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California Spaghetti Salad

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Filled with fresh vegetables, tangy Italian dressing, and delicious pasta, this California spaghetti salad will make you want to savor every bite.

Horizontal photo of a blue bowl full of California spaghetti salad against a background of blue and white checkered tea towels

italian spaghetti salad

Like all my favorite pasta salads, this salad is loaded with fresh vegetables. I like to add 3/4 cup of veggies to my salad for every 1 ounce of pasta (ie 6 cups of veggies per 8 ounces of pasta).

That may sound like a lot, but I promise you’ll never have too many veggies at this ratio. It’s the best balance I’ve found to maximize the texture and flavor of this Italian spaghetti salad.

This recipe can be made with vegetables that are eaten as a snack or raw. All you have to do is cut the vegetables into fairly uniform bite-sized pieces. This ensures maximum variety of textures and flavors in every bite.

If possible, try making a salad with homemade Italian dressing. It takes him less than five minutes to shake this dressing, but it makes a big difference.

A close up of this spaghetti salad fork lifted above a blue bowl of salad on a wooden table

california spaghetti salad

Something magical happens with every fork of this pasta salad. Crispy cucumber and juicy tomato balance the subtle flavors of red onion and bell pepper.

The dressing is a tangy highlight, with bright notes of lemon and smooth richness of olive oil. Adds bright and tantalizing flavor to this California Spaghetti Salad recipe.

A top down shot of all the vegetable ingredients and spaghetti noodles for this spaghetti salad in a metal mixing bowl on a wooden table

Celery seeds and black olives add a unique flavor and depth to this dish. i love these ingredients. However, this recipe is so versatile that you can tweak it to your liking.

As written, this is a vegetarian recipe. But if you’re like any of the meat lovers at my table, you’ll be happy to know that this is a dish that pairs well with just about any protein option.

A small jar of homemade Italian dressing on a wooden tabletop next to a mixing bowl with salad ingredients

California Spaghetti Salad Recipe

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • thin spaghetti
  • italian salad dressing
  • red onion
  • black olives
  • tomato
  • green pepper
  • cucumber
  • sesame, celery, paprika
  • Parmesan cheese
Close-up photo of spices in small glass bowls and other ingredients in metal bowls in the background

california pasta salad

First, put water in a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Cut pasta into thirds or quarters (about 2-3 inches long). Boil the pasta according to package instructions. After that, drain the water until it cools down and rinse.

While the pasta is cooking, halve the tomatoes and dice the remaining vegetables. Place vegetables and olives in a large bowl. Then add the cooled pasta to the bowl.

Spices are added to fresh ingredients in a metal mixing bowl

Drizzle pasta and vegetables with Italian salad dressing. Mix the entire dressing. Then sprinkle with seasonings and shredded cheese. Stir again to mix everything together.

If you’ve never tried a homemade dressing on your pasta salad, you should. Well worth the effort. Lemon enhances the taste beautifully.

California spaghetti salad with remaining ingredients mixed with Italian dressing.

This dish can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This is a good aspect to prepare in advance. He has one less thing to worry about when bringing dinner to the table.

I like to garnish this salad with extra finely chopped Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper. However, adding bacon bits or toasted sunflower seeds is just as easy.

Place fresh Parmesan cheese in a metal bowl and use a blue silicone spatula to shred it over the other ingredients for this salad.

spaghetti salad

If you like this California Spaghetti Salad recipe, be sure to try it with Last Minute Chicken. This is one of my favorite (and fastest) ways to get chicken on the family table.

You can easily make orange garlic shrimp to match this recipe. Or pair shrimp with an Asian pasta salad loaded with 10 fresh vegetables. Made with a different vinaigrette, it’s so flavorful you might want to drink it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Once all the ingredients are mixed together, this spaghetti salad is ready.

these are crispy pork bites It caught my eye the other day and I put it on my list to try soon.

And if you’re looking for other meat options to pair with your pasta salad, I highly recommend these Asian Steak Bites. These Cajun Steak Bites are perfect for the spice lover at your table.

Close-up photo of a bowl of spaghetti salad with shredded vegetables and parmesan cheese

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An image of a spaghetti salad with vegetables in a blue china bowl is overlaid with white text. It is written: "spaghetti salad"

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