Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

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Our Pasta Salad is full of flavor and the perfect pasta to serve this summer. It’s flavored with fresh garlic, cherry tomatoes, basil, Kalamata olives, and two varieties of cheese! This is a perfect easy everyday summer salad!

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe with tomatoes, olives, garlic, cheese and basil.

Hands down it’s our favorite, easy pasta salad for summer. Use fun-shaped pasta for a specific holiday or switch it out with classic rotini for a simple gathering.

I’ve always liked pasta salad, but the ones I was served as a kid were full of mayonnaise, black olives, and peppers. This pasta salad recipe is totally different than that.

Parmesan cheese in a bowl of summer pasta salad.

It’s so incredibly flavorful, but you won’t find any mayo here! We use fresh ingredients like quality olive oil, fresh garlic (and lots of it!), and basil to really give it a delicious flavor. It’s a recipe I will continue to make every single summer and the perfect dish for summer entertaining.

How to Make Summer Pasta Salad

This recipe uses simple ingredients you can find at any store or even at the Farmers Market! Nothing is complicated about this pasta salad. It’s very easy to make with only a few steps, one pot and a bowl. Anyone can make this and everyone will love this pasta recipe.

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe with tomatoes, olives, garlic, cheese and basil.

Key Steps to making Pasta Salad

  • Use a good extra virgin olive oil or even a flavored olive oil, like basil.
  • Do not rinse the pasta! Strain and then pour into a large bowl.
  • This dish is best served at room temperature. The flavors are juicy and more prevalent when added to the warm cooked pasta and served right away.
  • However, you can eat this pasta cold too!
  • The garlic is very important in this recipe because it adds so much flavor. If you don’t own a garlic press, it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools and we used it for this recipe.
  • You can prepare all of the ingredients before, mix it in a large bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for hours! The ingredients infuse together adding even more flavor.
  • When you’re ready to serve, cook the pasta in a large pot of water to al dente. This is crucial when making this recipe. Mix everything together in a serving bowl.
Summer Pasta Salad Recipe with tomatoes, olives, garlic, cheese and basil.

Summer Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Pasta
  • Salt and peper
Red and White stars shaped pasta.

Types of Pasta

We used a fun stars and stripes pasta we bought from World Market. It’s even colored with beetroot! This is perfect for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or even Labor Day! You can also use any of these pasta below!

  • Farfalle
  • Rotini
  • Penne
  • Colorful Shapes
Stars and Stripes nag of pasta.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

To make this recipe gluten-free, switch out the pasta with brown rice pasta. One of our very favorite gluten-free pasta brands is Tinkyada spirals! You can barely tell it’s gluten-free and it’s almost impossible to overcook.

How long does pasta salad last?

This recipe will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. As pasta salad sits, it can become less flavorful, you can freshen cold pasta up with a little more olive oil, a sprinkle of cheese, and a little salt and pepper if it needs.

What is a good side dish for pasta salad?

Since this recipe can be used as the main course or a side dish, you can pair it with our ham and cheese sliders, burgers, grilled steak, or even a light summer fish! You can also serve it as the main with a green salad on the side. It’s very versatile!

Also try our vegetable couscous salad! It’s colorful and so good!

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe with tomatoes, olives, garlic, cheese and basil.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Summer Pasta Salad Recipe with tomatoes, olives, garlic, cheese and basil.

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The best pasta salad recipe with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, cheese, olives, garlic and basil.

The Best Pasta Salad Recipe

This easy pasta salad recipe is full of flavor! It’s perfect for a summer gathering and can be turned into holiday favorite with fun colorful pasta!
4.50 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 pound pasta , We used colorful shaped pasta for the 4th but Rotini. Farfalle or Penne work too.
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese drained, small mozzarella balls are best
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup kalamata olives sliced in half
  • 15 fresh basil leaves , julienned
  • 4 large garlic cloves, through a presser. Minced is okay too.
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper more if needed


  • Add everything but the pasta in a bowl and let it sit for 30 mins up to 5 hours in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to serve, boil the water in a medium pan and cook the pasta al dente.
  • Strain the pasta and in a large serving bowl add the pasta and the other ingredients you’ve already prepared together.
  • Stir it all really well so the garlic and flavors can coat the pasta.
  • Add more salt and pepper if needed.


This pasta is best served warm to room temperature.
Salt and pepper to taste.
You can use Rotini, Farfalle or Penne pasta for this recipe.
The garlic gives it a lot of flavor, using a garlic press is the best way to blend it into the pasta.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1243mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1132IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 410mg | Iron: 2mg
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