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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.

Italian pasta salad in serving bowl with 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.

Ingredients for Italian pasta salad with rotini pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, mozzarella, red onion, salami, parsley, roasted red pepper and homemade Italian Dressing

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.

Italian Dressing in mason jar with tomatoes and parsley on the side

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.

The best pasta salad with rotini pasta and other pasta salad ingredients arranged in mixing bowl

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.

Pasta Cooked until aldente for pasta salad in bowl combined with other pasta salad ingredients

More Pasta Salad Recipes:

Italian Pasta Salad

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Italian pasta salad in serving bowl with Italian dressing

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.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $18-$24
Keyword: italian pasta salad, pasta salad
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Calories: 386 kcal
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Cook rotini pasta according to package instructions in salted water just until pasta is aldente (firm to the bite).

  2. While pasta cooks, prep remaining ingredients and make Italian Dressing.

  3. 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.
Nutrition Facts
Italian Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 1340mg58%
Potassium 331mg9%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 718IU14%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 180mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Debbie
    April 2, 2020

    I can’t find the kitchen tool you said would be in a link? It’s the one you scoop everything on thanks for your help! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 3, 2020

      Hello Debbie, are you referring to the food scraper (Affiliate link)? Reply

  • Sandra
    March 23, 2020

    Best salad dressing I ever made!!! Perfect balance of flavors! I love your recipes, there’s always a secret ingredient that makes it great like the mayo and sugar in this recipe and the bacon in your stew! Thank you for your recipes and I hope you and your family are staying safe! I’m so bummed I can’t go to the store now and get sour cream to make beef stroganoff!! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 23, 2020

      Hello Sandra, your comment and great review really make me happy. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Stay safe and healthy too! Reply

  • Joseph Pinnisi
    March 22, 2020

    All I can say is your the best!
    You provide everything needed for following simple instructions on how to make the most tasty meals.
    Only one thing I ask…
    PLEASE, don’t change your style?!
    Thank you for making me seem like a real cook. Hahaha! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 23, 2020

      Thank you for your kind words, Joseph. I appreciate it! Reply

  • Kitty Whittle
    March 20, 2020

    Amazing recipe, very informative post.
    Thanks for sharing! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 20, 2020

      Thank you for your great review. I appreciate it! Reply

  • Bianca
    March 19, 2020

    Hello! It looks great! Could you put the quantities in grams also, please?

    Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 19, 2020

      Hello Bianca. When you click on “Jump to recipe” click on “Metrics” and it will show you the ingredients in grams. Hope that helps! Reply

      • Bianca
        March 19, 2020

        Hi Natasha, it shows it on other recipes, but on this particular one the feature is not available  Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 19, 2020

          Thank you for noticing Biana, We are currently working on adding metric measurements to all of our recipes but it is taking some time as we have to add them one at a time. Thank you so much for being patient! In the meantime, check out our post on measuring which should help. Reply

          • Bianca
            March 19, 2020

            Thank you!😁

  • Jasica
    March 17, 2020

    I have made many dishes by following your blogs. I was looking for some delicious salads. It looks awesome.
    From now I will add this at least in a week.
    Cheers!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 17, 2020

      Sounds like you have a new family favorite! That’s so great! Reply

  • KYLE HOLLAND
    March 16, 2020

    love watching her video’s, what a hot looking woman, very informative recipe’s, my guest think I’m a master chief Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 16, 2020

      Happy to hear you’re liking our recipes, Kyle! Reply

  • Acer
    March 16, 2020

    I also add artichoke hearts. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 16, 2020

      That’s a great idea! Thank you for sharing that with me! Reply

  • daniele florence
    March 16, 2020

    you mentioned a link for the black lunch containers you suggested putting the salad into it. i cannot find the link Reply

  • Andi
    March 16, 2020

    My family LOVED this. I made it while cooped up this weekend on house arrest. It was delicious. We didn’t have any parsley and I had to use shredded mozz cheese but it was delicious!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 16, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that Andi! That’s so great! Reply

