Parmesan Asiago Pasta Salad Recipe with Olives

5 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

I’m always on the hunt for a go-to recipe I can take to potlucks and events that works for every season. Last weekend, I made the best Asiago pasta salad for my husband’s high school reunion.

I thought it was fabulous and happily chowed down. 🙂 I made a simple parmesan asiago spread, added some veggies from my garden, and the pasta. Store-bought pasta salad is kind of gross, and it’s so easy to make your own!

asiago pasta salad with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers

Asiago Pasta Salad Ingredients

I really love olives with pasta and veggies. How the heck do you describe the taste of an olive, anyway? Delicious. That’s how I describe them. If you like olives, you’ll really enjoy this salad. It’s easy to whip together and perfect all year round.

Here’s my recipe for taking a classic pasta salad and making it better:

  • Multi-colored pasta: You can use any pasta you prefer. I like the multi-colored rotini but any shape will work.
  • Red onion: Gives a bit of crunch to the salad and a savory flavor.
  • Sweet peppers: I used orange bell peppers from my garden, but use whatever you have. Make sure they are fresh, crisp, and sweet.
  • Roma tomatoes: Choose tomatoes that are firm and flavorful. I used roma because they hold up well for a few days in the fridge and that is what I had ready in my garden. Cherry tomatoes would also work.
  • Chopped green olives: I don’t know how to describe the flavor of green olives. Use your favorite brand.
  • Parmesan Asiago Spread (recipe and directions below): This is easy to whip up and gives the flavor to the pasta salad. Don’t skimp on it!
  • Olive oil: Adds healthy heart benefits and flavor to the salad.
  • Salt & pepper to taste: I love a good bit of black pepper in this salad, but add enough to make your own taste buds happy.

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
parmesan asiago spread on a white plate with crusty bread
Parmesan asiago spread makes a great dip, too!

How to Make Homemade Asiago Spread

The first step is to make the Parmesan Asiago spread. It’s best if made 24 hours in advance so the flavors can meld together, but don’t worry if you don’t have that much time. You’ll need:

  • Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), broken into small 1/2-inch chunks
  • Asiago cheese, broken into small 1/2-inch chunks
  • Minced garlic
  • Black pepper, freshly-ground
  • Dried basil
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes (omit for less spice)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Place Parmesan and Asiago cheese chunks into a food processor; process about 10 seconds or until cheese breaks into small granules.

Add garlic, pepper, basil, green onions, pepper flakes, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor; process until mixed in.

Transfer the topping to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Yields a scant 1 cup. If you have any leftover, serve it with crusty bread, crackers or vegetables

Get new posts sent to your inbox!
Don’t miss out! Subscribe and get all the new posts first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
asiago cheese on wooden counter with red knife

How to Make Parmesan Asiago Salad

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta. Make sure it is completely cooled before adding the cheese spread or vegetables.

Once the pasta is cooled, add the parmesan asiago spread and olive oil. Stir until the pasta is well coated.

Slowly mix in your vegetables and chopped olives. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I prefer to make this ahead of time and let the flavors blend together for at least 2 hours before serving. If you don’t have that much time, though, it’s okay. It will still be delicious!

Recipe Tip

Add a little bit of the juice from the olives, too. It gives the pasta salad another delicious dimension – probably about 1/3 cup, but I just dump. 🙂

tuna, asiago pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Variations on Parmesan Asiago Salad

The reason this is my new go to salad side dish is because of its versatility. There are several ways to switch up the pasta salad recipe without losing any of the flavor.

Add a bit of protein such as tuna or grilled chicken to make it into a hearty meal.

Switch the pasta shapes or experiment with veggie, chickpea, or buckwheat pasta.

Another way to diversify asiago pasta salad is to swap the vegetables. The salad gets most of its flavor from the spread. Use the vegetables you have on hand or that are in season. Shredded carrots, chopped broccoli or sliced zucchini would all work.

kid holding green olives on their fingers next to a bowl of asiago pasta salad

How to Store Pasta Salad

This salad gets better with time. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze pasta salad for later?

Freezing pasta salad is not recommended. The texture of the pasta and vegetables change significantly when frozen and thawed. You CAN freeze the Asiago spread in this recipe and use it for later.

Can I use different types of pasta for Asiago pasta salad?

Yes, you can use any pasta variety you prefer, such as penne, fusilli, or bowtie, depending on your taste.

What to Serve with Asiago Pasta Salad?

grilled chicken, french fries, and garden salad on white plate

Another reason I love this easy pasta salad recipe is because it goes with other dishes so well. Grilled chicken or meatloaf and a green salad are a perfect accompaniment.

Asiago salad also goes great with a BBQ brisket, burgers, hotdogs and ribs. Amp up the Mediterranean flavors with a Delicious Greek Steak Shish Kabob Sandwich.

More Side Dishes You’ll Love

Yield: 12 servings

Asiago Pasta Salad

asiago pasta salad with tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers

Delicious asiago pasta salad with fresh vegetable from your garden and tangy olives. Makes a great side dish or main salad.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Spread (yields 1 cup):

  • 2 ounces Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), broken into small 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 ounces Asiago cheese, broken into small 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 garlic clove minced, about 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly-ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit for less spice)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons EVOO

For the Salad:

  • 2 boxes multi-colored pasta
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 2 diced sweet peppers {I used orange peppers from my garden}
  • 3 diced roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/3 cup Penna Parmesan Asiago Spread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Make the Asiago Spread first. It develops more flavor if you make it a day before you need it.

  • Place Parmesan and Asiago cheese chunks into a food processor; process about 10 seconds or until cheese breaks into small granules.
  • Add garlic, pepper, basil, green onions, pepper flakes, and olive oil to the bowl of a food processor; process until mixed in.
  • Transfer the topping to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Yields a scant 1 cup.

To make the pasta salad with Asiago spread:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. Add Parmesan Asiago Spread and olive oil. Stir well.
  3. Add veggies.
  4. Add olives.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving.
  7. Enjoy

Notes

Add a little bit of the juice from the olives to the salad. It gives the pasta salad another delicious dimension. I just dump, but it's probably about 1/3 cup.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram tagging @simplifylivelove! I love to see your photos!

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Comments

  1. What a lucky gal to get a jar of those great tasty olives! You certainly made good use of them. This is a delicious pasta recipe! And yes, I always add a little olive juice to pasta. It’s so good!