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Nothing says summer like a delicious Picnic Pasta Salad with bow tie pasta, vegetables, mozzarella and an Italian dressing.

pasta salad with tomatoes

I was never a fan of pasta salad when I was a kid. There was something about all those tiny little raw vegetables. You know – the ones that are too small to pick out?

Well, that’s the exact reason I love this pasta salad as an adult. Fortunately my taste buds have evolved over the years and I love fresh veggies.

Throw in some cheese and a high quality Italian dressing to bind it all together, and I’m a happy girl. This recipe makes a ton of food so its fantastic for your outdoor gatherings with friends and family.

bow tie pasta salad with tomatoes and cheese

Picnic Pasta Salad

Prep20 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Nothing says summer like a delicious Picnic Pasta Salad, and nothing goes better with Picnic Pasta Salad than a perfectly grilled hot dog.


  • 16 ounces bowtie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup peppers diced, I used a mixture of red, orange, and yellow
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1/3 cup celery diced
  • 1/3 cup green onions diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan grated
  • 8 ounces Italian salad dressing
  • handful of freshly minced basil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, only stop cooking a couple minutes before recommended time so that pasta is a bit al dente. Toss drained pasta in olive oil to prevent sticking, set aside.
  • In large pot or bowl, combine vegetables and cheese. Toss to combine. Add pasta and toss to combine. Add salad dressing and toss once more to fully combine.
  • Before serving, garnish with basil and salt & pepper as desired.


Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 355mg, Potassium: 239mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2140IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 141mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. 5 stars
    Simple to make and delicious! I have made this a few times for outside parties and it’s always a hit!

  2. 5 stars
    The flavors (and colors) in this salad are SO good!! It was so easy to make and my whole family loved it. We are ‘picnicking’ on our back deck alot at the moment and this recipe will be on regular rotation.

  3. 5 stars
    This is definitely a summertime staple! We never have leftovers once this is made. Such a favorite with my boys.

  4. 5 stars
    Yum! Pasta Salads are delicious and this recipe of yours is making me crave! My son really loves eating Pasta salad and I’m sure he will love this, too. Looks really scrumptious!

  5. 5 stars
    Simple, easy, comforting. Just the king of food we need most of the time. And so flavorful too.

  6. 5 stars
    What an amazing pasta salad. Haha I’m so similar – when I was younger, I was like pasta salad? NO thanks. But what a delicious thing it is! And yes, a good grilled hot dog… Can’t even go there!!