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Vermicelli Pasta Salad

Raise your hand if those boxed pasta dishes are BORING. Looking for something different? This vermicelli pasta salad offers a tangy crowd-pleasing something different that disappears no matter who you feed it to. (Well, unless it’s my brother-in-law.)

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Looking for a crowd-pleasing pasta salad recipe that's better than any boring box? This vermicelli (that's just the name of the noodle) version is tangy and tasty!

This vermicelli pasta salad has never gone anywhere that it doesn’t get eaten. We serve it at weddings. At birthday parties. Just because.

It’s so good that I think the only reason I’m allowed to come to some events is because of it.

As you read on, you’ll soon see that the recipe sounds, well, gross. But I promise you that if you’ll just trust me and let it have time to build its flavors like it should, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Unless you’re my brother in law Daniel who thinks it’s final resting place should be the toilet.

You can’t please everyone. And that’s more for the rest of us so we just ignore him.

I give full credit for this recipe to my Aunt Carolyn–when my cousins found out I was putting this recipe up on the blog there was nearly a family mutany. One yelled something about copyright infringement…it got sort of foggy after that.

The uprising comes because this is truly my aunt’s recipe–well, sorta. She stole it from some woman in the 80’s and since that was soooooo long ago, we just count it as ours now.

Looking for a crowd-pleasing pasta salad recipe that's better than any boring box? This vermicelli (that's just the name of the noodle) version is tangy and tasty!

Take note of the ingredients and the process and make this recipe–you’ll need to do it a few days in advance for the best flavor. I use specific brands of certain ingredients for the right flavor and I recommend you stick to what’s listed here. Don’t be a rebel.

Looking for a crowd-pleasing pasta salad recipe that's better than any boring box? This vermicelli (that's just the name of the noodle) version is tangy and tasty!

Vermicelli Pasta Salad

A bright, tangy pasta salad that pleases every crowd who eats it. The ingredients sound odd, but work together perfectly. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 12 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 1- pound box vermicelli pasta
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil no olive oil; I use avocado
  • 1/3 cup REAL lemon juice no bottles!
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 small bottle KRAFT Zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup HELMANN'S mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup jarred pimentos
  • 1/2 cup black olives sliced
  • 1/2 cup green olives sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 sweet yellow onion diced small
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta until just done, but not overcooked. (About 8 minutes or so--just taste it to make sure) Drain.
  • While the pasta is hot, transfer it to a large bowl and add the lemon juice, salt, and oil and toss to coat.
  • Allow to cool slightly then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, add the remaining ingredients and toss well.
  • Place it back in the fridge for at least 12 hours (24 if you can) for the flavors to blend. Serve cold.


This dish needs to sit 24 hours in the fridge before serving so plan ahead. 


Calories: 537kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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  1. 5 stars
    I use a smaller box (5 oz.) and cook according to box directions.
    Chill till cold.
    Mix salad ingredients and return to chill further and absorb flavors.
    Note this makes enough for my husband and I for a light lunch or summer time supper!

  2. Why do say don’t use olive oil? I’ve been reading lots of articles lately that state vegetable and canola oils are not healthy and we should avoid them. Olive oil, however is one of the good ones. Maybe you just meant a neutral flavorless oil. Thank you for your tasty recipes!!

    1. Hey Kristin–yes this post is old and not updated so I just bounced in and gave it a tweak. I absolutely don’t use any vegetable or canola oils anymore and haven’t in years. You’re right about how unhealthy they are! I still don’t recommend olive here but it has zero to do with health and everything to do with flavor. It’s too strong for this particular recipe. My go to now is avocado oil but you’re right–a flavorless oil is the goal. With a blog that’s 10 years old not all recipes reflect my current health standards. 😉 Thanks for that catch. –Rachel

  3. My aunt made a version of this. I remember it having finely chopped pickles and baby shrimp. I’ve been searching for the recipe!

  4. My aunt made something similar for years that our family loves but instead of zesty Italian dressing, she used a tablespoonful of lawrys seasoned salt and a tablespoonful of Accent flavor enhancer. Tastes so great after 24 hours!

    1. This one had Accent in the original recipe but Accent is nothing more than MSG and we sure don’t eat that. I swapped us over to salt for this version several years ago–but you’re right Donna, it tastes better than anyone can imagine after that magical 24 hours in the fridge. –Rachel

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.