We love pasta salad and this recipe is one of our favorites. It’s loaded with yummy veggies, pasta, Italian dressing and more. Italian Pasta Salad Recipe is easy to fix and budget friendly.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

Classic Pasta Salad Recipe:

This classic pasta salad is the perfect dish for taking to parties, pot lucks, BBQ’s and more! This pasta salad goes well with so many different things. This pasta salad is packed with flavor and it is easy recipe to put together.

Pasta Salad is our go-to recipe when we need to bring a side or have friends over for a swim day. My favorite thing about a pasta salad is you can keep it very simple and it is still good or you can add different ingredients to make it a complete meal.

We love to add in block of mozzarella cheese and vegetables to add so much flavor to this pasta recipe.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

How to serve Pasta Salad?

There are many different ways to serve pasta salad. The best thing about pasta salad is that you can add in chicken or leave it out. Have a creamier dressing or a light dressing.

I like to load the salad with lots of yummy vegetables. It really bulks up the meal and makes it amazing! Plus, all the different colors of the veggies make the salad looks so pretty.

If you like Italian Subs, I bet you like this salad. It has all the yummy ingredients you love in an Italian Sub like pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and that yummy dressing! The longer it sits, the better it is. The flavors blend together and it’s so good.

Ingredients needed - rotini pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, sliced pepperoni, green bell pepper, black olives, italian dressing, shredded parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Zesty Italian Pasta Salad:

  • Rotini Pasta
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced Pepperoni
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Black Olives
  • Italian dressing
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

How to make Pasta Salad:

  • Boil Water – Bring a large of of water to a boil.
  • Add pasta to boiling water –   Cook pasta according to package directions  and cook until al dente. You want your pasta firm.
  • Drain and Rinse – Once your pasta is finished cooking, drain and rinse with cold water. Set pasta aside.
  • Combine your Ingredients – In a large bowl, combine the pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and black olives.
  • Add Dressing – Pour the Italian dressing over the top.
  • Toss in Cheese – Add in the Grated Parmesan cheese and stir to coat.
Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Place in the Refrigerator – You can add a dash of olive oil if you want. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour for the flavors to come together.
  • Serve and Enjoy
Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl

What to serve with Rotini Pasta Salad?

Rotini Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish when we are grilling out. Here are some of our favorite meals to serve when we make pasta salad.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a small serving in a white bowl.

What do you put in your pasta salad?

Feel free to mix up the ingredients for what your family prefers. Add some of their favorites or omit the ones they don’t care for.

  • Change the Pasta – We love the tricolor pasta but you can use any kind of pasta you like. Penne or elbow pasta are good in this too.
  • Add in Chicken – Cooked shredded chicken added to this pasta salad is so good.
  • Toss in other vegetables – Toss in some chopped broccoli, chopped onion, or even red bell pepper. Celery is also a good option to toss in.
  • Change the Cheese – Feta Cheese is also a good option when making this classic pasta salad.
Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl.

Variation Ideas:

The options are endless when making this classic pasta salad.

  • Use Different Dressing – You can make a pasta salad using a mayonnaise based as your dressing. You can even make Homemade Italian Dressing.
  • Make a Southwest Pasta Salad – Add in some corn and avocado with some sliced tomatoes. This would be a good side dish for Taco Tuesday.
  • Add in Fruit – Toss in some strawberries with spinach and balsamic to make a great Strawberry Balsamic Pasta Salad. We like using bow ties pasta with this pasta salad.
Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

Can you make Pasta Salad ahead of time?

Yes. This quick and easy Pasta Salad is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time. We like to prepare the night before so all the ingredients marinate together and to soak into the pasta.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

How to store Pasta Salad?

Store pasta in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap. This prevents the pasta from drying out. We also will put the pasta salad in individual containers for an easy lunch idea.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl.

How long will Rotini Pasta Salad last?

Make sure to eat the leftovers in about 3-4 days as the dressing will change the texture of the ingredients if set to long.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a small serving on the side with a fork.

Cold Pasta Salad with Italian dressing is the perfect picnic food!

Grab your picnic basket and load it up with pasta salad! It’s such a nice compliment to any meal. This salad would be a wonderful picnic item.

You can eat it room temperate so it’s really convenient to pack and bring on picnics or to parties and BBQ’s.

Close up image of Italian Pasta Salad in a clear bowl with a wooden spoon.

Pasta Salad recipe with Italian dressing is so simple to make. 

It’s really good room temperature before serving. It is such an easy easy pasta salad. We love this summer salad.

Sometimes, I use fresh mozzarella and that is really yummy. Just make sure you drain and rinse.

I like to add red onion and it adds the best flavor. It’s also so pretty. You can even throw in some fresh herbs and this Italian pasta is even better!

If you need an easy side dish for a weeknight meal, try this Italian Pasta Salad. It’s delicious and sure to be a hit. I love bringing this dish and people always gobble it up!

The pasta salad is always a hit when I bring it. Cucumber onion salad is another simple and inexpensive salad that is simply fabulous!

Print Easy pasta salad recipe below:

Classic Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

4.91 from 55 votes
Italian pasta salad recipe! Easy Italian pasta salad has the best flavor. Pasta salad with Italian dressing is the perfect side dish recipe.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Refrigerate 1 hr
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 12
Cuisine Italian
Course Salad, Side Dish
Calories 398
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 16 oz rotini pasta (We love the multi-colored)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 4 oz pepperoni cut in half
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 can black olives 6 oz, drained
  • 8 oz Italian Dressing
  • 6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large of of water to a boil.
  • Add pasta and cook until al dente. You want your pasta firm.
  • Drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and black olives.
  • Pour the Italian dressing over the top. Add in the Parmesan cheese and stir to coat.
  • Let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour for the flavors to come together.

Recipe Notes

Add red onion to give this pasta dish even more flavor. Other ideas…how about adding fresh mozzarella or some fresh herbs?! You will not be disappointed.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 398kcal, Carbohydrates 34g, Protein 17g, Fat 22g, Saturated Fat 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 34mg, Sodium 1211mg, Potassium 239mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 4g, Vitamin A 531IU, Vitamin C 14mg, Calcium 296mg, Iron 1mg

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Italian pasta salad recipe is loaded with olives, tomatoes, cheese and more! Easy Italian pasta salad has the best flavor and will be a hit. Pasta salad with Italian dressing is the perfect side dish.Bring this Easy pasta salad recipe to parties, BBQ's and more! Cold pasta salad with Italian dressing is so easy. #eatingonadime #pastasalads #pastasaladrecipes #sidedishes #sidedishrecipes

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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  1. Delicious!! I ended up using the whole bottle of Itailian dressing. I used cheddar cheese…

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