Italian Pasta Salad

4.25 from 4 votes

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This Italian Pasta Salad has it all! Tender pasta, salty pepperoni, cubed mozzarella, lots of diced veggies and a homemade olive oil and garlic dressing. The longer it sits the better it tastes! Perfect for potlucks, BBQs or simple side dish. This pasta salad is probably one of my go-to cold side dishes for summer. Everyone loves them because they are easy to make, very fresh and oh so delicious. From Macaroni Salad to Tuna Pasta Salad, they’re all good!

Pasta salad

Make This Italian Pasta Salad Your Own

The beauty of this recipe is how easily the veggies and pasta can be interchanged. Here are a few great options to choose from. Of course, my recipe includes many of the ingredients listed, but if you are missing one or two, don’t let that stop you from making this! It will still be delicious!

  • Any short-cut pasta
  • cucumber
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • pepperoni
  • bell peppers
  • mozzarella or cheddar
  • red onion
  • fresh basil and parsley
  • artichoke hearts
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • salami
  • parmesan cheese
  • mushrooms
  • carrot
  • celery
pasta salad recipe

How to Make Italian Pasta Salad

It’s super duper simple to pull this easy side dish together! The hardest part is chopping a few veggies, but I find that therapeutic. For full recipe details, including ingredient amounts, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is what you can expect while making this pasta salad.

Cook the Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions. Since this will be refrigerated, I would cook this 1 minute past al dente. It will still have a bit of a bite because of the refrigeration.

Chop the Veggies

This recipe calls for tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers, but feel free to add in whatever ingredients you have! Artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, etc..

Make the Dressing

Whisk a simple mixture of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and Italian seasoning together and season well.

Can I use a different dressing?

Most Italian Pasta Salads call for pre-made Italian salad dressing which is totally fine to use! It’s such a simple choice, of course…you are welcome to use it! For a creamier salad dressing, feel free to use a pre-made ranch or blue cheese dressing. Be sure to read the notes within the recipe card below for other options.

italian pasta salad dressing

Toss Together + Serve

Toss everything together. The longer this salad has to marinate together, the more delicious it becomes!


Storage Directions

This particular recipe is good for up to 5 days in the fridge, though is most delicious day 2 after it’s had some time to marinate.

Can I freeze pasta salad?

No, I would not recommend freezing this recipe, simply because fresh veggies do not thaw very nicely and will not taste very fresh post-freezer.

Other Summer Salads you will love!

If pasta salad isn’t your scene, try some of these other family favorites we rotate through all summer long:

Pasta salad

More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try!

If you liked this recipe, you’re going to LOVE my other pasta salad recipes, give them a try next time you are looking for a refreshing side dish.

Printable recipe card is below! Have a good day, friends! 🙂

4.25 from 4 votes

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

This Italian Pasta salad has it all! Tender pasta, salty pepperoni, cubed mozzarella, lots of diced veggies and a homemade olive oil and garlic dressing. The longer it sits the better it tastes! Perfect for potlucks, BBQs or simple side dish.
servings 8
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins


For the pasta salad:

  • 3/4 pound rotini pasta cooked
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 5 oz pepperoni cubed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 english cucumber diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper diced

For the pasta salad dressing:


  • Cook pasta according to box directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Add pasta to a large bowl and add in remaining prepared salad ingredients.
  • For the dressing, whisk together garlic, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings. Stream in olive oil to emulsify and pour over salad. Toss to coat and add in extra Italian seasoning as desired.
  • Serve pasta salad or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


Feel free to use 3/4 cup prepared Italian Salad Dressing in place of the homemade.


Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 698mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 29.9mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: italian pasta salad, pasta salad, pasta salad recipe

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Recipe Rating

6 Responses
  1. Trace

    2 stars
    I tried this recipe and it isn’t great. Something about pepperoni and cucumbers just doesn’t mesh well. It’s like an Italian pasta recipe was combined with a Mediterranean pasta recipe, and it’s just not good. If I’m going to consume carbs, I’m gonna need it to be worth it. Ha!

  2. Martina Crocker

    5 stars
    Lauren, One of The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe I’ve ever tried. Delicious and This pasta salad is perfect as a side dish at a summer BBQ.

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