Homemade Italian Dressing

This simple homemade Italian Dressing is a zesty mix of flavorful herbs, savory Parmesan, and bright lemon to complement any salad.

The post Homemade Italian Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love making simple homemade vinaigrettes, and this classic Italian dressing has been a favorite lately. This dressing is similar to the bottled “Italian dressing” that you’d find in the grocer store, except made with simple ingredients that you’ll find in your fridge and pantry. It’s the perfect mix of bright lemon and vinegar, flavorful herbs, and savory Parmesan to take your homemade salads up to the next level.

a small glass carafe with Italian dressing with a salad bowl in the back

What’s in Italian Dressing?

This all-purpose homemade dressing is a simple vinaigrette base packed with dried herbs and Parmesan. The base is olive oil and red wine vinegar, plus a little lemon juice to freshen things up and Dijon mustard to help emulsify the vinegar into the oil. I added a hefty dose of herbs, in the way of an Italian seasoning blend for convenience, plus a little garlic, and a touch of sugar to soften the acid every so slightly. Lastly, grated Parmesan adds so much umami and depth of flavor that it will make you want to eat the dressing by the spoonful!

Can I Skip the Sugar?

Technically you can skip the sugar if you really have to, but even that small dose of sugar goes a long way toward creating a really smooth dressing and reducing any bitterness, so I don’t suggest skipping it if at all possible. It’s only ½ tsp for the entire batch, so the dose per serving is extremely small.

Can I Skip the Parmesan?

Yes. This still makes a really stellar vinaigrette even without the Parmesan. I will say that the Parmesan totally takes the dressing to the next level, but I find plain vinaigrettes quite enjoyable on their own as well. So if you want to make a vegan dressing or just don’t have Parmesan on hand, don’t let it hold you back from making this homemade dressing.

How to Store Levtover Italian Dressing

Store your leftover dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for about a week. The olive oil may solidify when the dressing gets very cold but will liquify again if set out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

How to Serve Italian Dressing

The flavors in this simple dressing are so universal that it will taste good on just about any salad. But it’s also great on pasta salad, on a simple sliced tomato and mozzarella salad, or even as a marinade for chicken! I think this dressing would also be amazing soaked into a crusty piece of bread as part of a pressed deli sandwich. YES!

Overhead view of a spoon in a jar full of homemade italian dressing
Italian dressing in a glass carafe in front of a bowl of salad

Homemade Italian Dressing

This simple homemade Italian Dressing is a zesty mix of flavorful herbs, savory Parmesan, and bright lemon to complement any salad.
Total Cost $1.89 recipe / $0.24 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 2 Tbsp each
Calories 130kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil $0.84
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.30
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard $0.12
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder* $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.01
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan** $0.22

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a jar or bowl. If using a jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk until the ingredients are incorporated. Give the dressing a quick shake or whisk just before serving.

Notes

*You can use one minced clove of fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor.
**Bottled grated Parmesan with cellulose (an anti-caking agent) may clump slightly, but will still taste great.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g

How to Make Italian Dressing – Step by Step Photos

Italian dressing ingredients in a jar

Combine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp Dijon, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, ½ tsp sugar, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan in a bowl or jar.

mixed Italian dressing in a jar

If using a jar, close the lid on the jar tightly then shake until the ingredients are incorporated. If using a bowl, whisk the ingredients together until incorporated.

Italian dressing being poured over a large salad

Serve your homemade Italian dressing over your favorite salad, sliced vegetables, or even as a marinade for chicken! (yes, that salad recipe is coming soon!)

Italian dressing in a glass carafe in front of a bowl of salad

The post Homemade Italian Dressing appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cucumber & Feta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

This simple and summery cucumber salad features a bold herb vinaigrette, briny feta cheese, spicy red onions, and pretty edible flowers to top it all off. In case you’re sick of pickles but your garden keeps churning out the cukes like there’s no tomorrow… this quick and easy lettuce-less salad is a great way to […]

The post Cucumber & Feta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

This simple and summery cucumber salad features a bold herb vinaigrette, briny feta cheese, spicy red onions, and pretty edible flowers to top it all off.

In case you’re sick of pickles but your garden keeps churning out the cukes like there’s no tomorrow… this quick and easy lettuce-less salad is a great way to use up at least a few of them.

