Salads Sides

Italian Pasta Salad

My favorite – and really easy – pasta salad recipe. Dangerously good!

I love pasta salad – like for a whole meal. Dangerously good!

This is a really easy Italian pasta salad recipe with rotini, ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, salami, salty olives, peppers, herbs, and a drench of quick homemade Italian dressing. Perfect for a cookout or party side.

Italian Pasta Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword italian, pasta salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6


Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb. uncooked pasta (I used rotini)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced (you can use any color)
  • ½ lb. salami, cut into small pieces (I used quarter-size salami and halved it)
  • ½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • cup banana peppers, rings sliced in half
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • cup fresh parsley, chopped

Italian Dressing

  • 1 ½ cups Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 tsp dry basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking.

  2. 2. Blend up the dressing, or shake together in a jar.

  3. 3. Toss all ingredients together! I like to use about three-quarters of the dressing, and then I save the rest of the dressing to add to my leftovers.

Recipe Notes

• There are a lot of ways you can customize this pasta salad. Try adding additional fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary or basil. You could also try blanched green beans, asparagus, artichokes, white beans, etc. A little shredded parmesan mixed in may also be nice!
• If you don’t have time to make your own dressing, I like Primal Kitchen’s Italian dressing. Use about three-quarters of the bottle, or to taste.
• If you are cutting carbs, try chickpea pasta. I like the Banza brand.
• I swear by the Castelveltrano olives, from the place with the same name in Italy. They are buttery and mild. You can find them canned and/or fresh in most grocery stores.

Bon Appétit!

2 comments on “Italian Pasta Salad

  1. WineGal 310

    I made this last night for a party and it was great! I did just about everything by the recipe, except I had some fresh thyme so I added that. I used bottled dressing and I have to say that Primal Kitchen dressing was great, I’m not sure you could tell the difference from fresh in this case!

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