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This easy 4 ingredient pasta salad is the perfect summer side dish. With just some pasta, Italian dressing, meat and cheese you can enjoy this simple pasta salad as is or dress it up with any extras you have on hand.
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Pasta salad is a summertime staple at our home, and this easy 4 ingredient pasta salad is the very first pasta salad recipe I ever made. It is fail-proof and a great simple side, or you can tweak it and make it your own with what you have on hand in your kitchen.
This easy pasta salad is perfect for serving alongside grilled marinated chicken or serving alongside our favorite summer staples like deviled egg potato salad, grape and pecan chicken salad, and Southern squash casserole!
Ready to get started?
- rotini pasta
- Italian salad dressing
- cubed colby jack cheese
- ham cubes
Step by step
This recipe is so easy to make it’s almost hard to call it a step by step!
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then rinse well with cold water in a colander and drain thoroughly. Combine the cooked pasta, cheese, and ham in a large bowl.
Add the salad dressing and stir to coat, then chill until ready to eat. I like to chill my pasta salad for at least an hour or two to let the flavors really combine but overnight is even better.
There are so many add-ins and variations for this recipe, here are just a few to get you started:
- switch the salad dressing: Greek, caesar, or poppyseed are some of my favorites
- meat: add cooked and crumbled bacon, diced chicken or turkey, mini pepperoni
- cheese: cubed cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack or switch it out with crumbled feta
- pasta: any sturdy pasta shape will work well, bowtie or macaroni are great options
- other add ins: peas, diced bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, diced zucchini or cucumber, chopped green onion, olives, diced red onion
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir before serving and add extra dressing if desired. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
If you try this recipe please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!Print