California Pasta Salad Recipe
California Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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California Pasta Salad Recipe

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Not only does this salad travel well to get-togethers such as picnics or tailgate parties, but people absolutely love it when it gets there. —Jeanette Krembas, Laguna Niguel, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES:10-15 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES: 10-15 servings


  • 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup: 257 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 567mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the vegetables and olives.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over spaghetti mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 10-15 servings.
Originally published as California Pasta Salad in Country Extra September 1992, p47

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Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 254584
Reviewed Sep. 24, 2016

"This pasta salad was so fresh tasting. I love make ahead recipes. I made grilled chicken to go with it. Everyone loved it."

chsmoak User ID: 8272977 252906
Reviewed Aug. 19, 2016

"Made this exactly as written and took it to a potluck luncheon. It was disappointing to say the least! It was soggy and tasteless. It didn't look particularly appetizing, people took small portions and I sadly noticed a fair amount left on plates to be dumped in the garbage. My usual offerings have always been popular at potlucks. Can't say I was impressed."

GirishKatta User ID: 7329112 250612
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2016

"Nice recipe"

nonapcook User ID: 6311763 250401
Reviewed Jul. 13, 2016

"I LOVE this pasta salad! and so do all my friends! Someone always asks me for the recipe. I add an extra zucchini because I love it, and used 3 peppers in stead of two (no green ones). I followed the suggestion to use Ken's Italian dressing with Romano cheese and it was delish! Be sure to make it the day before like it says and you will enjoy every bite! I added chicken once and it was excellent!"

1Heart4Jesus User ID: 2171354 249912
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2016

"Perfect as it, however I may add a few sliced pepperocinis the next time I make this to add just a bit of zing! Awesome meatless meal too!!"

my4sweetys User ID: 3051527 249658
Reviewed Jun. 21, 2016

"really good! you can adjust the salad ingredients to your families tastes. very very versatile!!"

MY REVIEW User ID: 193450 243843
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2016

"Great flavor and so easy to make. I didn't have zucchini, so substituted celery in its place. I also upped the garlic just a bit. Perfect salad with our sloppy joes. I could see adding cooked, diced chicken for a main dish salad."

Elaine24girl User ID: 7160734 229305
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2015

"I wonder how this would taste if you added baby shrimp?"

dverzic User ID: 762717 228685
Reviewed Jun. 28, 2015 Edited Jul. 13, 2015

"This is really good. beware, it makes a lot!"

ClydeWoman User ID: 7322761 226806
Reviewed May. 23, 2015

"We've been making this for years only we don't add the seeds or the bell pepper. I like it best while the noodles are still warm. This dish reminds me of summer for sure."

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