Cucumber salad garnished with edible flowers, in bowl with purple linen and red onions in background.

I may or may not have harbored a slight fixation with edible flowers this past spring, which lead me to fill my patio container garden with edible blooms in addition to my typical herbs. I meandered up and down the aisles of the nursery, phone in hand, googling various flora and fauna to see if they were in fact edible. While they didn’t have the chamomile flowers I was so hoping to find, I did end up with marigolds, borage (which I’ve grown and used before), and these gorgeous purple and white dianthus.

Needless to say, I was looking for an excuse to use some of my home-grown flowers in a recipe before the blooms withered in the summer heat, and this recipe is the result. Does it matter where the inspiration came from if the outcome is this delicious? I say not.

While I love that the purple and white of the dianthus matches the colors of the salad, I think marigold petals, with their peppery bite, would work equally well in this dish, as would arugula or radish flowers, or even herb flowers like chives or oregano (while I typically try to keep my herbs from flowering, when they do bolt I always try to put the flowers to good use).

Overhead, bowl with wooden spoon and cucumber feta salad with edible flower garnish

Regardless of its origins, this recipe is perfect in its simplicity. While the recipe itself isn’t all that different from our always-popular tomato cucumber salad, we made the dressing a little bit different by adding an assortment of fresh herbs in addition to the olive oil and red wine vinegar.

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Southern Style Potato Salad

People take their potato salad very seriously here in the south. I learned that quickly after moving to southern Louisiana twenty years ago (omg, how has it been that long??). I was never a fan of potato salad in my youth but it quickly became my favorite after eating it made the southern way—with mayo […]

The post Southern Style Potato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

People take their potato salad very seriously here in the south. I learned that quickly after moving to southern Louisiana twenty years ago (omg, how has it been that long??). I was never a fan of potato salad in my youth but it quickly became my favorite after eating it made the southern way—with mayo and mustard. It’s rich, creamy, tangy, and with just the right amount of crunch. Southern Style Potato Salad is what comfort food dreams are made of. 

Originally posted 3/12/2010 updated 6/23/2021

front view of a bowl full of southern style potato salad

What is “Southern Style” Potato Salad?

Southern Style Potato Salad has a creamy and tangy dressing that has both mayonnaise and mustard, plus plenty of texture from the finely diced celery and sweet relish. I do like my potato salad with slightly less dressing, rather than super heavy or goopy, so if you like yours more “wet” you may want to make more dressing.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for Potato Salad?

Waxy potato varieties, like Yukon Gold or red potatoes, are best for potato salad because they hold their shape and don’t break down quite as easily as russet, which are great for mashed potatoes. Waxy varieties also tend to have a creamier texture, rather than mealy, so they’re extra luscious in this potato salad.

Substitutions

Potato salad is pretty flexible and every family has their own special way of making it. In general, here are a few items that are pretty easy to substitute without straying too far from the souther style potato salad roots:

  • Red onion in place of the green onion
  • Apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar
  • Lawry’s or other seasoning salt in place of the Tony’s Chachere’s
  • Dill relish in place of sweet relish
  • Creole mustard in place of yellow mustard

How Long Does it Stay Good?

Potato salad will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. If you can not finish a full 8-cup batch within that amount of time, consider making a half batch instead. Simply change the number of servings in the recipe below and all the ingredient amounts will adjust accordingly.

What to Serve with Potato Salad

Potato salad is a potluck and summer BBQ classic! You really can’t beat the creamy combination of potato salad with sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. This week I ate my potato salad along side my BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken and Three Bean Salad, but it would also make a great side dish for Brown Sugar Roasted Pork Loin, hamburgers or Black Bean Burgers, or Blackened Salmon with Zucchini.

potato salad on a plate with bbq chicken and three bean salad

overhead view of a a bowl full of potato salad with celery, relish and eggs on the sides

Southern Style Potato Salad

This classic Southern Style Potato Salad uses both mustard and mayonnaise for a super flavorful dressing that is rich, tangy, and creamy.
Total Cost $5.56 recipe / $0.70 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 297kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes $3.49
  • 1 tsp. salt $0.03
  • 2 large eggs $0.42
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise $0.75
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp sweet relish $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s seasoning* $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 green onions $0.22
  • 2 ribs celery (1 cup chopped) $0.32

