This Zucchini Pasta Salad recipe is great for summer. One of my favorite dishes at a summer picnic is a pasta salad with Italian dressing, so it should come as no surprise that this makes my list of favorite keto recipes.
Making a warm zucchini pasta can be difficult because the noodles get mushy easily. However, a cold zucchini pasta like this one is pretty simple...there's no cooking required. It will soften more as it is chilled in the Italian dressing, making for a great keto pasta salad.
It's a refreshing salad this should be served chilled. And it's actually very simple, but takes a little time for prep work because there are so many vegetables. The real time taker is the zucchini spiralizing, but if you have a hand crank zucchini spiralizer - then this recipe is no problem! This is the type of Vegetable Spiralizer we use, or you can try out the KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment if you already have a KitchenAid mixer.
Keys to Making Zucchini Pasta Salad
Once you're past the zucchini spiralizing, the key to the rest of the vegetable ingredients is to keep them small - especially the onions. Onions are so powerful that if you don't dice them small enough, they'll overpower the rest of pasta salad.
I absolutely love cherry or grape tomatoes in my Zucchini Pasta Salad, as well as a soft cheddar cheese. In my book, you cannot make a pasta salad without them. However, sometimes a colby jack cheese can substitute for the cheddar. I quartered the grape tomatoes in this Zucchini Pasta Salad, but you can leave them whole or only slice them into halves. Sometimes leaving the tomatoes whole keeps them more fresh, so it is up to you. I was going for a small bit of each vegetable in every bite with this recipe - which is why I diced all the vegetables into small pieces, including the green bell pepper.
Green bell pepper adds the final touch of vegetable flavor. If you don't like bell pepper you can leave it out, but I really love the addition.
The last important ingredients are extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Make sure the olive oil is extra virgin as that is the least processed olive oil - so it keeps all the good fats in the product!
Chill this Zucchini Pasta Salad for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably 2 hours before serving. Make sure to mix this pasta salad thoroughly before serving to allow any of the dressing that has separated to be incorporated!
While black olives are a great healthy ketogenic diet food, we've found that they are not a popular ingredient, so we've left them as optional in this Zucchini Pasta Salad recipe. The olives are not included in the nutrition label.