Spinach pasta salad with gorgonzola is a quick and easy pasta salad that is perfect for summer lunches, barbecues, and even easy weeknight dinners. Fresh baby spinach is tossed with crumbled gorgonzola, bow tie pasta, and quite possibly the best dressing you've ever tasted. This salad can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature alongside your favorite grilled meat or burgers.
This spinach and gorgonzola pasta salad is the one I'm always asked to make for summer gatherings.
And I have no problem doing so because it's so easy and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
The fresh baby spinach wilts ever so slightly when tossed with the warm pasta and the gorgonzola adds the perfect bite.
But the thing I love most about gorgonzola and spinach pasta salad is the garlicky vinaigrette that really goes well on any salad you can think of.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water) to boil and cook your pasta until al dente, then drain and rinse under cold water until just warm. Drain the pasta well and set it aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, minced parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and garlic cloves. Whisk until the mixture is emulsified. Alternatively, use a food processor, blender, or immersion blender as shown in the below picture.
- Taste test the dressing and season with salt and pepper if required.
- In a large bowl, mix together the bow tie pasta, spinach, gorgonzola, and half the dressing.
- Toss together again right before serving. If you need more dressing, add a little at a time to get the consistency just right. Any leftover dressing can be served on the side or saved in the fridge for a green salad during the week. Note: The spinach gorgonzola pasta salad's flavor will be better if chilled for at least an hour prior to serving.
Top tips for outstanding spinach pasta salad
- The spinach. If at all possible, use fresh baby spinach for this recipe, though you can use regular (adult) spinach. I wouldn't recommend using frozen spinach.
- The pasta. I love bow ties (aka farfalle) for spinach gorgonzola pasta salad, but you can use a different shape, such as penne, medium shells, or rotini if you can't find bow ties. The key with the pasta for "pasta salads" - not for cooked pasta! - is to make sure that you rinse the pasta with cold water once it's done cooking to ensure that it stops cooking. Rinse it just until it's warm (this will slightly wilt the spinach), then toss it together with the rest of the ingredients.
- The gorgonzola. I used pre-crumbled gorgonzola for this recipe because it's easier than buying a block and crumbling it. If you do buy a block of gorgonzola, I recommend making sure it's very cold before trying to crumble it. If gorgonzola is too soft it becomes difficult to crumble.
- Let it chill. While this pasta salad is delicious when eaten right away, it's even better once it's had about an hour or more in the fridge. It's great for leftovers!
- Optional add-ins. One thing I love about this pasta salad, and pasta salads in general, is that they really are a jumping-off point. Feel free to add additional ingredients to this salad, like grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, or anything else you can think of!
More great salad recipes
Here are some of our favorite salad recipes that are perfect for weeknights, barbecues, or anytime you need to feed a crowd.
- Potato green bean salad - The old-school Italian-American salad with the best vinaigrette!
- Grilled fennel salad - With oil-cured olives, charred lemon, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Tomato mozzarella salad - With an easy vinaigrette and red onion.
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- 1 pound bow tie pasta or any short pasta you like
- 12 ounces baby spinach
- ½ pound gorgonzola crumbled
For the Italian dressing
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 2 cloves garlic paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine together all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until emulsified. Alternatively, use a food processor or blender. Taste test the dressing and season with salt and pepper if required.
For the salad
- Cook pasta in salted water (2 tablespoons salt per gallon of water) until al dente, then drain and rinse under cold water until just warm. Drain well.
- In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, spinach, gorgonzola, and half of the dressing. If you need more dressing, add a bit at a time to get the consistency just right. The remaining dressing can be served on the side or saved in the fridge for a green salad during the week.
- The spinach gorgonzola pasta salad's flavor will taste much better if chilled for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy!
- Chilling for a few hours before serving really amps up the flavor.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days.