California Spaghetti Salad

A delicious spaghetti salad filled with fresh summer veggies and olives.  Topped with a zesty italian dressing and parmesan cheese, this will be the hit of your next gathering!  


It has been nothing but rain here in Utah for the past month!  It has been crazy.  I am grateful because we needed it but it is starting to get to be a little much.  I look forward to the summer time with the hot sun out, and barbecues!   The rain has put a damper on our summer barbecues.   But luckily it came out on Memorial Day.  Just so we could enjoy the day and have a family get together.

I made this spaghetti salad and it was amazing!


My favorite part of the spaghetti salad was all of the amazing veggies packed inside.  It added so much texture, flavor and color to the pasta.  And I especially loved the olives thought out.  I could eat olives on my fingers for days. 🙂

I love using spaghetti in a pasta salad.  It is amazing with all of the fresh veggies popping up throughout.

The zesty italian dressing on top is soooooooo good.  It is perfect finishing touch to this pasta salad.  It is easy to make and so incredible!  I know that this California Spaghetti Salad will be a huge hit wherever it goes!


4.4 from 34 reviews
California Spaghetti Salad
Prep time
Total time
A delicious spaghetti salad filled with fresh summer veggies and olives. Topped with a zesty italian dressing and parmesan cheese, this will be the hit of your next gathering!
Serves: 10-12
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) Italian salad dressing
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, red onion and olives in a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing: Whisk together italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, paprika, celery seed, and garlic powder. Pour over salad and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
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Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:

Utopia Kitchen Cooking Knives
Microplane Grater
The Recipe Critic Whisk

 Recipe adapted from Taste of Home



Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. I made it using small shell pasta, adding fresh parsley, mint and basil from the garden and some cooked shrimp. I added Salad Supreme, some salt and pepper. Used just a little of the Italian Dressing. Sprinkled grated parmesan over each serving. To die for !!!!

  2. This salad has always been a hit. Love this salad. But notice some put crab meat or lil salad shrimp in theres. Going to go that way next time I make it.

  3. This salad looks good. Thing is I don’t like raw onion and really don’t care for bell peppers. Do you really have to use them?

    1. Use either red or yellow bell peppers, they are sweeter and taste much better. I don’t like the green bells either. As far as onion, use onion powder instead and just a little so that the flavor has a chance to marry in the salad.

    1. Sometimes you can leave it out.
      This is what I found when I searching:
      Asiago is another of Italy’s great dry cheeses. It is a bit sweeter than Parmesan and most brands aren’t quite as hard in texture. It is a widely used substitute for Parmesan in pasta dishes and on pizzas, providing good flavor.
      Hope that helps!! Xo


  5. I make mine with your ingredients plus hard boiled eggs and I use Kraft Peppercorn dressing and sour cream (half and half) with a little sugar and last I use a little celery seed.

  6. Made this tonight for my family with my vegetarian daughter in mind. We all love it and made it with spiral noodle instead of spaghetti.

  7. It is excellent just the way it is Alyssa !!! It was a perfect summer potluck dish that you didn’t have to worry about refrigeration. Great for work lunches too:)

    I cook a lot and when searching for a new recipe I look for ingredients I know my family and friends will eat and enjoy.

    I have a pet peeve and that is people that say they tried a particular recipe but yet they made so many changes to the ingredients that it is no longer the dish they are critiquing. California SPAGHETTI salad has spaghetti in it. It has Italian dressing not a dairy product added. Why make it at all if you changed it so much? Then look for a recipe that has the ingredients you have on hand or want to use.

    1. I usually use it raw but you are welcome to cook it before hand if you prefer it cooked in the salad. Either way is a great crunch and flavor with the soft noodles and other ingredients.

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