Instructions

  • Peel, wash, and chop your potatoes into one inch cubes. Briefly rinse the cubed potatoes with cool water in a colander to remove excess starch. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tsp of salt to the water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes until they are tender (about ten minutes). Pierce the potatoes with a fork to make sure they are tender, then drain in a colander. Briefly rinse with cool water to cool the potatoes.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, cook the eggs. Place the eggs in a small pot and cover them with cold water, then bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Let them boil for one minute before turning off the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes, then carefully pour out the hot water and run cool water into the pot to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, peel and dice the eggs.
  • While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, make the dressing. Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, relish, red wine vinegar, Tony’s (or seasoning salt), and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Finely dice the celery, and slice the green onions.
  • Add the cooked, cooled, and drained potatoes to a large bowl along with the diced celery, sliced green onion, diced eggs, and dressing. Stir until everything is combined and coated in the dressing. If you prefer a softer, less chunky potato salad, mash the potatoes slightly.
  • Taste and adjust the mustard or seasoning to your liking, then serve.

Notes

*Or your favorite seasoning salt

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 583mg | Fiber: 4g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

overhead view of a a bowl full of potato salad with celery, relish and eggs on the sides

How to Make Creamy Southern Potato Salad – Step By Step Photos

Peeled and diced potatoes in a colander
Peel and cube 3 lbs. of potatoes. Rinse the potatoes briefly with cool water to remove excess starch. This will help prevent your potato salad from getting dry and gluey.

Cooked potatoes in a pot

Add the cubed potatoes to a large pot and cover with cool water. Add 1 tsp salt to the water. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes until they’re tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes). Use a fork to pierce one of the larger pieces to test the doneness and make sure they are fully tender. There’s nothing worse than hard potatoes in your potato salad! Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander and rinse again briefly with cool water to cool the potatoes and rinse away excess starch. Let them drain well.

Eggs in a pot with water

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the eggs. Add your eggs to a small pot (I cooked extra just to have on hand) and cover with cool water. Bring the pot up to a boil and then let the eggs boil for one minute before turning off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water with a lid on top and the heat turned off for 15 minutes, then carefully pour out the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and dice them.

potato salad dressing ingredients in a bowl

Make the dressing for the potato salad by combining 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp mustard, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp sweet relish, 1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s or your favorite seasoning salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Whisk the ingredients together, taste, and add more seasoning salt if desired. Remember, you want the dressing to be heavily seasoned because the flavor will be less pronounced once mixed with the potatoes.

bottle of tony chachere's seasoning

This is the Tony Chachere’s seasoning that I use in my potato salad dressing. If you don’t have access to this, you can use any sort of basic seasoning salt, like Lawry’s

Diced celery and sliced green onion on a cutting board

You can also finely dice 2 ribs of celery and slice 2 green onions while waiting for the potatoes and eggs to cook.

Potatoes, eggs, green onion, and celery in a bowl

Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl along with the diced celery, sliced green onion, and diced eggs. 

Dressing being poured into the bowl with the potato salad ingredients

Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and then stir until everything is combined and coated in the dressing. To make the Southern Style Potato Salad slightly less chunky, mash the potatoes as you stir.

Finished potato salad in a bowl with a spatula

Taste the potato salad and adjust the mustard or seasoning to your liking.

Finished potato salad in a serving bowl with ingredients on the sides

The post Southern Style Potato Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Greek Quinoa Salad

I am always looking for ways to mix up my salad routine and this Greek Quinoa Salad is a GOOD one. It has all of the same flavors as a traditional Greek Salad, but the quinoa makes it super hearty. It is great served along side our Greek Chicken Kabobs…

I am always looking for ways to mix up my salad routine and this Greek Quinoa Salad is a GOOD one. It has all of the same flavors as a traditional Greek Salad, but the quinoa makes it super hearty. It is great served along side our Greek Chicken Kabobs, Greek Turkey Meatballs, grilled vegetables,…

The post Greek Quinoa Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

If you are looking for an easy dinner that is full of flavor and absolutely delicious, you HAVE to make these Greek Chicken Kabobs. We make them all of the time and every time we do, they get rave reviews by our friends and family. They are always a di…

If you are looking for an easy dinner that is full of flavor and absolutely delicious, you HAVE to make these Greek Chicken Kabobs. We make them all of the time and every time we do, they get rave reviews by our friends and family. They are always a dinner winner! I mean, who doesn’t…

The post Greek Chicken Kabobs appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match…

Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match made in heaven. This recipes comes from my friend…

The post Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!

Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.

Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Perfect for Potlucks

This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)

Vegetable Options

I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:

  • Cauliflower
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Black olives
  • Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichokes

Other Add-ins

In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Toasted pita bread
  • Feta cheese
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella cubes or pearls

Dressing Options

The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.

Close up view of summer vegetable pasta salad
Overhead view of a bowl full of summer vegetable pasta salad

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Total Cost $8.76 recipe / $1.10 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 1.5 cups each
Calories 330kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil $1.28
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar $0.53
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.10
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Salad

  • 12 oz. bowtie pasta $0.79
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.63
  • 1 yellow squash $0.75
  • 1 zucchini $0.85
  • 1 broccoli crown $1.07
  • 1/2 red onion $0.19
  • 1 12oz. jar roasted red peppers $1.99
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley $0.35

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
  • Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 856mg | Fiber: 5g | Iron: 2mg
close up side view of a bowl of summer vegetable pasta salad

How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos

homemade vinaigrette in a glass measuring cup

Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked bowtie pasta in a metal colander

Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.

Chopped broccoli and red onion on a cutting board

Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).

pasta and vegetables in a large dish, vinaigrette being poured over top

When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.

Finished summer vegetable pasta salad in a large casserole dish

Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Overhead view of summer vegetable pasta salad in a rectangular casserole dish

The post Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Chimichurri

Golden brown roasted potatoes are tossed with a bright and peppery arugula chimichurri sauce for a fabulously flavorful side dish. No more boring baked potatoes: these little gems are roasted until golden brown and bathed in a tangy, arugula based green sauce that’s very similar to traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce (just with arugula instead of […]

The post Roasted Potatoes with Arugula Chimichurri first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Golden brown roasted potatoes are tossed with a bright and peppery arugula chimichurri sauce for a fabulously flavorful side dish.

No more boring baked potatoes: these little gems are roasted until golden brown and bathed in a tangy, arugula based green sauce that’s very similar to traditional Argentinian chimichurri sauce (just with arugula instead of the typical cilantro or parsley).

Shallow bowl filled with roasted potatoes tossed with arugula chimichurri, small baby arugula leaves scattered on top

It seems like every culture around the world has their own green sauce. From Italy’s pesto to North Africa’s chermoula to Argentina’s chimichurri, they all feature a base of primarily green herbs, mixed/chopped/blended into a loose sauce of sorts, usually with ample fresh garlic and a bit of acid, salt and sometimes heat. But the similarities end there: classic Genovese pesto includes pine nuts and cheese, chermoula brings in fragrant spices such as cumin, cayenne, and paprika in addition to tangy lemon juice. Chimichurri is typically cilantro or parsley-based, and notable in its use of red wine vinegar instead of citrus juice.

All these green sauces are ever so versatile, used on everything from meats and marinades to pastas and potatoes, the specific herbs used in each easily swappable for whatever seasonal greenery you have on hand.

In this case, we used a bag of gorgeous locally grown baby arugula from Caney Fork Farms (our CSA). Arugula, while not technically an herb, behaves like one in this recipe, lending a spicy, peppery green flavor to this distinctive green sauce that is most similar to Argentinian chimichurri.

While I’ve made arugula pesto plenty of times before before (I like using pistachios instead of pine nuts and a bit of parmesan and serving it on pasta or pizza), but pesto didn’t seem like the right moniker for this particular concoction, what with its notable lack of cheese and nuts. I ultimately decided it was the most similar to chimichurri with the addition of garlic, pepper flakes and red wine vinegar.

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Italian Pasta Salad (Family Favorite!)

Italian Pasta Salad (Family Favorite!)
This pasta salad is our family’s favorite! It’s served cold, loaded with pepperoni, cheese and other add-ins, and tossed with homemade Italian dressing.
READ: Italian Pasta Salad (Family Favorite!)

