Skip to Content

Picnic Pasta Salad

Pack up this perfect quick and easy recipe for Picnic Pasta Salad — an easy on-the-go meal. It’s great for brown-bagged work and school lunches too.

Picnic Pasta Salad

With August rapidly approaching, I feel like we have passed a major hurdle. We’ve made it through two big heatwaves, and I have managed to (knock on wood) completely avoid poison ivy.

By this point in the summer last year and the year before, I was in the throws of serious scratching agony with poison ivy all over my stomach. That’s about my least favorite way to spend any minute of summertime.

One of my favorite ways to pass the lazy summer days is on the beach, building sandcastles, reading and enjoying the relaxing powers of the sea air and lapping waves.

Unfortunately, we’ve also had a lot less beach time this year. I am hoping we can make the most of the time we have to get a lot of sand and swimming still though. Not to mention a few many bike rides.

But no matter what, this summer is still pretty awesome. The kids experienced their first summer camp — and loved every second of it. We’ve watched fireworks, had big family water fights, belly-flopped down the Slip and Slide and had a few picnics — including one last night at an outdoor concert.

As far as picnic dishes go, this Picnic Pasta salad, filled with cucumbers, summer squash, roasted red peppers and beans is pretty darn perfect. It’s a hearty vegetarian pasta that fills up bellies without being too heavy.

Heavy meals just don’t work in the summertime, do they?

Picnic Pasta Salad-2

It also packs up really well for outdoor eating. I used these handy compartmented containers to pack individual portions for the concert — which made it so easy. Of course, while I call this Picnic Pasta Salad, it’s also really perfect for packing up for work and school lunches too — especially since you can make it and pack it all up in advance for brown-bagging.

Life is just easier when you can grab and go with quick and easy recipes like this, isn’t it?

Picnic Pasta Salad

Picnic Pasta Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 12- oz box Tri-Color Rotini
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 summer squash, diced
  • 1 15.5- oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup robust Italian dressing


  1. Prepare the rotini according to package directions. Drain, and then rinse with cold water until cooled.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the rotini, cucumber, summer squash, garbanzo beans and roasted red pepper until well combined.
  3. Pour in the Italian dressing and toss well to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Chill until ready to serve.


Wednesday 24th of July 2013

I love pasta salad in the summer. You just reminded me I haven't had any yet this year!

Skip to Recipe