also try a little oil and red wine vinegar if you prefer a lighter version.

Storage

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days. I don't recommend freezing this recipe because it could be mushy when it thaws.

Be sure to keep this recipe cold, especially if serving outside. It should be kept on ice at all times and not allowed to sit in the sun or it could spoil.

 

swirl of garden spaghetti salad wrapped around a fork with pasta underneath

Garden Spaghetti Salad

Garden Spaghetti Salad is a creamy blend of spaghetti, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pesto, and cheese. It's a vegetarian cold salad you'll crave when garden veggies are at their peak.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 459kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti broken in half
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 cucumbers diced
  • ½ small onion diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup kalamata olives pitted
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese diced
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 bottle (16 oz) Italian Salad Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh mint or parsley to garnish optional

Instructions

  • Break the spaghetti in half, then boil until al dente. 
  • Rinse spaghetti in cold water, drain, and place in a large bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes in half. Dice cucumbers, onion and cheddar cheese into small pieces. Add veggies to spaghetti in bowl and stir. 
  • Add garlic, olives and parmesan cheese. Mix with tongs.
  • In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, Italian Dressing and pesto together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Pour dressing over spaghetti with veggies in bowl. Mix well with tongs or spoon. Place pasta in a large serving bowl and garnish with fresh mint or parsley if desired.
  • Refrigerate pasta until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Keep leftovers in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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