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.
Our family eats this pasta salad regularly during the warmer months and it's best served alongside some grilled chicken thighs, a ribeye steak, or grilled pork chops.
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!
- Greek pasta salad - Kalamata olives, feta, fresh dill, and veggies tossed with penne pasta in a Greek-style 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.
Love your recipes - nothing complicated but always delicious! Whenever I need something I turn to your postings.
Hope you're still working on a cookbook.
Thank you, Jeanette! I really appreciate your comment and am happy you're enjoying the recipes! Yes, the cookbook is on my list of to-dos for 2023.
I haven’t made it yet but I intend to make it soon. I love the way it sounds, which is delicious! Maybe some toasted pine nuts would be a nice addition too. Thank you!
Hi Sandra, toasted pine nuts would be great! Let us know how it works out for you!
I was intrigued by the recipe and made it today - I did add toasted pine nuts for some added texture and about 1 tsp honey to the dressing to balance the tartness of the vinegar. It is delicious and i know i will be making it again. Thanks for an easy summer new staple!
Hi Nancy, thank you for the comment and so happy you liked the recipe.
New favorite! Can't go wrong with Gorgonzola.
Thank you, Dawn! So happy you liked it!
Excellent! Made it today, super easy and delicious!
Hi Rich, so happy you liked this one. Thanks for the comment!
I made this spinach gorgonzola salad and substituted feta cheese instead of Gorgonzola it was terrific thanks so much for all your recipes. Love your videos.
Hi Corinne, so happy you liked this recipe! Thank you!
Wow- so simple to make, yet so flavorful! Really hits the spot- perfect for a summer picnic. Thank you Jim for another great recipie!
Hi Paul, thank you for the comment and I'm so happy you enjoyed this recipe!
Jim, I brought this to work today and it was a huge hit! People were telling me how it was their favorite pasta salad ever & this is exactly the type of food they enjoy eating. So simple, but the combination of the dressing with the other ingredients is bursting with flavor. Thank you for always providing awesome and delicious recipes. This not only has become a favorite of mine, but the requests are flying in for more.....look what you did!!! : )
Hi Delia, thank you so much for the comment and it's great to hear that you and others are enjoying this one! It's definitely one of our favorites too!
This sounds really good! Can’t wait to try it! And I think I will try some walnut pieces in it, too! I’m a new fan of yours! Been watching for several months now, and really like your Italian recipes! Thanks!
Hey George. It's great to hear that you're enjoying the videos and recipes. The walnuts will give it a nice textural element. Enjoy!
I can’t have red wine vinegar. Can you suggest a substitute?
Hi Karen, you can use white vinegar if you can't have the red.
Excellent recipe Jim! Although I’m not surprised, I’ve made quit a few of your recipes and have enjoyed all. Thank you
Hi Beverly, thanks for the comment and am so happy you enjoyed this one!
Delish! I added bacon and a little bacon grease to vinaigrette.
Hi Katy, I'm so happy you liked this and really apprecate the comment!
Love, love ALL your recipes. Please don’t stop🥰
Hi Joann, thanks for the comment and so happy you're enjoying the recipes!
I love this recipe! Then again, there are so many recipes of yours that I love. Get busy with the book already!
Hi Chris, thanks for the comment and so happy you're enjoying the recipes!
Victoria ( from California )
Great salads! I have a question about recommendations for immersion blenders? Could you recommend any? I enjoy all your recipes and videos . Thank you
Hi Victoria, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thee immersion blender I like is a KitchenAid and is in the shop that's linked here on the website - under Shop, then Jim's Kitchen Tools.