Save on Pinterest

California Pasta Salad

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + chilling


15 servings

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
California Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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


  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.

Nutrition Facts

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

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • KandiLea
    Sep 9, 2020

    Everyone loves this salad. At family gatherings this salad is a regular request.

  • xxcskier
    Mar 13, 2020

    This is one 0f our favorite pasta salad dishes. I serve it often for my family and at various potlucks. Always leave with an empty bowl.

  • KristineChayes
    Jun 23, 2018

    I made this for a company BBQ and everyone loved it! I'm not fond of bottled dressings, so I substituted 1-1/2 cups white balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil, as well as 1 tsp. salt and I doubled the garlic powder. I spiral cut the zucchini for an interesting look. I will be making this again, for sure :)

  • rebelwithoutaclue
    Jun 21, 2018

    I used only 1/2 bottle of dressing to start. I waited till the next day to add a little more to see how much was absorbed by the pasta. I did add 1 tea of garlic salt to the dressing mixture.

  • randcbruns
    Apr 8, 2018

    Great, classic pasta salad for a potluck. It does need some tweaking on seasonings. I like to add a bit of garlic and or onion salt.

  • cajoto
    Mar 24, 2018

    Begging to be personally tweaked ,one whole-bottled dressing ? Is too much

  • krystal9
    Aug 19, 2017

    I've made this pasta ?? dish twice now an it's a big hit !'

  • ScottsGrace
    Jun 20, 2017

    I made this without the olives and added more fresh grated parm. This is a really tasty spaghetti salad. Has a little more flavor than the standard. Also, I found the poppy seeds unnecessary. They didn't add any flavor. I'm going to make this again for the next potluck. Easy to double or cut in half.

  • Queenlalisa
    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
    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.