Lunch

Italian Pasta Salad

This EASY Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, red onion and olives all tossed together with a zesty homemade Italian dressing!

This EASY Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, red onion and olives all tossed together with a zesty homemade Italian dressing!
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This Italian pasta salad recipe is hands down one of our absolute favorite pasta salads.  So many flavorful ingredients like spicy salami, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pepperoncini, tossed with warm pasta and the most delicious homemade Italian dressing!  This easy Italian pasta salad is perfect for picnics or cookouts and makes a great side dish when grilling chicken, fish or steak.  The best part is this pasta salad can be enjoyed warm or cold and has SO much flavor in every single bite!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Light, healthy and SO flavorful!
  • Easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes.
  • The Italian dressing also tastes great on top of salads or a marinade for chicken, shrimp or steak.
  • Perfect addition to summer parties, cookouts or a simple side dish at home!
This EASY Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, red onion and olives all tossed together with a zesty homemade Italian dressing!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • pasta – for this recipe I used rotini noodles, but feel free to use any type of curly/corkscrew pasta such as cavatappi or fusilli.  The nooks in the pasta really grab hold of the dressing nicely! You could also use farfalle or penne pasta.
  • veggies – for this pasta salad I used sliced cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), crisp cucumbers and red onion, but you could also add in other vegetables such as chopped bell peppers, broccoli or asparagus.
  • mozzarella cheese – I used mozzarella cheese pearls (also known as Bocconcini), but you could also use large balls or slices of mozzarella and simple cut them into pieces.
  • salami – spicy salami really gives this pasta salad so much flavor, but feel free to use whatever salami or sausage you like best.
  • pepperoncini – this is completely optional, but adds a kick of flavor and spice to this Italian pasta salad! You could also add in some red pepper flakes for even more spice.
  • olives – I used sliced kalamata olives, but feel free to use black olives (or even green olives), if you prefer.
  • fresh herbs – a combination of chopped fresh parsley and fresh basil.
  • dressing – this easy homemade Italian dressing is what makes this pasta salad so dang delicious! Made with a combination of olive oil, vinegar, parmesan cheese, garlic and spices, it adds so much flavor to every bite!

How to Make Italian Pasta Salad

  1. Chop veggies and herbs.  This might be the most time-consuming part, but hey play that podcast or blast some music – I promise it’s worth all the chopping!  Slice the tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion, roughly chop the salami, kalamata olives and fresh herbs.
  2. Boil the pasta.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Make the dressing.  While the pasta is cooking, you can whip up the Italian dressing!  Simply whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, parmesan cheese, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper in a jar or bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Toss the salad.  In a large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, chopped veggies, salami, mozzarella balls, pepperoncini, olives and fresh herbs. Drizzle everything with the Italian dressing, giving it a good toss, and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
  5. Marinate.  You can either serve this immediately or marinate for a few hours before serving. To marinate, cover the pasta salad and place it in the fridge allowing the flavors to marinate for a few hours or even overnight. I even like to reserve a little extra dressing to toss right before serving since the pasta really soaks up a lot of it.
This EASY Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, red onion and olives all tossed together with a zesty homemade Italian dressing!

Prepping and Storage

To Store: The great thing about this pasta salad is that it tastes great warm OR cold and will last up to 3 to 4 days in your fridge.  Just make sure to store any leftovers in a sealed, airtight container.

To Prep: The Italian vinaigrette can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in the fridge prior to making the pasta salad. Just make sure to let the dressing sit at room temp at least 15 minutes before tossing with with the pasta salad and give the dressing a good shake to mix it all up.

More Pasta Salad Recipes

Hope you all enjoy this Easy Italian Pasta Salad and if you love this as much as we do, please leave me ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!

Print

Italian Pasta Salad

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This EASY Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, red onion and olives all tossed together with a zesty homemade Italian dressing!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Pasta Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 452kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz rotini pasta
  • 1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes sliced
  • 1 english cucumber chopped
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella balls I used mozzarella pearls (or Bocconcini)
  • 4 oz salami sliced
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives sliced
  • 3/4 cup pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley and fresh basil chopped
  • Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, sprinkle in some salt, and cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente.
  • Mix together the cooked pasta, chopped veggies, mozzarella, salami, pepperoncini, olives and fresh herbs in a large bowl and drizzle the whole thing with the Italian dressing.  Give it a good toss, season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. 
  • You can either serve this immediately or marinate for a few hours before serving. To marinate, cover the pasta salad and place it in the fridge allowing the flavors to marinate for a few hours or even overnight. I even like to reserve a little extra dressing to toss right before serving since the pasta really soaks up a lot of it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8th of recipe | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.3g | Protein: 17.1g | Fat: 23.3g | Saturated Fat: 6.6g | Sodium: 467.4mg | Fiber: 6.2g | Sugar: 3.7g

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