This delicious ditalini pasta salad recipe is packed full of nutritious veggies and features a tangy, sweet and creamy dressing! The best part of this recipe? It can be made in just 30 minutes or less. It's the perfect barbeque side and goes great with any grilled protein.
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A flavor-packed, cold pasta salad is the best way to celebrate the spring and summer months. If you love this recipe you should also check out my mouthwatering asparagus pasta salad or this yummy whole wheat pasta salad.
Both of these are good as a dinner side or light lunch. And either one is the perfect accompaniment for a cookout or pool party when that warm weather hits!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Fresh vegetables: I use red onions, red pepper, cucumber, broccoli and celery. Feel free to mix things up and use different vegetables! Kalamata olives, black olives, green onions and sweet pickles are also yummy additions.
- Ditalini pasta: these small, tube shaped pasta noodles are so tasty! Of course, you can use a different shape of pasta, if you prefer.
- Mayonnaise: I prefer avocado oil mayo, but any will do.
- Greek yogurt: I like to use a low-fat/nonfat yogurt to reduce calories, though full fat works just fine! You can also use sour cream (light or regular).
- Dijon mustard: or standard yellow mustard.
- Honey: for a touch of sweetness!
- Spices: salt, ground black pepper and dried/crushed oregano! You can experiment with spices, if desired.
- Blue cheese crumbles: or crumbly cheese of choice. Goat and feta cheese would also work great.
How To Make Ditalini Pasta Salad
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card and measurements. We’ll start here with a quick overview!
Prepare pasta and veggies:
- Peel and dice red onion and place it in a large mixing bowl.
- Rinse your pepper, cucumber, celery and broccoli. Pat dry and chop into small pieces, add to the bowl along with onion.
- Cook ditalini pasta al dente in salted water, according to package directions. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water and add it to the bowl, along with chopped veggies.
- Give everything a good mix!
- Measure mayo, Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper and oregano into small jar, bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour dressing over salad and mix until ingredients are well coated.
- Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles on top of the ditalini pasta salad, and then gently stir or "fold" them into the mixture.
- Serve your salad solo (as a light lunch or dinner) or enjoy with any main course meal! I love eating this pasta salad with grilled huli huli chicken, steak, shrimp, hot dogs and hamburgers.
- I highly recommend chopping veggies up nice and small! It makes the salad tastier and easy to eat.
- I like a lot of vinegar so I add 4 full tablespoons (¼ cup) to my dressing, but you can add less if desired. You can also add extra honey for more sweet flavor.
- Feel free to play around and add other types of veggies.
- I love ditalini pasta in this salad, but any shape will work. Bow-tie would also be fun!
How To Store Leftovers:
Store leftover pasta salad in an airtight container, refrigerate for 3-5 days. I don't recommend freezing this salad.
If the dressing soaks into the noodles, you can mix in a little more mayo and perhaps a small drizzle of honey or vinegar. Then, mix well until it's creamy again.
If you want to make your pasta salad a night or two in advance, for an event, I recommend keeping the dressing in a separate container and mixing it in right before serving!
I do this because the pasta will absorb the dressing as the salad sits, however, you can revive it by simply tossing in a little bit more mayo and a tiny bit or additional honey and vinegar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ditalini is a type of pasta shaped like small tube. It kind of looks like short elbow macaroni without an arch or curve. Ditalini is an Italian word that translates to "little thimbles" in English. This type of pasta is often used in minestrone soup or pasta e fagioli and is very popular in Sicily, Italiy! (Source: wikipedia)
You can buy it at almost any grocery store. I get mine at Kroger!
More Cookout Sides
If you're ready to celebrate the hot summer months and need a crowd pleaser for your barbeque or cookout, look no further! These recipes all make for a great side dish.
- Egg Salad With Greek Yogurt
- Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
- Cold Asparagus Pasta Salad
- Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
- Fruit Salad With Whipped Cream
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Burrata Caprese Salad
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Ditalini Pasta Salad (Quick & Delicious)!
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- ⅓ medium red onion *diced
- 1 small red bell pepper *diced *see note below
- ⅓ large cucumber *diced
- 1 cup broccoli crowns *diced
- 1 large stalk celery *diced
- 2 cups dry ditalini pasta
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles *goat or feta cheese can be substituted
- ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise *regular mayo also works fine
- ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt *see note below
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar *see note below
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey *see note below
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
Recipe Notes:General: I highly recommend chopping veggies up nice and small! It makes the salad extra yummy and easy to eat. General: be sure to store all of your leftover veggies for use in other recipes and salads like this simple garden salad. I like to store mine in airtight containers, re-usable silicone bags or a tight layer of plastic wrap. Many veggies will last for up to 2 weeks (or longer) if stored properly! Red bell pepper: a yellow, orange or green bell pepper will also work. I like using red because it's sweetest. Greek yogurt: 2% or full fat also work. You can also sub light or regular sour cream. Vinegar: I like a lot of vinegar so I use four full tablespoons (or ¼ cup). You can cut back if preferred. Honey: add extra if you want some more sweet flavor!
- Peel and dice red onion and place it in a large bowl.⅓ medium red onion
- Rinse your bell pepper, cucumber, celery and broccoli. Pat dry and dice them up nice and small. Add to bowl along with onion.1 small red bell pepper, ⅓ large cucumber, 1 cup broccoli crowns, 1 large stalk celery
- Cook ditalini to al dente in salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water, then add it to the bowl along with veggies and mix to combine.2 cups dry ditalini pasta
- Measure dressing ingredients into small jar, bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk until well combined.¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise, ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pour dressing over salad and mix until all ingredients are well coated.
- Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles on top of the ditalini pasta salad, and gently stir them in.½ cup blue cheese crumbles
- Serve immediately or chill first. Enjoy!
How To Store Leftovers:
- Transfer leftovers to an airtight container, refrigerate for 3-5 days. I don't recommend freezing this salad.If dressing soaks into the noodles, mix in a little more mayo, vinegar or honey to make the salad creamy again!
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