Lunch Lady Pasta Salad

Lunch Lady Pasta Salad recipe – a childhood lunchroom favorite! Pasta salad made with Italian salad dressing, fresh broccoli, and mixed vegetables. Super easy to make and tastes great. Can make in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve. Great for cookouts and potlucks. Whip up a batch ASAP! You won’t be disappointed!

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Pasta Salad With Italian Dressing

This Lunch Lady Pasta Salad has been on repeat at our house. It is super simple to make and packs a ton of great flavor! Tender pasta and crispy vegetables tossed in Italian dressing. The recipe is from my trusty government school cafeteria cookbook. I am so glad we decided to give it a try. It is surprisingly delicious. One bite and you will agree!

bowl of pasta salad

How to Make Lunch Lady Pasta Salad

This side dish is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Cook pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain pasta. In a large bowl, stir together cooked pasta, frozen mixed vegetables, chopped broccoli, salt, and pepper. Pour Italian salad dressing over the noodles and veggies. Toss lightly to combine and coat evenly. Refrigerate the pasta salad until ready to serve. Stir the pasta before serving and garnish with fresh parsley or basil, if desired.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • I use rotini pasta in this recipe. Feel free to substitute your favorite pasta shape. Penne, fusilli, or farfalle pasta works great.
  • I use fresh broccoli in this recipe. The original recipe uses frozen chopped broccoli. If using frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it and drain it well.
  • What can I add to the pasta salad?
    • cucumbers
    • red onion
    • green or red bell peppers
    • cherry tomatoes
    • black olives
    • fresh mozzarella cheese
    • shaved parmesan cheese
    • diced ham
    • mini pepperoni
    • salami
  • How long does pasta salad last? The pasta salad will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
scooping pasta salad from a bowl

What to Serve with Cold Pasta Salad

This recipe makes a ton of pasta. It is a great side dish for potlucks and cookouts. We love to serve this with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, fried chicken, tortilla pinwheel sandwiches, or a chicken salad sandwich. Whip up a batch today! It is sure to become a favorite!

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bowl of pasta salad with text overlay

Lunch Lady Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Lunch Lady Pasta Salad recipe – a childhood lunchroom favorite! Pasta salad made with Italian salad dressing, fresh broccoli, and mixed vegetables. Super easy to make and tastes great. Can make in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve. Great for cookouts and potlucks. Whip up a batch ASAP! You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients:

  • 12 -oz rotini pasta
  • 1 lb frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 12 -oz chopped broccoli
  • cup Italian salad dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain well.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, mixed vegetables, and chopped broccoli.
  • Pour Italian salad dressing over pasta and vegetables. Toss lightly to combine and coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes:

  • I use rotini pasta in this recipe. Feel free to substitute your favorite pasta shape. Penne, fusilli, or farfalle pasta works great.
  • I use fresh broccoli in this recipe. The original recipe uses frozen chopped broccoli. If using frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it and drain it well.
  • What can I add to the pasta salad?
    • cucumbers
    • red onion
    • green or red bell peppers
    • cherry tomatoes
    • black olives
    • fresh mozzarella cheese
    • shaved parmesan cheese
    • diced ham
    • mini pepperoni
    • salami
  • How long does pasta salad last? The pasta salad will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Steph

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