When you’re looking for an easy pasta salad recipe, look no further than the one I’m sharing here today. This mozzarella pasta salad is absolutely scrumptious and perfect for a variety of occasions.
I love making this easy pasta salad recipe for a crowd or just as a summer lunch for myself and a few friends. If I’m making it for more than three to four people, then I tend to multiply the ingredients to make a bigger batch.
This cold pasta salad is made with an irresistible dressing that truly makes this the best pasta salad recipe. Honestly, the fantastic flavor of the dressing will make this dish stand out among the other potluck go-to’s.
This simple pasta salad recipe is made up of just a handful of ingredients, including: penne pasta, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, mozzarella, and a delicious parmesan dressing.
While the parmesan dressing makes this a creamy pasta salad, the fresh parsley and white wine vinegar in the dressing cut through that creaminess to keep the pasta tasting light and refreshing.
Best of all, the dressing for this easy pasta salad recipe is made in a food processor (or blender), making this recipe truly live up to its quick and easy description.
If I have the foresight, I tend to make this recipe one day ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. The pasta salad ingredients tend to meld together as it rests giving it even more fantastic flavor.
Then the next day when I’m ready to serve or take it with me to a gathering, I uncover the pasta salad and mix in the baby spinach to keep the spinach tasting and looking fresh.
For another layer of flavor, you could substitute the mozzarella with smoked mozzarella. It’s not always easy to find smoked mozzarella at the market, but if you have a specialty cheese section in your store that sells it, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
A quick and easy pasta salad recipe made with mozzarella, baby spinach, roasted red peppers and a delicious parmesan dressing. (adapted from Whole Foods Market)
- 1/2 lb. penne pasta
- 1 small jar of roasted red peppers drained and diced into medium squares
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella balls (small ones) or large fresh mozzarella ball cut into cubes see note
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3 cloves of garlic
- pinch of salt and pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta then rinse under cool running water. Let the pasta cool completely.
To the food processor, add the mayonnaise, parmesan, white wine vinegar, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, and cayenne. Pulse until smooth and combined.
Pour the pasta into a large bowl. Pour about half of the dressing and stir to combine. Drizzle in more dressing as needed and desired.
Stir in mozzarella, red peppers, and baby spinach until mixed in well.
If you’re using a large mozzarella ball, you probably won’t need the full 8 oz. You’ll want to cut the mozzarella ball into cubes. If you’re using a container of the mini mozzarella balls, then simply drain and stir the balls into the pasta salad.