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With simple and tasty classic flavors and full of meat, cheese, and veggies, this Homemade Italian Pasta Salad is an easy side dish recipe that you can bring to any function.

Italian Pasta Salad in bowl with tea in background.

I love, love, love a good pasta salad. Really any flavor will do, but nothing really can compare to this Italian Pasta Salad. This has been one of my favorites for the longest time.

Actually, pasta salad is a weakness of mine. I would bring it to every party, especially in the summer!

With a delicious dressing and being full of meat, cheese, and vegetables, you get a little bit of everything with this one. But it is also very versatile by adding and omitting things.

This is also a smaller-portion salad, so you can make it for your family or easily double it and bring it to any of your spring or summer gatherings!

All around, this Classic Pasta Salad is one for the books and one that, once you make it, you will want to keep on your menu rotation.

This goes great with pretty much any of your grilling items and other main dish recipes as well. It really enhances your meal, and that is a reason to make it right there.

So bring on the Italian Pasta Salad! You’re absolutely going to love this recipe.

Some of my other favorite side dishes we have on our site include: Doritos Taco Salad, Baked Asparagus Fries and Easy Deviled Eggs.

Overhead close up of Italian Pasta Salad showing all ingredients.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. With multiple flavors, you get a lot in an easy recipe.
  2. This can be doubled to serve more.
  3. This can be adapted to add or omit ingredients.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Tri-color rotini
  • Deli Genoa salami
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese block
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Black olives
  • Green olives with pimento
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Celery seed
Ingredients needed to make a Italian Pasta Salad.

HOW TO MAKE Italian Pasta Salad:

  1. Cook the rotini per the directions on the back of the box to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking, drain well. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the deli salami into half-inch cubes. Add to the bowl with the pasta along with the tomatoes, mozzarella, bell pepper, red onion, black olives, and green olives, set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, parmesan, sugar, salt, pepper, and celery seed until combined. 
  4. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss the ingredients together so everything is covered in the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour then serve.
Step by step photos on how to make a Italian Pasta Salad.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

This salad will need to chill for at least 1 hour.

This gives the salad enough time to have the flavors marry and really bring out the flavors of all the ingredients and dressing.

Absolutely, like I said this is very versatile some ideas include: diced ham, pepperoni, summer sausage, or hard salami, fresh broccoli florets, fresh zucchini, any color peppers, carrots, pepperoncini, artichoke hearts, or fresh baby spinach.

No, if you are not a fan of it or cannot find it, it can be replaced easily!

Use any smaller pasta you like. We love rotini because the spiral helps to soak up the dressing.

Other options are bowties, macaroni noodles, cavatappi, ditalini, orzo, or orecchiette.

Side view close up of Italian pasta salad in bowl.

What’s a homemade Italian dressing if you can’t adjust the ingredients?

Maybe some red peppers or green peppers would work.

You decide!

  • Feta Cheese: Crumble some feta cheese for a tangy twist.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a burst of flavor.
  • Kalamata Olives: Use these instead of regular olives for a more robust taste.
  • Fresh Basil: Chopped fresh basil will give a fresh, herbaceous note.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Add some diced red bell pepper for extra crunch and color.
  • Lemon juice: For a burst of citrus.
  • Fresh Parsley: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley for a bright, fresh flavor.
  • Mozzarella Pearls: Swap the diced mozzarella with mozzarella pearls for a different texture.
  • Cucumber: Diced cucumber adds a refreshing crunch.
  • Pepperoncini: Sliced pepperoncini for a bit of a tangy kick.

This easy pasta salad recipe is a showstopper.

Next time you have a summer party to attend, bring it along!

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use instead of regular olive oil for a richer flavor.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Substitute grape tomatoes with cherry tomatoes for a similar taste. I love fresh vegetables in salad like this.
  • Rotini Pasta: Use another short pasta like penne or bow ties if you prefer.
  • Green Olives: Swap with kalamata olives for a different flavor profile.
  • Mozzarella Balls: Replace the diced mozzarella with mozzarella balls for a unique texture. Fresh mozzarella is just plain tasty!
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar if you don’t have red wine vinegar.

This can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container where it will keep for up to 3 days.

The dressing might soak up so you can make some more to pour over and stir.

We do not recommend freezing this recipe.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Easily double this recipe to serve more people.
  • You can change out the meats, pasta, cheese, and veggies, see some of my suggestions above.
  • This needs to chill for at least 1 hour to soak up the flavors.
  • Before serving, toss the salad again, some of the dressing may settle on the bottom of the bowl.
  • This is a great base recipe to create what you’d like so feel free to switch it up!
Fork holding up some of the Italian pasta salad out of bowl.

Looking for that perfect side dish to bring to all your spring and summer gatherings?

This Italian Pasta Salad is easy, flavorful, and fast!

If you’ve tried this ITALIAN PASTA SALAD, let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 6 votes

Homemade Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
With simple and tasty classic flavors and full of meat, cheese, and veggies, this Homemade Italian Pasta Salad is an easy side dish recipe that you can bring to any function.
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

Instructions

  • Cook the rotini per the directions on the back of the box to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking, drain well. Place in a large bowl.
    12 ounces tri-color rotini
  • Cut the deli salami into half-inch cubes. Add to the bowl with the pasta along with the tomatoes, mozzarella, bell pepper, red onion, black olives, and green olives, set aside.
    4 ounces deli genoa salami, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 8 ounces mozzarella cheese block, 1 cup small-diced green bell pepper, ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion, ¼ cup canned sliced black olives, ¼ cup canned sliced green olives with pimento
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, parmesan, sugar, salt, pepper, and celery seed until combined.
    ¾ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss the ingredients together so everything is covered in the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour then serve.

Notes

  1. Easily double this recipe to serve more people.
  2. You can change out the meats, pasta, cheese, and veggies, see some of my suggestions above.
  3. This needs to chill for at least 1 hour to soak up the flavors.
  4. Before serving, toss the salad again, some of the dressing may settle on the bottom of the bowl.
  5. This is a great base recipe to create what you’d like so feel free to switch it up!

Nutrition

Calories: 696kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 1294mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1066IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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