Italian Pasta Salad Recipe (VIDEO)
Italian Pasta Salad is one of our favorite pasta salad recipes. This is an easy, make-ahead salad that is perfect for meal prep. Every bite is loaded with rotini, salami, mozzarella, olives, healthy veggies, and a homemade creamy Italian Dressing.
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Pasta Salad Ingredients:
Italian Pasta Salad is a meal in itself with protein, grains and plenty of vegetables. It has vibrant Italian flavors with kalamata olives, fresh mozzarella cheese, salami, and parsley.
We love that you can change up the ingredients based on what you have on hand. Try substituting with diced bell pepper, or crunchy broccoli, or use Feta instead of Mozarella cheese to add some Greek flavors. P.S. If you’re feeling adventurous, roasting your own bell peppers will take this salad to the next level.
What is the Best Italian Dressing?
We love homemade Italian dressing for the best flavor and because you can use high-quality oil and seasonings. In a pinch, store-bought Italian dressings will work. We like Newman’s Own brand Italian dressing and Ken’s brand Italian dressing.
How to Make Pasta Salad Video Tutorial:
I hope this Pasta Salad Recipe becomes a new favorite for you. It makes meal prep so easy! If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel and click the bell icon so you get a notification when we post a new video.
What is the Best Pasta for Salad?
We love rotini noodles for pasta salad. Rotini is the spiral-shaped pasta you will see in the photos here. You can buy them in the traditional pasta color or in a multicolor blend which can be really fun for a pasta salad. You can also experiment with different kinds of pasta such as shell pasta or macaroni.
How to Cook Pasta for Pasta Salad:
Cook your pasta in salted water according to package instructions until it is aldenté. Aldente means firm to the bite. Pasta that is overcooked can seem mushy in pasta salad and will absorb more dressing so make sure you don’t overcook. As soon as the pasta is aldenté, drain in a colander then rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, chill the pasta, and rinse off excess starch to keep the pasta from sticking.
Cook’s Tip: Buttered pasta doesn’t work well for pasta salad so do not add butter or oil after your pasta is cooked. Rinsing in cold water is enough to prevent noodles from sticking together and there is plenty of oil in the salad dressing.
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
- Caesar Pasta Salad
- Chicken Orzo Pasta Salad
- Cucumber Cauliflower Ditalini Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad is an easy, make-ahead recipe that is perfect for meal prep. Every bite is loaded with rotini, salami, fresh mozzarella, olives, and healthy vegetables, and it all comes together with a homemade creamy Italian Dressing.
- 8 oz rotini pasta
- 6 oz salami, sliced into strips
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (3 cups)
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, pearls or halved mozzarella balls
- 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers* drained and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup Italian dressing, or added to taste
Cook rotini pasta according to package instructions in salted water just until pasta is aldente (firm to the bite).
While pasta cooks, prep remaining ingredients and make Italian Dressing.
Add dressing just to the portion fo salad you plan to eat. Enjoy right away or cover and let the salad marinate for 1-3 hours before serving.
*Or you can make your own roasted peppers
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen