Italian Pasta Salad with Zesty Dressing

Italian pasta salad is one of the easiest pasta salads to make!

Simply pouring on the Italian dressing makes the spices perfect and the crunch of onions, sweetness of green peppers and olives as well as the tang of spicy pepperoni, create a pulled together cold dish that is perfect all summer long.

Italian Pasta Salad

Living in a beach community, there are tons of get together’s all year round. All year round. Something about sun and salt in the air keeps us eating.

Tailgating is almost its own season, but that makes way for summer parties, beach picnics and church pot lucks. Everyone is always bringing food or asking what to bring and next time you are invited to a food smorgasbord, saddle up with the best Italian pasta salad you can muster up.

You don’t even know how to make this cold pasta staple to learn in mere minute and its so easy that you really just need to to know how to cut, mix and stir!

I like to use zesty Italian dressing for a nice kick, but feel free to experiment with this side dish. It also pairs well with a creamy base.

Additionally you can add shrimp or crab or if you prefer a vegetarian option, remove the pepperoni.

Other great salads to bring to the party:

pasta on white plate

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

This recipe is pretty easy to make and also easily adjustable.

Here is the recipe as shown:

cold pasta ingredients

Types of Pasta to Use:

Pasta can be kinda personal. You would think that food made from the same basic ingredients would all taste the same but its not true. The texture and shape make a huge difference in how we enjoy our dish. I mean have you ever tried a chicken Alfredo with spaghetti noodles?

Its a bit odd without that bite of fettuccine.

For this salad, I used radiatore because I like it! You can also use rotini pasta, which is super common,  or really almost any other pasta that makes you happy. Traditionally it’s rotini and that will be what most people expect.

Make sure after you cook your pasta, you drain and run under cold water to cool the pasta. If you do not cool your pasta all the way before making, it can affect the ingredients on mixing.

Time to create: 20 minutes total if you are counting the cooking of the pasta. Otherwise you can deduct 8-10 minutes from that, making this a super fast meal.

radiatore pasta

Italian Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Add pasta to a mixing bowl.

Add pepperoni, olives, green pepper, tomatoes and onion and mix well.


salad ingredients in a bowl

pasta salad Italian

Stir in dressing and mix well to evenly coat.

Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour to marinate or overnight if you are able (tastes better!)

italian dressing


Mix well before serving topped with cheese.

easy italian pasta salad

creamy italian pasta salad


Do not forget to pin!

There are so many amazing recipes out there but I would be honored if you would save mine to make later- you won’t regret it!

zesty italian pasta salad

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