This Italian Spaghetti Salad with Spinach is packed with the Italian flavors we love. For this dish, al dente spaghetti noodles are tossed in a prepared Italian dressing with cubes of salami, mozzarella cheese, ripe olives, peppers, scallions and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Toss in fresh baby spinach and it’s practically a meal in itself. This spaghetti salad is spectacular served warm, at room temperature or chilled making it ideal for entertaining or light meals.
My kids love pasta in any form but, vegetables can sometimes be a bit harder for them to embrace. Salads like this one help incorporate some of the things they like with the ingredients they need to eat so, it’s a win-win for me. I use cubes of hard salami in this dish but, ham or pepperoni would be tasty, too. I also recommend adding the spinach while the spaghetti is still warm allowing the spinach to wilt just a tad and become fully coated with the Italian dressing. Adding leafy greens to pasta salads like this spaghetti salad and my fusion BLT macaroni salad give me the chance to add even more nutrients to the menu which is always a plus.
Using a quality prepared Italian salad dressing keeps the prep easy and it also gives the cook the opportunity to adjust the flavors at will. When doing so, keep in mind you may need to adjust the seasonings according to the dressing used. Using an oil based dressing allows the spaghetti salad to hold up much better at picnics and outdoor events than a mayonnaise based pasta salad. It’s a fun salad to make and serve and doubles as a light meal on a hot summer day.
Italian Spaghetti Salad with Spinach
- 1 1-lb package spaghetti, cooked to al dente
- 1 16-oz bottle quality Italian salad dressing
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leafs loosely packed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 8 oz hard salami cubed
- 1 4-oz can sliced ripe olives
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp dry Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese cubed
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water per the package instructions until al dente. Drain well then let cool slightly in colander until steam has dissipated.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the warm pasta with the salad dressing. Mix until fully coated.
- Add the remaining ingredients reserving the cubed cheese. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Set into the fridge to cool for 30-60 minutes. Mix in the cheese.
- Cover and chill thoroughly for several hours or overnight.