This easy Italian Pasta Salad is a true delight, offering a burst of fresh, tangy, and savory flavors in every bite!
With its mix of crunchy veggies, hearty pasta, creamy mozzarella, and salty olives, this salad becomes a real feast when drizzled with a tangy Italian dressing.
Best of all, in just about 20 minutes, you have a delicious salad that can be a wholesome lunch, a simple side dish, or an addition to a summer cookout or BBQ.
Why You'll Love Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
COLORFUL - The mix of colorful ingredients makes it appealing to the eye.
NUTRITIOUS - It's packed with vitamins and protein.
PERFECT FOR SHARING - The recipe makes a large batch, which is great for parties or family meals.
TASTY LEFTOVER - Cold pasta salad tastes even better the next day after the flavors have mingled.
Pasta Salad Ingredients
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
PASTA - It's the heart of the salad, soaking up flavors and adding a filling texture. Most of the time, I use fusilli pasta. But other pasta styles, such as farfalle, penne, or rotini pasta, work well, too. If you want to introduce some extra color, look for tri-colored pasta.
BELL PEPPER - Adds sweet crunch and color, brightening the dish.
CHERRY TOMATOES - Give a juicy pop of sweetness and tartness, increasing freshness.
CUCUMBER - Offers a cool crunch, balancing stronger tastes.
OLIVES - Deliver a salty tang, making flavors more complex.
MOZZARELLA CHEESE BALLS - Deliver a salty tang, making flavors more complex.
SALAMI - Brings a robust, savory taste, enhancing the salad's richness.
ITALIAN DRESSING - Ties everything together with its tangy and herby punch.
Do you want to make your salad taste extra delicious? I recommend our 5-minute homemade Italian Dressing, which makes a great pasta salad dressing. It's easy and will bring out the very best in your salad.
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How To Make This Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- COOK PASTA - Boil your pasta until al dente, then rinse it under cold water to cool it down.
- CHOP AND MIX - Cut all your veggies, cheese, and salami into bite-sized pieces and toss them together in a big bowl.
- COMBINE AND DRESS - Add the cooled pasta to your salad and pour over the Italian vinaigrette. Mix it all up!
- CHILL - Put the salad in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can blend together.
STORE - Keep any remaining Italian Pasta Salad in the fridge. Just seal it in an airtight container, and it will stay delicious for 3-4 days.
FREEZE - Avoid freezing this salad. The process can make the veggies mushy and cause the dressing to separate, which spoils the texture and flavor.
Recipe Success Tips
- This salad can be made a day in advance. In fact, I prefer to either prepare the salad in the morning or make it the night before serving. This way, the flavors have time to marinate. But you can also serve the salad straight away.
- Fresh Mozzarella Balls are a nice touch, but you can use a log of fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Adding a handful of fresh basil before serving adds extra flavor.
- This is a very forgiving salad. Don't have pimento green olives? No problem. Use black olives instead. You can also experiment with other things you might have in your fridge. I've used red onion, piquillo peppers, and even canned artichokes in this salad.
- Need to chill pasta fast? Prepare a large bowl of ice water; after draining, dump the steaming hot pasta into the ice water for 30 seconds. Drain again.
More Easy and Delicious Salads
- CLASSIC PEA SALAD - Enjoy a fresh, crunchy delight with this sweet and savory blend that's sure to brighten up any meal.
- COLD GERMAN POTATO SALAD - Dive into this tangy and hearty salad that's a perfect side for your favorite grilled dishes.
- CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD - Keep cool with this refreshing and smooth salad, a light addition to any summertime feast.
- GREEN BEAN & POTATO SALAD - Get the best of both worlds with this salad: crunchy green beans and tender potatoes in one tasty dish!
- CHOPPED GREEK SALAD - Take a trip to the Mediterranean with every bite of this colorful and flavorful blend of veggies and cheese.
- BIG MAC SALAD - Love fast food but want something lighter? This salad has all the classic flavors of a big burger but without guilt!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 pound pasta
Meat and Dairy
- 8 ounces Mozzarella Balls halved or quartered
- 4 ounces Salami cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Add a bit of oil into the pasta water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Drain and allow to cool.
- Use a large bowl to combine cooled pasta, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, and olives. Add fresh mozzarella and salami.
- Pour Italian dressing over everything and toss well.