This zesty Italian Pasta Salad is a delicious cold salad that can be made quickly, but that does not lack in flavor! I like it because it is packed with pasta, crisp veggies, fresh mozzarella, black olives and salami. Make a double batch to share at your next summer gathering.
The Italians know what’s up when it comes to combining ingredients. Every single Italian recipe I’ve ever eaten has been a delicious explosion in my mouth. Which is why I need to go to Italy pronto. Have you been? This zesty Italian Pasta Salad is no exception. It doesn’t disappoint! It’s hearty, versatile, zesty and totally packed with flavor.
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TUTORIAL TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE ITALIAN PASTA SALAD!
HOW TO MAKE EASY ZESTY ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
THE ONLY STEP!
Cook a package of Rotini pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Add to a large bowl along with the remaining pasta salad ingredients: a red, orange or green bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, olives, Mozzarella, salami, vinegar, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve! That’s it!
- Other ingredient options to toss into your salad: Pepperoncini would add additional zing and delicious flavor! Roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes are delicious additions, too.
- Don’t forget to salt the water when cooking your pasta – it adds flavor!
- Use grape or cherry tomatoes for this salad, OR! If you have Roma tomatoes on hand, use them! Cut them in half, remove the seeds (discard), then chop the rest of the tomato into bite sized bits.
- If you love garlic (ME!) you can use 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic in place of garlic powder! Using your garlic press makes it super fast and easy.
- Be sure to prepare this salad just prior to serving it. If you do make it early in the day and let it sit in the fridge, give it a quick stir and add a squirt or two of Italian salad dressing because some of the liquids will soak into the pasta.
- Add 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced green olives!
- Replace grated Parmesan with freshly shredded Parmesan, if desired.
- Make this as a side dish for your next meal or serve at your next party.
CAN YOU FREEZE PASTA SALAD
Since this pasta salad contains mayonnaise, it is not ideal for freezing. Cream-based ingredients like mayo will not separate entirely after being removed from the freezer and may have an undesirable texture. If you plan to freeze an entire batch, add the mayo after the remaining ingredients have thawed and just before serving.
If you DO freeze this pasta salad with the mayo mixed in, be sure to thaw it in the fridge since mayo-based dishes can produce bacteria quickly when sitting at room temperature for more than a few hours.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ITALIAN PASTA SALAD
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Burgers with Grilled Peaches, Brie and Cherry Jam
- Best Ever Chili-Dogs
- Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken
- Instant Pot Ham
PASTA SALAD FAVORITES
Pasta salads are the best kinds of recipes to bring to any type of gathering because they get DEVOURED. Here are a handful of other pasta salad faves!
- Best Ever Pasta Salad -This is my favorite pasta salad recipe of ALL TIME. It is packed full of delicious bites (think olives, salami, chunks of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes!) and it is the perfect food to bring to potlucks. There’s a zesty Italian dressing that brings it all together for a perfect salad that can also act as lunch or even dinner!
- Having a pasta salad that shares the crunchy wonderful zingy flavors of a taco dinner is great for potlucks and summer BBQs! You can cater this Taco Ranch Pasta Salad to your liking, but make sure to chop up some tomatoes and black olives. The trademark crunchy smashed Doritos on top makes it super popular!
- Caprese Pasta Salad is a huge hit at parties! Serve this delicious dish as a side, salad or appetizer. The combination of tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and basil is absolute perfection!
- A unique twist on that plain ol’ pasta salad! So good with flavor-packed sun-dried tomatoes that give this Black Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad its signature flavor. Also, protein-filled black beans and delicious twisted elbows. If you’re a fan of Feta cheese and delicious capers, then this will be the perfect salad for you!
- Easy Classic Macaroni Salad is creamy, crunchy, filling and totally delicious! We’ve got hard-boiled eggs, crunchy celery and dill pickles all mixed in. You’ll enjoy the diced red onions and the flavor of the simple dressing made with mayo, mustard and apple cider vinegar!
- Fill your fork with an incredibly tasty salad that combines pasta with fresh, crisp vegetables and a light vinaigrette straight from the Mediterranean! This Mediterranean Pasta Salad will be a perfect addition to a summer BBQ, your work potluck or at dinner on the table.
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I LOVE party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Here are some options for you that will be easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
- Fruit Pizza – The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
- Sausage Cheese Dip – Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
- 7-Layer Taco Dip – This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you’ll ever meet! It’s the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
- Crockpot Meatballs – These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you.
Italian Pasta Salad
- 12 oz package Rotini pasta
- 1 orange bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 15 oz can sliced black olives
- 8 oz package fresh Mozzarella pearls halved
- 8 oz sliced salami cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl along with pepper, onion, tomatoes, olives, Mozzarella, salami, vinegar, olive oil, Parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.