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!Jump to Recipe
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!
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.
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.
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.
Italian Pasta Salad is full of cherry tomatoes, green peppers and black olives.
Fresh cherry tomatoes along with green peppers give this salad a fresh taste. You will need to cut the tomatoes in half (quartered if some are really large).
The green peppers need to be diced into small pieces.
Black olives are added to this salad. I prefer to buy whole olives and cut them in half because they are usually cheaper than than sliced olives, but you can buy sliced to save on cutting them in half.
TIP: If you are buy whole olives I usually buy “Medium” olives. Then when I cut them in half they aren’t such big pieces. Large olives will work though too!
MEAT AND CHEESE
Pepperoni, salami and provolone cheese are in this salad.
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)! 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. Just ask the deli person to cut off a big chunk of provolone cheese. Then you will die it up into small pieces. (Or large if your prefer).
SALAD DRESSING-MAKE IT ZESTY
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! Try my Shrimp Salad, Fast and Easy Pasta Salad, My Cucumber Pasta Salad or my BLT Ranch Pasta Salad.
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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.