Is there anything better in the summertime than a big bowl of chilled Pasta Salad? It’s one of my favorite things ever. This Italian Pasta Salad is fresh, easy to throw together, and perfect for weekly meal prep or entertaining friends.
My mom always used to make pasta salad growing up. It was one of her, I’d say..5-6 go-to items. Did your mom have her weekly rotation items that she made over and over again?
Ours were White Chicken Chili, Spaghetti, Chicken Tettrazini, Pasta Salad, Stuffed peppers, and Taco Salad. I still crave these recipes to this day.. maybe a little nostalgia but also super delicious.
I love prepping pasta salad at the beginning of the week and storing in the fridge for easy lunches, side to easy weeknight dinners, a quick snack when I’m feeling hungry, etc. It takes no more than 30 minutes to throw together and is always so yummy.
I also love making pasta salad for group gatherings because it’s something that can be made ahead of time and is always a crowd pleaser.
Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, and let’s face it- this Italian pasta salad was MADE for Memorial Day. It’s summery, light, fresh, easy to make, easy to serve, and just all around amazing.
Can I use store-bought dressing?
Yes, of course! Do whatever is easiest for you, however I personally like to make my own homemade Italian Dressing. It’s healthier, more fresh in my opinion, and only takes about 2 minutes total, so it’s totally worth it!
Simply combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lots of spices in a bowl and whisk up. Yep- that’s it, folks. I hope you love!!!
How long does Pasta Salad last in the fridge?
Around 3-4 days! I would suggest storing it in a large airtight container, and you should be good to go! It does not freeze well unfortunately, so eat it up!!
What goes well with pasta salad?
So many things!! I love serving it with grilled chicken and watermelon, but there are so many options. Grilled corn, sliced tomatoes, turkey sandwiches, baked beans (try these crockpot reunion beans– SO GOOD!), etc. you get the gist!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- Pistachio Pesto Pasta Salad
- Grapefruit Avocado Salad
- Tomato and Mozzarella Arugula Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- Lemon Herb Orzo Salad
Italian Pasta Salad
For the Italian Dressing:
- 3/4 c olive oil
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp salt, more to taste
- Freshly cracked Pepper, to taste
For the salad:
- 12 oz pasta of choice (I used vegetable radiatore)
- 8 oz salami, quartered
- 4 oz can sliced black olives, drained
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 12 oz mozzarella balls (I like to use marinated and add a few T of the olive oil the mozzarella was marinating in because it has lots of flavor!)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Whisk dressing ingredients up in a medium sized bowl until combined. Transfer to fridge to chill while you prep the rest.
- Cook pasta per instructions on package until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add salami, black olives, red onion, mozzarella, bell peppers, tomatoes, parsley, and lemon to a large mixing bowl. Add cooked pasta, and homemade dressing and toss to combine.
- You can serve immediately or transfer to the fridge to chill for a few hours.