How to Make a Fresh and Easy Cucumber and Tomato Pasta Salad

This cucumber tomato pasta salad has all the best summer flavors. You’ll love the simple homemade dressing, chunks of mozzarella, and garden-fresh veggies.

It’s one of our favorite recipes to use up cucumbers when we’re tired of all the usual suspects.

Cucumber Tomato Pasta Salad

Make this easy pasta salad recipe loaded with summer veggies ahead of time for a cold, make-ahead side dish for a party or just for dinnertime.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size 12 servings

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 large diced cucumber
  • 5 medium diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces diced mozzarella
  • half box cooked penne pasta 8 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Make the dressing. Combine the olive oil, garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder, and Dijon dressing in a small bowl. Add the vinegar while whisking until well-combined.
    pyrex cup with dressing
  • Add the other ingredients and chill. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the dressing and add the cucumber, tomato, and mozzarella. Cover the pasta salad and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
    bowl of pasta with veggies and cheese on top
  • Serve. Remove from the fridge and add the fresh parsley. Stir again to combine.
    bowl of cold pasta salad with veggies

Notes

If you make this ahead of time, you might need to add a tiny bit of oil again before serving if it seems dry. 
Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

It’s easy to make. The dressing is the hardest part, and that takes all of five minutes. It requires simple ingredients and you can make it ahead of time! Chilling in the fridge for a few hours also allows the flavors to come together.

Tips For Pasta Salad

  • The pasta salad may seem to have too much dressing at first, but as it chills in the fridge, it will absorb some of it.
  • You can use any type of pasta you like for this recipe.
  • Add the parsley just before serving.
  • Mixing in kalamata olives or black olives can give the salad a Mediterranean flair.
  • If you prefer a creamy pasta salad, you can substitute half of the olive oil with vegetable oil and add a spoonful of Miracle Whip to the dressing ingredients.

Here are a few important ingredients and tools you’ll need to make this delicious pasta salad:

ingredients on counter

Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard adds a tangy kick to the dressing that you can’t get from regular mustard.

White wine vinegar. This vinegar brings a subtle sweetness and light acidity to the dressing, perfect for balancing the flavors.

Mozzarella cheese. Fresh mozzarella adds a creamy texture that complements the crunchy veggies.

Large mixing bowl. A large mixing bowl ensures you have enough room to mix everything together without spilling.

Substitutions and Variations

Greek Pasta Salad

  • Substitute mozzarella with feta cheese.
  • Add kalamata olives, red onion, and fresh tomatoes.
  • Use rotini pasta instead of penne.
  • Season with extra virgin olive oil and fresh dill.

Italian Pasta Salad

  • Include green onions, red onion, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Add some fresh basil leaves for an aromatic touch.
  • Swap the penne for whole wheat pasta or orzo pasta.

Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

  • Mix macaroni salad ingredients with diced juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers.
  • Use a creamy dressing with mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

  • Simplify the recipe to focus on fresh cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and fresh lemon juice.
  • Season with salt, black pepper, and fresh herbs like parsley or dill.

resh parsley. Stir again to combine.

Serving Suggestions

For a summer party, serve this with patriotic poke cake, buttermilk fried chicken, and blackberry lemonade.

FAQs

Can I add other vegetables to this salad?

Yes, you can add any type of chopped vegetable you like to this pasta salad. Some good additions include bell peppers, sweet corn, and roasted or sautéed mushrooms.

Can I add other types of cheese to this salad?

Absolutely! Adding feta cheese can give your salad a tangy twist. It pairs perfectly with the fresh vegetables.

What should I do if I don’t have white wine vinegar?

You can substitute white wine vinegar with any type of mild or acidic vinegar, such as rice vinegar or red wine vinegar.

What if I don’t have fresh parsley?

You can substitute with other fresh herbs like fresh dill or fresh mint for a different flavor profile.

What pasta shapes work best for this salad?

While penne is recommended, rotini pasta and chickpea pasta also work well, providing different textures and flavors.

Storing Leftovers

  • The pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Make sure to toss the salad well before serving to distribute the dressing evenly.
  • Serve the salad at room temperature for the best flavor, or keep it cold for a refreshing summer dish.
  • Use mason jars to store individual servings, making it easy to grab and go for a light lunch.

This cucumber and tomato pasta salad is a great way to enjoy fresh, summer produce. It’s simple to make, versatile, and perfect for any meal. With its delicious blend of flavors and textures, this salad is sure to become a favorite. Make it ahead of time, keep it in the fridge, and enjoy a refreshing, flavorful dish anytime. Try this recipe for your next gathering or as a quick side dish for dinner, and enjoy the fresh, vibrant taste of summer in every bite.

penne pasta salad wit veggies
How to Make a Fresh and Easy  Cucumber and Tomato Pasta Salad
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been making this since the Summer of 23. My family loves it and I add extras like black olives and cubed salami. Everyone fights for the last bit of leftover. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Easy to make, and such a light, refreshing taste! I think this is going to be my new go-to recipe for summer salad. Yum!!!