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Cold Spaghetti Salad

Cold Spaghetti Salad

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5 from 17 reviews


Cold spaghetti salad is a refreshing medley of al dente spaghetti, vibrant crisp veggies, and Parmesan cheese all tossed together in a tangy homemade Italian dressing. The perfect choice for a light weekday meal, or for picnics, potlucks and BBQs.


Units Scale
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 1 (6-ounce) can black olives, sliced
  • 12 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped or minced
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade Italian dressing
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Recipe Prep: Cook the Noodles

  1. Fill a pasta pot with water. Salt the water well – it should taste like the ocean. Cook the spaghetti al dente (firm to the bite) according to package instructions. Do not over cook the noodles or they can become mushy when mixed with the other ingredients.
  2. Drain the pasta in a colander, and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow the noodles to cool completely.

Assemble the Cold Spaghetti Salad

  1. In a mason jar or wide cruet, prepare this 👉🏻 zesty Italian dressing.
  2. Add the cooked and cooled spaghetti to a large salad bowl. Drizzle the Italian dressing over the spaghetti, adding as much as you’d like. Toss well to coat the noodles evenly.
  3. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced red onion, bell pepper, and zucchini to the bowl. Toss everything together until well combined.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. When ready to serve, mix in the grated Parmesan cheese. Do a taste test. If needed, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Then sprinkle the top of the salad with fresh Italian parsley.


Don’t overdress the salad: Start by adding a little dressing to the spaghetti and toss well. Add more dressing gradually, tasting as you go, until the spaghetti is evenly coated but not swimming in dressing. This prevents the salad from becoming soggy and allows the flavors to shine through.

Customize to your taste: Feel free to customize the salad with your favorite ingredients such as different vegetables, herbs, or proteins (like salami). Make it your own by experimenting with the flavors and textures that you enjoy.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Potluck
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, American