Enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired dish with this quick and easy summer pasta salad recipe that costs under $1 a serving. Al dente fusilli is mixed with summer squash, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives.

Once you take your first bite, you’ll already be dreaming of the next thanks to the zesty dressing made up of red wine vinegar, heart-healthy olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning.

If you’re someone that appreciates leftovers, know that this recipe gets better the longer it sits. It also packs perfectly for a healthy lunch or dinner during busy weeks.

Easily customizable, you can add your favorite vegetables, use the leftovers for meal prep, or even throw in something you've grown from your home garden to the salad. You won’t regret making a double batch!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Cost: $5.341 recipe | $0.90 serving

Summer Pasta Salad

Serves 6


For the Salad

  • 500 grams of uncooked fusilli ($1.89)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced ($0.45)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced ($0.65)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes ($0.25)
  • ½ cup olives, sliced ($0.40)
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced ($0.25)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped ($0.10)

For the Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil ($0.88)
  • ½ cup red vinegar ($0.30)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar ($0.01)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning ($0.02)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ($0.01)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper ($0.01)

Optional add-ins

  • Cashew parmesan
  • Dairy-free feta
  • Parsley, basil, chives


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, then salt it well. Cook fusilli according to package directions, or until al dente (about 10 minutes). Strain and rinse the pasta in cold water, then set aside.
  2. Toss zucchini cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until just tender.
  3. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake well to combine. Chill in your fridge while you prep the rest of the vegetables.
  4. Add all vegetable mix-ins to a large bowl or container with the pasta. Pour in half of the dressing and stir to combine. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, then chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.
  5. Add dairy-free parmesan or feta to garnish. Enjoy!

Nutrition: 1 of 6 servings
Calories 350| Total Fat 21.4 g | Saturated Fat 2.7 g | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 164 mg | Total Carbohydrates 33.5 g | Dietary Fiber 3 g | Total Sugars 4.2 g | Protein 6 g | Calcium 36.9 mg | Iron 2.3 mg | Potassium 281.5 mg |

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