Skip the store-bought pasta salads in favor of a quick and easy recipe for Asparagus Pasta Salad tossed in homemade Italian dressing!

Large white bowl containing Asparagus Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

While spring and summer months may be chilled pasta salad’s time to shine, it’s hard to ignore the 365-days-a-year versatility of a classic pasta salad recipe. All you need to do it follow this basic equation:

Your favorite pasta shape + any veggies in season + homemade Italian dressing

Various sizes of clear bowls containing italian dressing, halved cherry tomatoes, asparagus, bow tie pasta, sliced red onion and parmesan cheese

Toss it all together with your cheese of choice and let it chill overnight for true pasta salad success. And perhaps that last point is what separates the mediocre from the masterful. One word: marinate, marinate, marinate!

Dressing being poured over cherry tomatoes and asparagus in clear bowl

This colorful classic stars the season’s peak veggies, al dente pasta and the a quick-fix red wine vinaigrette that lends big flavor without weighing down any other ingredients like creamy dressings often do.

So grab the asparagus, plus any other rainbow of veggies, and whip up this top-rated recipe, which can be enjoyed warm, at room temp or chilled for a year-round side dish winner.

Top down view of the best asparagus pasta salad

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Side Dish

Asparagus Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Skip the store-bought pasta salads in favor of a quick and easy recipe for Asparagus Pasta Salad tossed in homemade Italian dressing!
5 from 2 votes
Large white bowl containing Asparagus Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta, such as penne or rotini
  • 2/3 cup sliced red onions
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions 

Make the dressing:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until combined. Set the dressing aside.

Make the pasta salad:

  • Remove the tough stems of the asparagus then cut each spear into 1-inch pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 11 minutes, then add the asparagus to the pot and cook it with pasta for 1 more minute. Drain the pasta and asparagus then rinse it with cold water.
  • Transfer the pasta and asparagus to a large bowl. Stir in the onions and tomatoes. Pour the dressing over the pasta, tossing to combine, then cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours and up to overnight. When ready to serve, stir in the Parmesan cheese and enjoy cold or at room temperature.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not republish this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 247mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 525IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 2.2mg

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Comments

  1. Hi! We tried this for dinner this week and while I liked it I’m curious about the dressing. The recipe says its and Italian dressing and we were surprised how vinegary it was. I was just looking at your greek pasta salad with red wine vinaigrette and saw it was the same dressing recipe? Am I missing something?

    thanks for any feedback!

    1. Hi Melinda! Yes, they’re the same dressing :) You can switch up the type of vinegar or use slightly less if you prefer.

  2. 5 stars
    Great, simple recipe. We loved it! I halved the red wine vinegar and added more olive oil (husband is not the biggest fan of rwv). It was delicious, even my toddler ate and enjoyed the asparagus.

  3. Absolutely!! these 2 recipes are the greatest. The Greek Salad and the Italian Asparagus Salad! love those!

  4. An instant success with those I served – will become a great dish to serve to the unexpected’
    I just loved it. Will that sauce freeze?

    1. Hi Moira! I haven’t tried that but it *should* work. You may notice that there is some separation of the oil and vinegar when it thaws, but you should be able to whisk it together again to have a usable salad dressing.

  5. Pasta salad with Italian dressing is seriously one of my favorite foods!! I usually make it with the Good Seasons packet but I definitely need to make your homemade one!! Love it. And p.s. you are so freaking busy!! xoxo