Italian Pasta Salad (Family Favorite!)

This pasta salad is our family's favorite! It's served cold, loaded with pepperoni, cheese and other add-ins, and tossed with homemade Italian dressing.

READ: Italian Pasta Salad (Family Favorite!)

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

This Broccoli Pasta Salad features a tangy homemade vinaigrette, nutty sunflower seeds, and creamy-salty feta.

The post Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette appeared first on Budget Bytes.

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when all I want to eat are cold salads with crunchy vegetables. And since fresh broccoli is one of my favorite crunchy vegetables, I decided to build a pasta salad featuring broccoli and my new favorite homemade salad dressing. This Broccoli Pasta Salad features a tangy homemade tomato vinaigrette, nutty sunflower seeds, savory red onions, and pops of creamy-salty feta. This flavor-texture combo is just magic!

Overhead of an oval serving tray full of broccoli pasta salad with black utensils in the side

Pasta Options

I used a rotini pasta for this salad because all the little twisty crevices are great at grabbing onto the salad dressing, making sure there’s tons of flavor in every bite. That being said, you could definitely do something like a penne, bowtie, or orecchiette instead. I think the nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta would actually go really well with the flavors in this salad, too.

Salad Dressing Options

I’ve included a homemade tomato vinaigrette with this recipe, but if you’re not a fan of tomato you could do a basic Italian dressing in its place, or something like a champagne vinaigrette. I’d stick to dressings that are light and tangy.

Is the Broccoli Raw??

The last time I posted a salad recipe with raw broccoli, there were quite a few people who were surprised that you could (or that you would want to) eat raw broccoli. Yes, the broccoli in this salad is raw. Raw broccoli is deliciously crunchy but does have a very different flavor from cooked broccoli. If you prefer cooked broccoli, I suggest using roasted broccoli to give an extra flavor boost to the salad.

Close up side view of broccoli pasta salad with tomato vinaigrette on a platter
Close up side view of broccoli pasta salad with tomato vinaigrette on a platter

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

This Broccoli Pasta Salad features a tangy homemade vinaigrette, nutty sunflower seeds, and creamy-salty feta.
Total Cost $4.67 recipe / $1.17 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 576.05kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp sugar $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil $0.96

Salad

  • 1/2 lb. rotini pasta $0.38
  • 1 lb. broccoli $0.89
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion $0.16
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds $0.25
  • 4 oz. feta $1.65

Instructions

  • Prepare the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the tomato paste, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl until smooth. Begin to whisk in the olive oil, one tablespooon at a time, until fully incorporated. Set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Cook the rotini pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander. Rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the pasta. Drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the broccoli florets off the stems, then roughly chop the florets into small, bite-sized pieces. Finely dice the red onion.
  • Once the pasta has drained, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the chopped broccoli, red onion, and sunflower seeds. Crumble the feta over top. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl and then gently toss the ingredients until they are evenly combined and everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 576.05kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.45g | Protein: 16.78g | Fat: 32.9g | Sodium: 575.15mg | Fiber: 6.38g
Overhead of broccoli pasta salad on a platter with a bowl of sunflower seeds and broccoli florets on the side

How to Make Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette – Step by Step Photos

tomato paste, vinegar, and herbs in a bowl

Begin the tomato vinaigrette first. Whisk together 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, ½ tsp dried basil, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper until smooth.

One tablespoon oil being added to tomato paste mixture in the bowl

Begin to whisk in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until you’ve incorporated 6 Tbsps. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked rotini in a colander

Next, cook ½ lb. rotini according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander. Give it a brief rinse to cool it off, then let it drain well.

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board

Chop about 1 lb. of fresh broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces. They don’t have to be pretty florets, just chop away until the pieces are fairly small. Also finely dice about ½ cup red onion.

Broccoli pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Once cooled, transfer the pasta to a bowl and add the chopped broccoli, diced red onion, ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, and about 4oz. feta.

Tomato vinaigrette being poured over the pasta salad ingredients

Pour the tomato vinaigrette over top…

Finished broccoli pasta salad in a bowl with a red spatula

Then gently toss everything together until well combined and everything is coated in dressing. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later!

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