This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ecover. All opinions are 100% mine.
This recipe for spaghetti salad is a unique pasta salad full of crunchy vegetables and parmesan cheese, all tossed together in a homemade zesty Italian dressing. The perfect dish to feed a crowd when you’re entertaining!
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We have been doing a lot of entertaining lately, nothing fancy, more like simple get-togethers with friends and family. To me, the casual dinner parties are the best kind – everyone always has a great time and I don’t feel pressured to put out an elaborate spread, I just go for easy yet delicious comfort food. This spaghetti salad is a hit at all of our gatherings – it’s fresh, colorful and feeds a crowd!
This spaghetti salad is chock full of veggies, olives and cheese. It’s perfect for entertaining because you can make it earlier in the day, it just gets better as the pasta soaks up all the dressing. Speaking of dressing, I went for homemade Italian dressing here – it’s actually really easy to make, it just takes about 5 minutes!
There’s one thing that’s not so great about entertaining, and that’s the clean up at the end. I’ve developed a few tips and tricks to make clean up a breeze, which means you don’t have to dread coming into the kitchen at the end of the night. My best tip is to start the day off with an empty dishwasher. I always run the dishwasher a few hours before my guests arrive, which means that it’s free to load up with dirty dishes after the party – no more standing at the sink for hours doing dishes! I always use ecover Dishwasher Tabs to make sure my dishes come out clean and fresh.
I love that ecover products are non-toxic; they’re made with naturally derived ingredients and won’t harm people, pets or the planet. With three little ones underfoot in the kitchen, that’s very important to me. All of the ecover products are health-focused and thoughtfully made, which is something you don’t often see these days. The Zero Dishwasher Tabs power away stubborn stuck-on food. Just give your dishes a quick rinse after your party, fill up the dishwasher and you’re ready to go!
These dishwasher tabs are made with plant and mineral based ingredients and are biodegradable and phosphate free. After I poured my homemade Italian dressing onto the spaghetti salad, I put the jar in the dishwasher and it came out sparkling clean – who has time to sit and scrub every bit of grease away by hand? Not me! Thanks to ecover, I can invite friends over any time and not worry about a huge mess to contend with later. Which means that there’s more time to hang out and eat spaghetti salad!
This spaghetti salad is a must-try; every time I make it someone asks me for the recipe. It’s the perfect side dish to chicken or fish, but hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entree. While you could use store bought Italian dressing in a pinch, the homemade dressing really makes it special and adds a lot of flavor.
- For the salad:
- 1 pound of spaghetti noodles broken in half
- 1 cup of quartered and sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 2/3 cup of sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/4 cup homemade or store bought Italian dressing dressing recipe follows
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 11/2 tablespoons finely minced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced dried onion or 1 teaspoon fresh minced onion
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- For the dressing:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the salad:
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water.
- Place the spaghetti in a large bowl and add the cucumber, red and green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion and olives. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and parsley over the top right before serving. Salad can be made up to 4 hours in advance.