A recipe for Italian pasta salad (aka: pizza pasta salad) is the perfect simple summer pasta salad or easy side dish for parties / BBQ side dish. Perfect kid friendly Italian pasta salad for quick and easy lunch! It’s a recipe for cold pasta that’s always a hit with all ages!
Best Recipe For Italian Pasta Salad
This is one of our favorite summer salad pasta dishes and it’s so easy to whip up last minute! (It really is one of the best pasta salad recipe ever!)
This recipe for Italian pasta salad with zesty Italian dressing is easy to adapt and use your own homemade Italian salad dressing or use a favorite dressing for salads from the grocery store. (We often use that zesty Wishbone Italian dressing for this and it’s cheap and makes the best Italian dressing recipe for pasta salad!)
Recipes For Cold Italian Pasta Salad
Easy Recipe For Italian Pasta Salad:
- Penne pasta (or any short to medium pasta)
- Red onion
- Black olives
- Zesty Italian vinaigrette
See the full recipes for cold Italian pasta salad and learn how to make Italian pasta salad below. KEEP SCROLLING!
How long does Italian pasta salad last in the fridge?
Cold pasta salad Italian dressing will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days once the ingredients for pasta salad are mixed together. Be sure to store the pasta salad in an airtight container with a lid and place in the refrigerator immediately after using.
Should you rinse pasta when making pasta salad?
There is no need to rinse the pasta when making a pasta salad, unless you are trying to cool down the pasta quicker and serve Italian cold pasta salad immediately. If that’s the case, rinse pasta in a colander under cold water until it is cool and then continue making pasta salad according to the recipe.
How do you get dressing to stick to pasta?
The best way to get dressing to stick to pasta is to add half the dressing to the pasta salad, stir, and then add the rest of the dressing on top before serving. As cold pasta salad sits, the dressing will start to pool at the bottom of the dish. Just give the pasta salad a stir occasionally during the party to keep the pasta coated with Italian dressing.
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What can you add to Italian style pasta salad?
There are many ways to make this Italian cold pasta salad recipe! You can make it a loaded pasta salad by adding additional salad ingredients from the list below.
Additional ingredients for summer Italian pasta salad:
- Turkey pepperoni
- Green bell peppers
- Red bell peppers
- Parmesan shavings
- Olive oil
- Tri color rotini
- Feta cheese
- Mini fresh mozzarella balls
- Shredded mozzarella
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chopped cucumbers
- Fresh garlic
- Lemon honey dressing
What goes in Italian pasta salad is only limited by your imagination! You can also try Italian pasta salad with cheese varieties (like shredded cheddar, etc.).
What goes with Italian pasta salad?
- Grilled hotdogs
- Garlic bread
- BBQ chicken
- Grilled hamburgers
- Sandwiches or paninis
- Fried chicken
- Black beans
- Summer soups (like a gazpacho)
- Crusty bread
- Grilled chicken
- Pork chops
- Fried green tomatoes (or a fried green tomato BLT!)
- Cold asparagus
OK! Let’s get to this easy Italian pasta salad recipe! This is one of my go-to summer pasta salads for hot evenings when I don’t want to cook!
How To Make An Italian Pasta Salad Recipe With Pepperoni
Side pasta salads or summer salad recipes with pasta are easy because you can make ahead the pasta and prep the ingredients and then throw them together last minute!
We use store bought dressing for zesty Italian pasta salad recipes, but you can use your own homemade Italian dressing too (or even a creamy Italian dressing!).
You can also make this as an Italian pasta salad no meat just by leaving out the pepperoni and doubling the mozzarella cheese and vegetables. (It’s still yummy!)
Don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe! Try it as an Italian pasta salad with salami or a pasta salad with Italian dressing and cucumbers and any other summer vegetables you have from the garden! Play around with pasta salads for summer!
- 1 16-ounce box penne pasta (or rotini)
- 2 6-ounce packages of pepperoni (or turkey pepperoni), about 50 pepperoni, cut into quarters
- 1 1/2 cups Italian tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
- 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup zesty Italian vinaigrette of choice (may need more or less, to taste)
- Grated parmesan, for topping
- Boil pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and cool.
- In a large bowl, add pasta and remaining ingredients, except Italian vinaigrette. Stir.
- Drizzle half of the Italian vinaigrette over the salad, stir and taste. Add remaining vinaigrette dressing, if needed. Stir and toss until fully coated.
- Top with grated parmesan and serve immediately, or chill before serving.
Any small to medium pasta works with this recipe. You can even make it a macaroni salad Italian recipe or even a summer an Italian spaghetti salad recipe if that's all the dry pasta you have in your pantry!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 1379mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 20g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Recipe and Read To Go With Recipe For Italian Pasta Salad
I also love this recipe because it’s such an easy recipe to make with kids or even an easy recipe for kids to make alone. (Use this kids’ safety cutting set and let them chop their own ingredients!)
These are great children’s book pairings for this recipe:
- All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel
- The Great Pasta Escape
- The Moose Who Loved Noodles
- Little Book of Pasta
- Teddy Spaghetti
What are your favorite Italian noodle salad recipes ingredients?