Anyone else get excited when they see Spaghetti Pasta Salad at a barbecue or potluck? I do! I love it! In this recipe, the Salad Supreme Seasoning is the secret to making it extra delicious. The dish itself is super simple and can be adapted to what you have on hand. This salad is a perfect recipe to add to your summer potluck and barbecue repertoire. Classic Macaroni Salad is another side dish that’s always hit at a barbecue.
Shortly after my husband and I got married, I had this salad for the first time. We were at his family’s house for dinner, and it was one of the dishes served. I loved it! My mother-in-law is a good cook and has given me many great recipes. In fact, my sisters-in-law put together an awesome cookbook filled with my mother-in-law’s recipes and some of their own, and they gave it to us as a wedding present. It’s a treasure!
There’s one simple step that makes this such a quick and easy recipe: As soon as the noodles are done cooking, rinse them in cold water until they’re cool. This is great for two reasons: First, it keeps the noodles from continuing to cook a little as they cool, keeping them nice and al dente. Second, it makes it possible for you to mix the salad up super fast. If you take the time to chop the veggies while the pasta is cooking, you can quickly stir it all together as soon as you get those noodles rinsed and cooled. You can have it totally done in about 30 minutes.
Best Salad Recipes for Barbecues and Potlucks:
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad
- Potato Salad with Old Bay and Bacon
- Frog Eye Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Orange Fluff Jello Salad
How to Make Spaghetti Pasta Salad
You can typically find Salad Supreme at your favorite grocery store. If you can’t find it there, you can order it on Amazon. Salad Supreme is a great topping to sprinkle on bread sticks, too. My mom used to make them that way, and they were delish!
Frequently Asked Questions About Spaghetti Pasta Salad:
Can I use other types of pasta for this recipe?
If you don’t have spaghetti noodles, you can use a different type of pasta. Spirals or penne would be great options. However, part of what makes this recipe unique is that it is made with spaghetti noodles. So I definitely recommend using regular spaghetti, if you can.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes. This salad is best if made at least 8-24 hours before serving. It gives the Italian salad dressing a chance to marinade the noodles and chopped veggies. You can make this salad up to two days in advance of serving. Makes it a great recipe for family reunions and camping trips. If are adding salami or pepperoni, wait to add it until right before serving, if you are making it two days ahead.
What type of Italian Salad Dressing is best to use?
My very favorite Italian salad dressing comes from a packet but has a little twist. I got this recipe/tip from my friend, Toni, back when I lived in NJ. Toni is Italian and her family used to have an Italian restaurant. At the restaurant, they made a super popular Italian dressing. She said the shortcut for making an Italian dressing that tastes almost identical to their family recipe is to use the Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing packet and to add Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar (she recommends this one with the red lid) instead of regular vinegar when mixing it. It gives it such a delicious and zesty flavor. I can’t go back to any other kind of Italian dressing now. It makes pasta salads extra delicious!
Is there anything I can substitute for Salad Supreme if I don’t have it?
There isn’t really anything that can be substituted, but there are some knock off recipes that are really close to the real thing. This one from Food.com looks legit.
- 1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed with cold water until cooled
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 cup bell pepper, chopped (Any color you prefer. I use orange or yellow.)
- 1½ cup cucumber, quartered and sliced
- ⅓ cup red onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
- ½ cup black or green olives, sliced
- ½-1 cup sliced or cubed salami, pepperoni or cheese (optional)
- 1 cup Italian Salad Dressing (See frequently asked questions to see what type I prefer.)
- 1-3 tbsp Salad Supreme (see picture) I start by tossing the salad with about 1½ tablespoons and then add more to lightly cover the top before serving.
- Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss.
- Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving for best flavor.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.