Love the combination of sweet and savory? You have to try this 3-ingredient Italian Poppy Seed Pasta Salad recipe! It’s my own creation (or at least I think it is), and it’s pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself! Check it out and make a batch for lunch, or double-batch it and make it for your spring & summer parties.
A few months ago, before finances took a turn for the worse, I was going through this major Suddenly Salad pasta phase. Both my mom and I loved heir Classic pasta salad, and we were going through a couple of boxes a week! See, while delicious, there’s very little pasta in each box. Just over half a pound. When money got super tight, I had to start reevaluating the convenience food that we we buying. I decided that I could make a larger batch of Italian pasta salad for about the same amount (or less) as the Suddenly Salad.
The result was delicious, but I was looking for a way to make it even better. That’s when I discovered the yummy combination of Italian dressing & poppy seed dressing. If you like sweet and savory, you’ll love it, too! Here’s how to make it. I promise, it’s SUPER simple.
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Sweet & Savory Italian Poppy Seed Pasta Salad Recipe
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I made a double batch because we go through it like crazy, but the directions below are for a single batch. Just double everything if you want to make enough for a party.
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- 12-oz box of tri-color Rotini (less than $1 at Walmart or Aldis)
- 16-oz bottle of plain Italian Dressing (I got mine at Aldis for about $1)
- Poppy Seed Dressing (I used Kraft this time because it was on sale, but you can use whatever brand you like)
How to Make It
- Cook the Rotini according to the package (boil water, add the pasta, boil until tender)
- Drain thoroughly and rinse with cold water until all of the pasta is cool. I use my sink’s sprayer attachment.
- Pour the pasta into a big bowl (I put it right into my Rubbermaid container)
- Mix in about 1/2 of the bottle of Italian dressing. Keep the rest reserved for those who want to add a bit more to their pasta salad.
- Stir really well. I put the lid on and shake it like crazy.
- Add about 8oz of Poppy Seed Dressing right to the pasta salad OR add about 1-2 tablespoons to individual servings of the salad (more on this below)
When I make mine, I add the poppy seed dressing to individual bowls because my mom doesn’t really like it. If you stop before the poppy seed, you have a pretty good Suddenly Salad copycat recipe!
One note about doubling the recipe: you don’t really have to double the Italian dressing. When I make two boxes of rotini, I end up using about 2/3 of the bottle.
If you don’t need it to be pretty, you can stretch your budget a smidge further by using plain rotini. You get a pound of it for the same price as 12 ounces of tri-color rotini. I don’t understand why they don’t sell a pound of tri-color. It seems to only come in 12oz. Weird.
Like I said, this recipe makes for a quick and easy lunch, and you’ll have enough of it to last you a few days. A double batch also makes for a great summer barbecue side dish!
Italian Poppy Seed Pasta Salad
- 12 oz Box of Tri-Color Rotini
- 16 oz Italian Salad Dressing
- 12 oz Poppy Seed Dressing
- Cook the Rotini according to the package (boil water, add the pasta, boil until tender)Drain thoroughly and rinse with cold water until all of the pasta is cool. I use my sink’s sprayer attachment.Pour the pasta into a big bowl Mix in about 1/2 of the bottle of Italian dressing. Keep the rest reserved for those who want to add a bit more to their pasta salad.Stir really well. I put the lid on and shake it like crazy.Add about 8oz of Poppy Seed Dressing right to the pasta salad OR add about 1-2 tablespoons to individual servings of the salad