Italian pasta salad is one of the easiest pasta salads to make! Simply pouring on the zesty 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 pasta dish that is perfect all summer long.
Cold Pasta Salad Recipes
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 (and dressing) you can muster up. Plus salads are so easy to incorporate with vegan, vegetarian or even keto friendly options just by adding or taking away a few ingredients.
You don’t even have know how to make this cold pasta recipe staple to learn the recipe in mere minutes. This salad recipe so easy that you really just need to to know how to cut, mix and stir! Personally, 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.
Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
This pasta salad recipe is pretty easy to make and also easily adjustable to include your favorite ingredients, pasta styles or season.
Here is our Italian Pasta Salad Recipe as shown:
- 8 ounces (dry) rotini, radiatore (as shown) or macaroni pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
- 3 ounces pepperoni, quartered
- 1 can (3.8 oz) sliced black olives
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 dry pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1 cup zesty Italian dressing
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
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? It’s a bit odd without that bite of fettuccine.
- For this pasta salad, I used radiatore because I like it!
- You can also use rotini pasta, which is super common or really almost any other pasta (some like Orzo) that makes you happy. Traditionally you will find that rotini 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 and make the dressings sloppy and running.
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.
Italian Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Add the chosen pasta to a mixing bowl.
Add pepperoni, olives, green pepper, tomatoes and onion and mix well.
Stir in zesty Italian dressing and mix well to evenly coat.
Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour to marinate or overnight if you are able (tastes better!)
Mix well before serving topped with cheese.
Other great pasta salad side dish options to feed a hungry crowd are these delicious and no fail recipes:
- Tuna Pasta salad
- Ranch Pasta Salad
- Mandarin Salad
- Dill Potato salad
- Cherry Tomato Salad
- Carrot Salad with Raisins
- Cucumber Feta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad with Radiatori Pasta
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 people
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 459 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 24mg Sodium: 1204mg Carbohydrates: 41g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 10g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g