Italian Pasta Salad Recipe with pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and fresh mozzarella cheese. A perfect side dish to your summer dinners!
On a hot summer day, I find myself craving a cold pasta salad full of fresh vegetables and tossed with delicious homemade dressing. This Italian Pasta Salad is currently our go-to, along with its Greek version and the super popular BLT Pasta Salad. You can make it ahead of time and serve for lunch or a light dinner, or simply as a side dish. It's always a hit! This Italian Pasta Salad is perfect for potlucks and BBQ summer parties. You can easily make a big batch to feed a crowd! Italian Pasta Salad is probably one of the most popular pasta salads. The classic version calls for a corkscrew or rotini pasta (we love tri-color!), pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and the dressing.
- corkscrew pasta
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- red onion
- red bell pepper
- Italian salad dressing
- Prepare Italian salad dressing by combining all ingredients in a jar and shaking until well combined.
- Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
- Garnish with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, as well as chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve cold.
You can store this pasta salad for up to 3 days in the fridge. The dressing can be stored in a jar for up to 1 week.
This pasta salad can be easily made in advance. Simply place it in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Toss with dressing and cheese right before serving. If you will be storing the dressing, skip the cheese and toss it in with the salad ingredients just before serving. You can make a batch of the Italian Salad Dressing recipe and store it in the fridge.
More pasta salad recipes:
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Italian Pasta Salad
for the salad:
- 12 oz. rotini pasta
- 1 English cucumber
- ¼ red bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup olives
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese torn into pieces
- ½ cup pepperoni slices
- ½ cup my Italian Salad Dressing
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the box, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a large salad bowl.
- Chop cucumber, pepper and onion, add to pasta.
- Quarter cherry tomatoes, pepperoni slices and slice olives in half. Add to pasta.
- Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces. Gently toss to combine.
- To make dressing: combine all ingredients in a jar with lid, shake well; or whisk well in a measuring cup. Pour half of the dressing over pasta and gently toss to coat. Serve more if needed.
This post was originally published on June 18th, 2018 and updated on September 10th, 2019.