pasta salad in vinaigrette

One of my go-to dishes for summer pot luck picnics and barbecues is a simple, fresh pasta salad in vinaigrette dressing. This salad compliments grilled meats and green salads, and it is usually a crowd-pleaser.

On this occasion, I found myself with everything I needed already stocked in my kitchen except for the tomatoes and cucumber, which I quickly picked up at our neighborhood market. I threw this salad together while my son napped.

First things first, I cooked the pasta, rinsed it in cold water, and tossed in a tiny bit of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.


While the pasta sat at room temperature on the counter, I chopped up three tomatoes, a cucumber, and about a quarter of an onion.


I already had some of my favorite dressing on hand, blogged about previously here. I mixed about a half recipe of the dressing with the veggies in a separate bowl.


Next, I mixed the dressed veggies and pasta together, crumbled some Gorgonzola cheese, and added the cheese to the salad.


A little extra salt and pepper to taste, and I was done.



  • 16oz pkg of penne pasta, cooked al dente and cooled to room temperature
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
  • vinaigrette dressing to taste (I used half of this recipe for red wine vinaigrette)

Let the salad sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors mingle. Remove from the fridge about ten minutes before serving and give the salad a good stir.

All written content and photographs ©, 2013.


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