This easy cold Italian pasta salad packs a ton of flavor with Italian salami and freshly chopped veggies that are tossed with rotini pasta and Italian dressing.
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Table of Contents
About Italian Pasta Salad
Everyone loves a tasty pasta salad, and one of the most iconic is Italian pasta salad. Between the tri color rotini to the melody of chopped veggies to the savory Italian salami, this cold pasta salad is as delicious as it is recognizable.
Plus, salads like this are perfect for feeding a crowd and travel well, so it can easily become a go-to side dish for any occasion.
What goes in pasta salad with Italian dressing?
Pasta – This pasta salad is designed to use tri color rotini pasta for a classic look and color, but you can use any type of pasta that you like.
Italian salami – One of the main reasons for this cold pasta salad’s name, Italian salami brings a ton of flavor and a little spice.
Lots of veggies – Like the pasta, you can jazz this pasta salad up with any combination of vegetables that you like, but it’s traditionally made with red grape tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, red onion, and black olives.
Mozzarella cheese – Cheese is a must in any salad (pasta or not), and this recipe capitalizes on the Italian flair with chunky mozzarella.
Italian dressing – Whether you use store-bought or homemade dressing, this is a staple for bringing all of the flavors together.
How long does cold Italian pasta salad last?
When stored in a sealed container, this pasta salad should last for three to five days.
Can you freeze Italian pasta salad?
I personally can’t recommend freezing pasta salad. It can be done, but you might get wildly different results depending on when you freeze it, how it’s packaged, etc. And even if you do everything correctly, freezing and thawing will ultimately remove a bit of water from all ingredients, which could greatly impact the texture of the salad.
However, if you’re dead set on freezing a pasta salad for later, check out this article for a complete guide: Tips to Freezing Pasta Salads.
What goes good with Italian pasta salad
This type of pasta dish is typically served as a side, and it goes best with mild-to-medium flavored dishes. Here are a few suggestions:
Grilled or marinated meats, such as:
- Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken
- Grilled BBQ Pork Chops
- Italian Style Meatball Kabobs
- Apple Cider Pork Chops
- Smoky Ranch Pork Chops
- Sweet Italian Chicken
Brothy vegetable soups, such as:
Strong vegetable dishes, such as:
Notes & this for this pasta salad
- If you don’t already have one, you’ll need an extra large bowl to mix all of the ingredients together.
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How to make pasta salad with Italian dressing
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Cook the pasta per the package directions until al dente, then drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.
Step 2 – Add the following ingredients to a large bowl: cooled pasta, Italian salami, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, black olives, parmesan cheese, Italian salad dressing, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Use a spatula or two spoons to gently toss everything together.
Step 3 – Cover the bowl and chill for at least two hours.
Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 12 oz tri color rotini pasta
- 2/3 lb Italian salami, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 6 oz black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch salt, to taste
- 1 pinch pepper, to taste
- Cook rotini pasta per package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set pasta aside.
- In a large bowl, add cooled pasta, Italian salami, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, black olives, parmesan cheese, Italian salad dressing, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Gently toss all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.
- Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Serve Italian pasta salad immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.