Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Summer Pasta Salad {Potluck Style}

Cleaning out your fridge never tasted so good!

Summer Pasta Salad |

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a little over 2 years now. That being said, I’m pretty sure we can call ourselves friends, right?

Amigos. Buddies. My peeps. We be tight, yo! Now, all we need is a secret handshake. Hold on, do those still exist?

Summer Pasta Salad |

No worries, I’ll just start a new wave of gangsta foodie handshakes. It will go something like this: Knead the dough, knead the dough, whisk the batter in the bowl, shake that cocktail tumbler, over-the-shoulder salt throw, foodie fist bump/ hand explosion combo.

Did we just become best friends… I think so!

Now that we’re friends, I’m going to feed you some leftovers. What? Friends eat other friend’s leftovers.

It’s totally a thing.

Summer Pasta Salad |

Summer Pasta Salad |

Every week I force myself to clean out my refrigerator. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. I salvage what I can and throw throw the rest away. It never fails, every week I have a pile of lack-luster fruit and veggies that I convinced myself I would eat before the week ended.

Bar too high.

Summer Pasta Salad |

I don’t like being wasteful, so I always find a way to use the misfit fruits and veggies. This week, I made you a potluck-style summer pasta salad. Basically, it’s a combination of leftover veggies from the crisper, scraps of deli meat that Squirrel forgot to eat, and various hunks of uneaten cheese.

I like to think of this recipe as an abstract. I took a bunch of different food groups and forced them into one cohesive not so cohesive recipe.

Summer Pasta Salad |

This may be a bowl of leftover junk I had sitting in the fridge waiting to die, but I assure you, it’s the best almost-dead bowl of food you’ll ever have.

Feel free to use any variety of seasonal veggies you have on hand. This recipe is completely customizable. Since Squirrel prefers rotini noodles, that’s what I used. I made the mistake of using spaghetti noodles in my last pasta salad and had to listen to the man whine.

A noodle is a noodle, sheesh!

Summer Pasta Salad |

This big potluck salad has it all. We got your carbs, your meat, your veggies, and your cheese.

Summer Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings

Total Time: 22 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes


  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 1 cup diced sweet peppers (red, orange, yellow)
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup seedless cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups raw broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chills, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black, cannellini, or garbanzo beans, drained and ringed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning
  • 1 cup diced cheese cubes
  • 1 cup diced pepperoni
  • 1 cup diced hard salami
  • 1 (16.5-ounce) bottle Italian dressing




  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Transfer the pasta salad to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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16 Responses to “Summer Pasta Salad {Potluck Style}”

  1. #
    Choc Chip Uru — May 24, 2014 at 7:18 am

    All the food groups in one beautiful summery dish! Love this pasta salad recipe, bookmarked for future summers to come :D

    And did you just say gangsta foodie handshakes? I am ALL over that!

    Choc Chip Uru


  2. #
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — May 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

    LMAO! Besties totally eat friends leftovers…and if it wasn’t a thing, it definitely is now!

    This bowl of “almost-dead” food looks delicious! I usually get really lazy with my left overs and roast them and then slap them on a salad of sketchy, end-of-the-week lettuce….eeeep! Your bowl looks way better. My pride isn’t too great to admit it!


  3. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — May 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I love pasta salads! Beautiful photos, Jennie!


  4. #
    Joan in VA — May 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    “A noodle is a noodle, sheesh!” Not necessarily … the shape on the noodle makes a big difference. The Rotini he likes catches and holds the dressing better than the spaghetti noodle. You have a guy who likes the dressings you make.


  5. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — May 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm


    You’re way better than I am-to avoid the waste of unused vegetables I…er…just don’t buy them *hides face in shame*


  6. #
    Cheryl — May 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

    You had dad take the bowl of pasta salad for todays cookout last night to the fridge in the garage “party overflow”. Later, when you weren’t looking, he put a fork in his pocket and headed to the garage lol. Daddy approved!


  7. #
    ATasteOfMadness — May 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    This is what I want at all times of the day. Yum!


  8. #
    Ashley — May 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I hate waste so I love dishes like this for the end of the week … when you realize you have stuff hanging out that needs to be used up! It looks great! Hope you’re having a fun long weekend!


  9. #
    Willow @ Will Cook For Friends — May 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm


    I could so use a big bowl of this right now. I am really terrible about letting things go in my fridge, but I hate to be wasteful… this salad is the perfect solution!


  10. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    *Gangsta foodie handshake*

    Your leftovers are a whoooooooole lot prettier than mine, Jennie. I’ll take a big bowl please. Since you’re feeding me leftovers and all.


  11. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats — May 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Oh, i love this combo of flavors! It helps that I’ve been craving pasta salad like crazy lately. Haha, my husband won’t eat spaghetti noodles either! He makes me cut them up for him if I use them…otherwise it has to be a shaped pasta ;)


  12. #
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession — May 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Leftovers???? Ahh who cares! I’ll be your best friend if I can get these everyday! Loveeeeeeeeeee it!


  13. #
    Kelly — May 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Haha I would totally eat your leftovers if it means I can have some of this pasta salad! Looks darn good to me – pinning :)


  14. #
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — May 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I love pasta salads! This one looks so fresh and I love every single ingredient you used. Pinning :)


  15. #
    Mary Frances — May 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I was laughing this entire post! Show me that handshake, sista, and while you’re at it, let’s swap us some leftovers! Oh gosh, mine are about to die, so maybe not :) What a gorgeous salad! Pinned!



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