Italian Pasta Salad – Easy & Amazing!
This easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe is fantastic and has all the flavors of the best Italian ingredients. If you’re looking for a quick and easy pasta salad recipe to bring to your next party, potluck or for lunch, it’s here!
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
You can customize all the ingredients to your personal taste and every bite will be fantastic and amazing. The flavors remind you of a classic deli pasta but even better because it’s fresh, homemade and loaded with textures. There’s so much going on in this dish and that’s why it’s one of our most popular potluck salads. It’s never boring and it’s satisfying with every bite.
Video: Watch how to make this awesome dish:
How to Make Easy Italian Pasta Salad
You can make this super easy by buying a quality bottle of Italian salad dressing. Seriously, there’s so many awesome organic brands out on the market. Life can be easier if you want to buy the dressing first. Or, if you have a favorite Italian vinaigrette recipe you can use that. We also provide a recipe for a homemade dressing you can use and it’s delicious! The success of this dish is to make sure you season it with enough salt and use a delicious dressing. That will bring this dish to life. More Italian pasta salad recipe details and step-by-step photos are in the recipe box below.
Tips for Make Ahead Pasta Salad
- Boil the pasta and prep all the ingredients in your serving bowl. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge.
- Make the dressing and set aside in a separate jar in the fridge.
- Right before serving, take the bowl of pasta out for about 45 minutes to come to room temperature. This will make the pasta more tender when it’s not so cold.
- Add the dressing on the pasta salad right before serving. This will ensure that the pasta doesn’t soak up all the dressing.
- Taste the salad and add extra salt and pepper if needed.
Italian Pasta Salad
For the Salad:
- 12-16 ounces (340-454 g) dried pasta , cooked to package instructions
- 1 cup (110 g) chopped salami
- 1 cup (110 g) small diced mozzarella cheese or shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup (150 g) halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped fresh basil , or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 small bell pepper , chopped
- 1/2 cup (80 g) minced or sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup (70 g) sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup (60 g) chopped pepperoncinis
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) fresh cracked black pepper
- 16 oz. (454 ml) bottle Italian Dressing or homemade dressing below
For The Homemade Italian Dressing:
- 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) red wine vinegar
- lemon zest , from 1 medium lemon
- juice of one medium lemon
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sugar or honey
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper , fresh cracked if possible
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano , or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
- Prepare the pasta: Fill a large bowl (big enough to hold cooked pasta) halfway with ice water. Boil pasta to package instructions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and shock the pasta by adding it to the cold water to get it cold fast. Once cold, drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- If Making Homemade Dressing: In a jar or bowl, add all the dressing ingredients (olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, sugar/honey, salt, pepper, oregano). Shake or whisk the dressing to combine. Taste the dressing and adjust salt, pepper or additional seasonings, to taste.
- Add salami, cheese, tomatoes, herbs, bell pepper, onion, black olives, pepperoncinis, salt, pepper and Italian dressing to the pasta bowl.Stir everything together well. Chill pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving.
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