Our Italian Spaghetti Salad recipe (sometimes called California spaghetti salad or just spaghetti pasta salad) is full of delicious flavor! This is a must-have recipe for summer potlucks, cookouts, or even a great side dish to make and serve to your family at home.

Italian Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spaghetti salad is a great recipe that combines the comfort of pasta with the freshness of a salad. It’s an easy pasta salad recipe that works well as a side dish for family gatherings, carry-in events, or just a regular dinner with your crew. The combination of tender spaghetti noodles, fresh vegetables, and a zesty Italian dressing makes it a family favorite. Plus, it’s a versatile recipe that allows for lots of substitutions and variations to suit your own taste.

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How to Make Spaghetti Salad

This recipe could not be easier to make, and leaves so much room for changes. Get a head start by prepping the fresh vegetables ahead of time. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to have on hand to get started.

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Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad


  • 1 lb. Thin spaghetti, broken into thirds
  • 1 (16-ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick’s Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (10 oz. package) juicy cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 2 (2.5-ounce) cans sliced black olives
  • 1 cup mini pepperoni

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by cooking the spaghetti. Follow the directions on the box and cook it to al dente. This means the pasta should be tender but still firm to the bite. I always add a bit of salt to the water whenever making a pasta dish.

Step 2: Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and rinse it in cool water. This stops the cooking process and cools the pasta down, which is essential for a cold pasta salad.

Step 3: After the spaghetti has completely cooled, transfer it to a large bowl. This is where you’ll mix everything together.

Step 4: To the spaghetti, add the Italian dressing, Salad Supreme Seasoning, and grated parmesan cheese. Stir everything until the spaghetti is evenly coated.

Step 5: Now, add the fresh ingredients: cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, English cucumber, black olives, and mini pepperoni. Toss everything together until all the ingredients are well combined and coated with the dressing.

Step 6: Before serving, chill the salad in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes the salad more refreshing.

Spaghetti Salad Substitutions and Variations

Spaghetti salad is flexible when it comes to ingredients, making it easy to adjust to your preferences or what you have on hand.

  • Veggies: Feel free to add or substitute other crunchy vegetables like green pepper, small pieces of broccoli, or even some cheddar cheese for a different flavor.
  • Dressing: If you’re not a fan of store-bought Italian dressing, you can make a homemade Italian dressing. A simple dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, and a little bit of black pepper can work great.
  • Protein: Instead of mini pepperoni, you could use diced ham, salami, or even chopped grilled chicken. These can add a different texture and flavor to the salad.
  • Cheese: If parmesan cheese isn’t your favorite, try using fresh mozzarella or even a sprinkle of feta cheese for a twist.
  • Salad Supreme Seasoning: Can’t find this seasoning, or just want to make your own version? I found a good Salad Supreme Seasoning substitute recipe online that you can check out to make your own.
Spaghetti Salad Recipe

Best Tips

  • Cooling the Pasta: Make sure to rinse the pasta in cold water after cooking. This not only stops the cooking process but also prevents the pasta from sticking together.
  • Chilling the Salad: Don’t skip the chilling step. Allowing the salad to sit in the fridge for at least an hour lets the flavors develop and makes the salad taste its best.
  • Serving: Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled (though I definitely prefer it cold). It’s a great side dish on hot summer days or as a refreshing addition to a meal.

How to Store Spaghetti Salad

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover spaghetti salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It usually stays good for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: It’s not recommended to freeze this easy spaghetti salad as the fresh veggies and pasta may not hold up well when thawed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make spaghetti salad ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare spaghetti salad a day in advance. Just keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.
  • What’s the best way to cook the pasta for your spaghetti salad recipe? Cook the pasta to al dente in boiling water with a pinch of salt. This ensures the pasta is cooked but still firm, perfect for a salad.
  • Can I use different types of pasta? Yes, while thin spaghetti is recommended for this recipe, feel free to use other types of pasta like regular spaghetti, rotini, fusilli, or penne.

Spaghetti salad is a simple, delicious pasta salad that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s an easy recipe that’s a great way to enjoy a mix of tender spaghetti noodles, fresh veggies, and zesty Italian dressing. Whether you’re making it for a summer picnic, a family dinner, or just as a tasty side dish, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

4.52 from 153 ratings

Spaghetti Salad

Author: Crissy Page
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
This cold Italian spaghetti salad features fresh veggies, pepperoni, parmesan cheese, spaghetti noodles and lots of yummy dressing!


  • 1 lb. Thin spaghetti broken into thirds
  • 1 16-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick’s Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 10 oz. package cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 English cucumber quartered lengthwise then diced
  • 2 2.5-ounce cans sliced black olives
  • 1 cup mini pepperoni


  • Cook spaghetti according to directions on the box to al dente. Drain, rinse in cool water.
  • When completely cooled transfer the spaghetti to a large bowl. Add the Italian dressing, Salad Supreme, and the parmesan cheese, stir until evenly distributed.
  • Add the tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, cucumber, black olives and the pepperoni. Toss until all ingredients are coated.
  • Chill for 1 hour before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 458mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Nutrition values are estimates, sourced from an online nutrition calculator. This information should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Course: Salads
Keyword: cold spaghetti salad, pasta salad, spaghetti salad

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4.52 from 153 votes (143 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating:


  1. Nelda Elaine says:

    Getting plenty of phone calls for this delicious recipe…..HUGE HIT!!! I AM ASKED OFTEN TO BRING THIS COLORFUL AND FABULOUS SALAD

  2. My husband and I loved this recipe! I did not add the pepperoni or Parmesan cheese though. 

  3. I used Old Bay Seasoning and it worked out great!

  4. Jesa DeVir says:

    5 stars
    I’ve had this bookmarked for a really long time and finally put it on my meal list before going grocery shopping. It’s going to be a regular food option in my weekly rotations, likely a go-to lunch item. The only thing I’ve changed is adding some cut up pepperoncini peppers and a little bit of shredded cheese to each bowl I get of it — but the original recipe is still great on it’s own, too. I did save about 1/4th of my bottle of Italian dressing to use for regular salads when I made it, and I’d recommend making sure to use the full 16oz (I add a bit more of the dressing I saved to each bowl I make, because using 3/4ths of the bottle didn’t seem to be good enough).

  5. Gail Bunch says:

    Can’t wait to make this salad, going to a potluck soon.

  6. Based on this recipe, how many will this feed.

  7. barbara coyle says:

    5 stars
    I use ranch dressing and hard boiled eggs no Italian garlic and pepper. Barbara coyle

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for Easter.  Makes a large amount but won’t last long because it’s really tasty!!  Will be making it again!

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