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Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

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Easy Italian Pasta Salad is an easy side dish for any potluck. This simple pasta salad recipe has fresh vegetables, olives, pepperoni and salami and a Italian dressing that makes it the perfect summer salad.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and everyone always loves it!

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italian pasta salad in bowl

This is one of those simple recipes that I’ve been making for over 20 years and have never thought to post about it until now. This is the first pasta salad recipe I ever made and I’ve been making it for every potluck or summer party since before I was married.

I absolutely love pasta salads in summer. I love that they are better when you make them ahead of time; this is perfect for a potluck or for an easy dinner recipe. The temperature in Sacramento in the summer often reaches above 90° or 100° and cooking can be unbearable. I can make pasta salads in the morning before it’s too hot and then we can eat it for dinner and lunch for a few days.

There are so many Italian Pasta Salad recipes online, with different ingredients to suit different tastes – and that’s why pasta salads are so good!

ingredients for Italian pasta salad

What goes in an Italian Pasta Salad?

Anything goes – add what you like! This versatile pasta salad recipe is great with all sorts of different ingredients.

I always make my Italian Pasta Salad with pepperoni AND salami because I love both. My Pizza Tortellini Pasta Salad also has pepperoni and I think of this Italian version to be similar because pizza and Italian are alike.

When it comes to ingredients in this salad, you can mix and match your favorites:

  • Bell peppers – use green or red or a mix of colors
  • Olives – I love using black olives but you can also add green if you like
  • Pepperoni and salami – or use one or the other – or even add shredded chicken
  • Mozzarella cheese – use fresh or cubed mozzarella and you can even add shredded parmesan
  • Tomatoes
  • I didn’t add things like artichokes or pepperoncini but you can if you like!

Italian pasta salad in salad bowl

What is the best dressing for an Italian Pasta Salad?

Always use what you like! For my recipe I used a bottle of Italian Dressing from the grocery store. Many of the brands have different flavors of Italian Dressing, like spicy or tuscan. You could also use balsamic or any kind of vinaigrette you want.

Want to make your own homemade dressing? Check out my balsamic dressing recipe!

This simple Italian Pasta Salad is a perfect side dish or summer main dish and can be made to your liking!

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italian pasta salad in bowl
5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 10 servings

Italian Pasta Salad

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
My Easy Italian Pasta Salad recipe is always a huge hit at a summer BBQ! It's a simple side salad made with all your favorite pasta salad ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper — diced
  • 1 green bell pepper — diced
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced black olives — drained
  • 20 slices salami — quartered
  • 20 slices pepperoni — halved
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes — halved
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese — diced
  • 1 container Italian Dressing — see note

Instructions

  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Cool completely. (I like to rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to cool it down faster.)

  2. Mix pasta with peppers, olives, salami, pepperoni, tomatoes and cheese.

  3. Add dressing - as desired - and toss salad. Chill until ready to serve. Can be made up to 8 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

I used about 1 cup of dressing, but you can use more if you prefer more. Just buy a full bottle of Italian Dressing - your choice of brand, flavor - and use as much as you want.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 serving) — Calories: 302, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 627mg, Potassium: 330mg, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 15g, Vitamin A: 965%, Vitamin C: 31.3%, Calcium: 130%, Iron: 1.1%

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collage of Italian pasta salad photos

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3 comments

  1. Yum!  This looks like a great summer pasta salad everyone in my house will love 🙂

  2. I also have made this for years and lived in Yorkville Illinois!! So happy its popular.

  3. Have you tried adding Suddenly Salad spice to this it is great about 1 teaspoon or more if you prefer a spicey bite.
    I also use spagetti to make this my kids really like the cold spagetti thing. Lol

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