      • Irene
        March 16, 2020

        Us, too! We are on government groundation (lol) and had everything to make this except fresh parsley – and it was amazing! Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 16, 2020

          Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m happy you enjoyed that, Irene. Reply

  • Gladys
    March 15, 2020

    i Fail to mention how bubbly and you always smiling.you so happy,I like when you fling things it’s so natural.keep showing does great recipes. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2020

      Thank you for noticing that, Gladys. It naturally just comes out when I am cooking! Reply

  • michael d. fycyk
    March 15, 2020

    lay your tomatoes on the cutting board put a plate on top of them to hold them all together (bottom of plate on the top of the tomatoes) and take a long knife and come from the side while holding down on the plates and cut through all the tomatoes with one swipe. It works like a champ Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2020

      Awesome! Thanks for the suggestion. Reply

  • Cheryl
    March 15, 2020

    If the dressing is made ahead, how long would it last in the fridge? I have made this salad for many family reunions and also for myself; but have always used store bought dressing. Reply

    • Natasha
      March 15, 2020

      Hi Cheryl, you can definitely use your favorite store-bought dressing. I have in a pinch or when I just don’t have time to make the dressing. I always have a bottle of storebought on hand. The homemade dressing will last up to 2 weeks refrigerated. Reply

  • Linda McKinney
    March 14, 2020

    You asked if someone knew of an easy way to slice cherry tomatoes. I saw this on one of those FB videos and admit that I haven’t tried it. Take a dinner plate and set it upside down on the counter. Place the cherry tomatoes in a single layer on top inside the plate bottom rim. Place another plate gently right side up on top of the tomatoes. Then slice through all the tomatoes at once. Not sure whether it works or not, but may be worth a try. Enjoy your videos and recipes a lot. Keep up the good work. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 14, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me Linda! That is a great idea! I’ll have to try it! Reply

  • Joanne Reynolds
    March 14, 2020

    Hi
    You mentioned in Your video, if anyone had a tip to cut cherry tomatoes easier to let u know. I use 2 plastic round lids put tomatoes in between and slice right inbetween the two tops. It keeps them from rolling around and you can do many at the same time ! Thank you for sharing this recipe Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 14, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Joanne! I’ll have to give that a try! Reply

  • donald mcnamara
    March 14, 2020

    I made the Italian salad dressing and it is awesome! The best ever had! And I’ve tried a lot! I love your recipes! Thank You! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 14, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Rog
    March 14, 2020

    The saucer suggestion works very well, have used it for years. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 14, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Reply

  • Yvonne
    March 13, 2020

    Hi! I didn’t see the link to the food scraper in the notes. Would you please tell me where I can find it?
    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 14, 2020

      Here’s the amazon link to it. I hope that helps! Reply

  • Robert Riddell
    March 13, 2020

    To slice cherry tomatoes. Use two saucers. Put the tomatoes in one saucer. Place the second saucer on top of the tomatoes. Use your serrated knife between the two saucers in a sawing motion. I saw this on another cooking show but I have not Tri it. If you do let me know how it works.
    Bob Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 13, 2020

      Thanks for the suggestion, Robert. I should give that a try! Reply

  • Linda
    March 13, 2020

    That looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try this. Love your videos! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2020

      I hope you love this recipe, Linda! Thank you for that awesome review. Reply

  • Katie
    March 13, 2020

    My family would love this! Can’t wait to try it. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2020

      I hope you love this recipe! We look forward to your feedback! Reply

  • Katie
    March 13, 2020

    Pasta salad is my favorite, and this looks INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait to try it! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2020

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Katie! Reply

  • Allyson Zea
    March 13, 2020

    This salad looks soooo good! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 13, 2020

      You’re welcome, Allyson! I’m so glad you enjoyed that! Reply

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