Italian Pasta Salad is a light and fresh salad. It is easy to make and a salad that everyone will love! Perfect for potlucks, BBQs, picnics, camping, family dinners and any occasion!
I love pasta, I love pasta salads and I love Italian flavors. This salad is all of the things I love wrapped up in one delicious and easy pasta salad!
I love that this salad is light and fresh! The salad has the best Italian components! It is made with tender cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, black olives, green peppers, pepperoni, salami, provolone cheese and is tossed in a delicious Zesty Italian Dressing!
Pasta (since this is a pasta salad)
First things first. The pasta for this salad is spiral pasta (rotini or fusilli) and you will need 1 box (16 oz. or 1 lb.), cooked and cooled. I always under-cook my pasta just a touch. After the dressing is added to the pasta, it can soften a bit as the dressing is soaked up. You can use tri-colored pasta or just regular plain jane pasta! I like the plain jane because the salad has so much color from the other ingredients.
Fresh cherry tomatoes give this salad a fresh taste. You will need to cut them in half (quartered if some are really large), and the green peppers need to be diced into small pieces as well. I love the fresh taste they both add to this salad! Olives are added to the salad and I use canned olives. I always use the sliced olives but you can buy whole olives and half them as well.
Meat and Cheese
Pepperoni adds so much flavor to this salad. It needs to be cut in half. I make a pepperoni stack and cut right through it, making the cutting in half much faster! For the salami, you can find it cheaper by the packaged meats, or pay a little more and get some from the deli counter! I think it tastes pretty much the same (I am sure there are salami lovers out there that will cringe that I am saying that)! So I say go for the cheaper- I can’t tell a difference! You will just cube the salami into small pieces.
The provolone cheese can seem impossible to find in a brick for dicing it up like the recipe needs. You can easily find provolone cheese slices, but for this recipe you need a block of cheese you can cube. So you will need to head to the deli counter. Every time I ask for a block of provolone cheese they look at me like I am crazy! Everyone always wants it sliced and I sure don’t! I just want a big chunk of cheese…why is that so weird?! You would think it would be so much easier for them not having to slice it…but whatever! I just ask the deli person to cut off a big chunk of provolone cheese so I can dice it up for this salad!
Last, but not least…the dressing! Zesty Italian dressing is the star of the show! It is robust with a slight tangy kick and is everything Italian! It is store bought-yay for ease! I use Kraft Zesty Italian, any brand works great, but I think the flavor is a bit more strong in the Kraft brand.
MAKING THE SALAD
Remember when I said this salad is easy? Well here you go….to make this salad dump all the ingredients in a bowl, pour the dressing over it, give it a good toss…and voila…done and done! The best and easy Italian Pasta Salad you will ever eat!
This salad is a crowd pleaser! Italian Pasta Salad is a light and fresh salad. It is easy to make and a salad that everyone will love! This is a perfect salad for potlucks, BBQs, picnics, camping, family dinners and any occasion…and every last drop will be eaten every.single.time!
I have more pasta salads that I know you will love! To check out more of my salads click HERE!
The BEST Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) Rotini Spiral Pasta, cooked and cooled
- 1/2 lb. salami, cubed
- 1/2 lb. provolone cheese, cubed see notes
- 3 oz. pepperoni slices, cut in half (about half of a 6 oz. package- you can add more as desired)
- 1 large green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (10 oz.) can black olives, drained (whole, cut in half or sliced olives)
- 1 (16 oz.) bottle Zesty Italian Dressing see notes (make sure it is Zesty Italian – I prefer Kraft brand)
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over all of the ingredients and mix well.This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can add a little bit more dressing as needed when serving again.