Classic Italian Pasta Salad

This Classic Italian Pasta Salad is bursting with vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad in a bowl

Combining al dente pasta, crisp vegetables, savory meats, and zesty dressings, this recipe effortlessly creates a delightful medley of tastes and textures.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad on a plate

Whether you’re hosting a summer picnic, enjoying a leisurely lunch, or simply craving a taste pasta salad, this Classic Italian Pasta Salad is a versatile and satisfying choice that never fails to impress.

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Recipe Notes:

  • Pro tip: Soak your diced red onion in cold water and a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes to mellow the red onion flavor and keep them crisp in the salad.
  • Placing the Italian pasta salad in the refrigerator allows time for the ingredients to cool and for all of the ingredients to absorb the delicious Italian vinaigrette.


You will need the following ingredients:
Rotini: This is the traditional pasta seen in greek pasta salad. Bow tie pasta makes a tasty and beautiful salad too!


Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for this recipe. Grape tomatoes are equally fun and perfect little gems!


Black and green olives: Black and green olives are a go-to for this salad. Kalamata olives are a good alternative. Olives elevate the flavor profile of this delicious pasta salad.
Salami and pepperoni: For this recipe, we choose our favorite traditional Italian meats for this delicious dish.


Mozzarella cheese: Mozzarella is a go-to cheese for Italian pasta salad. Cut a mozzarella bar into bite-sized cubes and add them straight to the pasta salad. Yum!


Red onion: Red onions can be strong-tasting for some. A pro tip is to soak the red onions in lightly salted, cold water for about 10 minutes after you dice them. This step will mellow the flavor and crisp up the red onion for the salad.


Red and green bell pepper: Any bell pepper will work in this recipe. Green and red give the salad an appealing color palette!


How do I store my Italian pasta salad?

Store in the refrigerator using an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Can I make substitutions?

Yes, there are a couple of ingredients that can be substituted:

Pasta: You can use any short type of pasta you have on hand. Farfalle (bow tie), cellentani, or penne are great alternatives.
Bell pepper: You may use red, orange, or yellow bell peppers if that is what you have on hand.
Cherry tomatoes: You can use grape tomatoes or cherubs. Any fresh, small diameter tomato that you can halve and create a bit size tomato will work well.
Kosher salt: You can use table or sea salt if you have it on hand. Reduce salt measurement to ⅛ teaspoon table or sea salt.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad

  1. Bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water has come to a boil, add 16 ounces of tri-color rotini. Continue to stir and cook the pasta until cooked al dente (about 10 – 11 minutes). Drain the pasta, rinse and cool with cold water. pasta in a bowl with small bowls of veggies
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the vinaigrette. Add ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper to a small mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.ingredients for dressing in a bowl
  3. Next, add the cooled rotini pasta to a large serving bowl. Then add 10 ounces of halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup sliced black olives, 1 cup sliced green olives, 8 ounces sliced salami, 8 ounces sliced pepperoni, 8 ounces cubed mozzarella cheese, 1 finely chopped red onion, 1 diced red pepper, and 1 diced green pepper. veggies added to bowl with pastaother ingredients added to pasta bowl
  4. Toss all of the ingredients together until blended.  Finally, whisk the vinaigrette again and then pour it over the rotini. Toss the pasta salad together to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette.tossing pasta salad with dressing
  5. Cover the Italian pasta salad and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Classic Italian Pasta Salad in a bowl
  6. Serve chilled and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Classic Italian Pasta Salad in a bowl
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Classic Italian Pasta Salad

This Classic Italian Pasta Salad is bursting with vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 16 ounce box of tri-color rotini
  • 10 ounce container of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup black olives sliced
  • 1 cup green olives sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced salami
  • 8 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 green pepper diced

Vinegarette:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water has come to a boil, add 16 ounces of tri-color rotini. Continue to stir and cook the pasta until cooked al dente (about 10 – 11 minutes). Drain the pasta, rinse and cool with cold water.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the vinaigrette. Add ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper to a small mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • Next, add the cooled rotini pasta to a large serving bowl. Then add 10 ounces of halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup sliced black olives, 1 cup sliced green olives, 8 ounces sliced salami, 8 ounces sliced pepperoni, 8 ounces cubed mozzarella cheese, 1 finely chopped red onion, 1 diced red pepper, and 1 diced green pepper.
  • Toss all of the ingredients together until blended.  Finally, whisk the vinaigrette again and then pour it over the rotini. Toss the pasta salad together to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette.
  • Cover the Italian pasta salad and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve chilled and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1352mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 696IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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