Light and fresh, enjoy this cold spaghetti salad. Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe is a spaghetti salad with fresh veggies and Italian dressing. Watch the video!

oblong plate of colorful spaghetti salad, with blue salad tongs

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Using your favorite pasta and Parmesan cheese, add either salami or pepperoni for this cold, Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe. Serve this salad with Best Grilled Chicken Thighs (so good). And friends, I want to tell you about my new book out this year, Big Boards for Families! You can preorder it now! 

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

This salad is great for any potluck or summer party.

Make homemade Italian dressing, or optional to buy store-bought, when you’re in a pinch for time!

You may have also tried my Potluck Spaghetti Tuna Salad Recipe or Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe.

holding a plate of spaghetti salad

Italian Spaghetti Salad

Friends, we’ve been trying to get together with some good friends from out of town.

It’s hard to get a date on the calendar sometimes, and it takes work and intention to make it happen.

On the menu? This potluck favorite: Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

plate of spaghetti salad deconstructed

How do you make Cold Spaghetti Salad

Pairing well with any barbecue, this cold spaghetti salad is perfect to serve with this pepperoncini steak.

  1. Cook the spaghetti pasta according to package directions.
  2. Rinse and drain and cool.
  3. Add the ingredients; coat with dressing.
  4. Optional to make homemade dressing, or you can use a good variety of store-bought.

deconstructed italian spaghetti salad ingredients

What goes in a spaghetti salad?

This a a spaghetti salad recipe with Italian dressing, and other fresh garden ingredients. Everyone loves it.

These are our favorite ingredients that go into a spaghetti salad:

  • Pasta – use spaghetti
  • Veggies – green pepper, red pepper, cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomatoes – add your favorites!
  • Meat – salami or pepperoni
  • Black olives & delicious cheese!
  • Your favorite dressing – YUM!

Homemade Italian Dressing

Optional to make your own Italian dressing. Here are the ingredients:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried basil and oregano
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

sign that says "Stay Awhile"

Relaxing at home

Our son asked, are you going to go to your favorite restaurant, mom?

I said, no way. It’s way more authentic in our home, easy, less-expensive, and … I love this plaque.

Stay awhile.

People feel more inclined to sit back, relax, and …stay awhile when we make a home-cooked meal.

beautiful platter of italian spaghetti salad with blue salad tongs

Double the spaghetti salad recipe

Here’s what I love about summer cooking: COOK EXTRA. Double the recipe for any party!

Eating at home on a regular basis doesn’t mean you need to cook every night, too. So leftovers are great!

close up shot of summer italian spaghetti salad

How do you make Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing?

For the best flavor, it’s optional to make this salad the night before!

So light, fresh, and made with fresh garden veggies.

I sometimes use DeLallo’s Italian dressing–the flavor is so amazing. But you can buy your favorite dressing (or make it).

You can even add the dressing right before serving.

close up shot of best spaghetti salad recipe

Spaghetti Salad Recipe

This time we used gluten-free pasta for our friend Ashley, who has celiac’s. It was super good! Normally we use a whole grain pasta though.

Cook in salted water (no oil), and rinse and cool!

Super yummy served as leftovers!

outdoor table setting with daisies

Set the table

Set the table (I’m a daisy lover, are you?), heat up the grill, serve a few side salads, and you’ll have the BEST summer barbecue! (Gray plates from Target, napkins from IKEA, chargers from Simon Pearce, tablecloth from IKEA).

And don’t forget to tell your guests … Stay Awhile!

Happy Hosting!

More summer salads: Easy Pad Thai Salad, BEST Potato Salad, Carrot Prune Fresh Parsley Salad, Avocado Pasta Salad, and Cowboy Pasta Salad.

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Get the Recipe:

Summer Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1 16 oz pkg thin spaghetti, halved
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup Salami slices (or pepperoni, or both), cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, drained, thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle Italian salad dressing, OR MAKE YOUR OWN (recipe below)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon, plus more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions, usually 1 minute less in time (el dente); drain and rinse. Add a drizzle of olive oil so pasta does not stick together. Refrigerate until cool.
  • Place in a large bowl; add tomatoes, cucumber, salami, pepper, red onion, and olives.
  • Combine remaining ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese; gently stir together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; serve!


Originally posted JULY 2017
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Salad
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

We love these clear glass serving / mixing bowls!

beautiful platter of summer italian spaghetti salad recipe

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