This herbaceous and zesty, easy pasta salad recipe loaded with green olives, pistachios, and radicchio is the perfect balance of satisfying textures and mouth-watering flavors that comes together in under 30 minutes!
Nothing says summer quite like the perfect pasta salad to take on a picnic, great for a cookout, or the star of the potluck. You’ll be making this super quick and easy pasta salad loaded with fresh flavor-filled ingredients all summer long!
One of the best things about pasta salad is how it can be made in advance, developing even more flavor after it’s made. Less time in the kitchen and more time outside creating a zestful summer is a huge goal and this recipe totally hits the spot!
Note: if you do decide to make this in advance, you want to add the radicchio last minute so it doesn’t get too soggy, and make sure it’s at room temperature before serving to make sure the olive oil isn’t cold and hard.
Pasta Salad Tips
- Cook your pasta perfectly al dente. The texture is everything to me in a dish and NO ONE wants soft pasta, it should have some chew.
- Let your pasta slightly completely before tossing it into the sauce. The trick is to let the pasta cool for a few minutes so it’s still warm and will absorb more of the flavors. For the more delicate ingredients like certain vegetables and cheese, you want to wait until the pasta is mostly cooled before adding those.
- Taste and adjust. This recipe is more of a suggestion, make it the way YOU want to, it’s designed to be flexible so if it needs more oil, some salt, more of your favorite ingredient, or something else you decide! Taste and adjust to create your perfect pasta salad!
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe Variations
This pasta salad is fantastic as-is, but feel free to change it up to match your tastes or the ingredients in your pantry. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add some cheese! this salad would be even better with some cubed feta, big shaves of parmesan, or even fresh mozzarella!
- Add something chewy! Trust me, chopped-up dates would have been sooo good in this pasta salad – actually upset with myself that I did;t add any lol salty sweet is my favorite, or also sun-dried tomato for a nice dried chewy bite!
- Make it gluten-free! Chickpea, lentil, or gluten-free pasta would be a great substitute!
- Add more veg. More types of lettuce would be delicious like spinach or baby kale, chopped cucumbers, artichoke hearts, or even tomatoes – any vegetable would be really good!
- Any type of roasted nut or seed. I used pistachios but toasted almonds, walnuts, pinenuts or even pumpkin seeds would be a tremendous nutty crunch.