Today I’m sharing one of my favorite pasta salad recipes: Downright Delicious Italian Pasta Salad! It’s packed with the fabulous colors and textures of Italy. Drizzled with a zesty homemade Italian dressing, this salad is loaded with a beautiful combination of flavors. Mmmm… As you eat one yummy forkful after another, your taste buds will be singing and dancing. And there’s even more to love about this delicious Italian pasta salad! It’s super simple and quick to make. During the busy spring and summer months ahead, this is an easy healthy recipe you can turn to time and again. Buon appetito!
Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients
These are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this flavorful Italian pasta salad: penne pasta, dry salami or summer sausage, grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), mozzarella cheese balls, small or medium black olives, sliced red onion, sliced peperoncini, Italian parsley, and zesty homemade Italian dressing.
Ingredients for Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe
This easy pasta salad recipe has an incredibly flavorful Italian dressing! Although you can use a bottle of store-bought dressing, if you have a few simple ingredients on hand you can make an outstanding homemade version quickly and easily. Here’s what you’ll need: virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, granulated sugar, clove of garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Italian Salad Dressing
Here’s how to make Homemade Italian dressing from scratch: Using a glass measuring cup, measure out the olive oil and red vinegar. Add in the lemon juice and pressed clove of garlic. Add in the granulated sugar (which both offsets and enhances the flavor of the lemon juice), the oregano, and basil. Whisk these ingredients together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad
This is how to make a delicious Italian pasta salad: Begin by boiling the pasta (al dente) according to package instructions. Slice and cube the dry salami or summer sausage. Cut the tiny mozzarella cheese balls into thirds. If using small black olives, you don’t need to slice them. If using medium-size olives, slice them in half across the middle. Slice each grape tomato in half across the mid-section. Chop or thinly slice the red onion. I use deli-sliced peperoncini from a jar, but you can use the whole ones (also from a jar) and just slice them yourself. Separate the Italian parsley leaves from their stems. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.
Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Add the cooked and drained pasta to an extra-large serving bowl. Add in all of the other pasta salad ingredients. With salad utensils or tongs, briefly toss everything together until well combined. Give your homemade Italian dressing one last whisk before pouring it over the pasta salad. Toss your Italian pasta salad again so the dressing covers all ingredients. If possible, allow the bowl of pasta salad to sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together nicely. But if you’re in a hurry, this delicious creation can be served right away!
High-Quality Kitchen Tools for Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
Cooking in the kitchen and preparing meals for your family is so much more enjoyable when using lovely high-quality kitchen tools. I slowly add to my own collection throughout the year. Below are beautiful finds that are a joy to use when assembling and serving this flavorful recipe for pasta salad with Italian dressing.
Downright Delicious Italian Pasta Salad
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
This Italian pasta salad is packed with the fabulous colors and textures of Italy. Drizzled with a zesty homemade Italian dressing, this salad is loaded with a beautiful combination of flavors. It’s quick to make, and is an easy healthy recipe you can turn to time and again. Buon appetito!
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTA SALAD
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
- 3 cups of cubed dry salami or summer sausage
- 3 cups grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), cut in half
- 1 + 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut into thirds
- 1 6-ounce can black olives (small or medium-size), whole or cut in half
- 1 + 1/4 cups red onion, thinly sliced then cut into smaller sections
- 1/2 cup deli-sliced peperoncini (from a jar)
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, lightly chopped
- Italian dressing, homemade (recipe below) or store bought
INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE ITALIAN DRESSING
- 1 cup virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS FOR PASTA SALAD
- Begin by boiling the pasta (al dente) according to package instructions. Add the cooked, drained, and slightly cooled pasta to an extra-large serving bowl. Add in all of the other pasta salad ingredients. With salad utensils or tongs, briefly toss everything together until well combined.
- Make the homemade Italian dressing (see below). Give your homemade Italian dressing one last whisk before pouring it over the pasta salad. Toss your Italian pasta salad again so the dressing covers all ingredients. If possible, allow the bowl of pasta salad to sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together nicely. But if you’re in a hurry, this delicious creation can be served right away!
DIRECTIONS FOR HOMEMADE ITALIAN DRESSING
- In a glass measuring cup, measure out the olive oil and red vinegar.
- Add in the lemon juice, garlic, granulated sugar, oregano, and basil.
- Whisk these ingredients together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: lunch, dinner, potluck, party
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian pasta salad, Italian pasta salad recipe, cold pasta salad
ITALIAN PASTA SALAD RECIPE > PIN IT TO PINTEREST
Save this beautiful, flavorful Italian pasta salad recipe for later. Pin it to Pinterest!
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Downright Delicious Italian Pasta Salad > Join the Conversation!
Do you have a favorite pasta salad recipe you make over and over again? What do you think about this easy Italian pasta salad recipe? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Join the conversation in the comments below.
23 thoughts on “Italian Pasta Salad”
What a coincidence. I made cilantro lime dressing last week from scratch. This will be amazing with this pasta.
This was such a fun read. I didn’t have a clue that this dish will be so easy to prepare. I’ll research a little bit more and make it myself.
It looks amazing! Love all the ingredients! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow!
This looks so good! I love an Italian pasta salad! I’m certainly going to try your recipe.
This does look and sound Downright Delicious! I love a good pasta salad I have to try this. Thanks for the new recipe.
OH. MY. Goodness, this salad looks fabulous! I would eat as a main dish meal.
This looks healthy and fresh! I’m going to try making this for my family. Perfect color salad for spring.
This kind of salad looks so yummy!! I love salad, it’s really good for our health. I also love your idea, it’s really interesting to me. I will try this at home.
Thanks for all!!
Yum! This looks so fresh. I’ll have to try making this!
I love this Italian pasta salad, it reminds me of antipasti salad and pasta salad mixed together. love this idea perfect for the summer. I wonder if I could remove the sugar from the dressing? I don’t like using sugar.
Yes please! I love a good pasta salad, and this one looks amazing. I’d just have to leave out the olives. My husband and son love them, so they’d be on the side!
I love the Italian Pasta Salad recipe. I have some penne pasta made from lentils that I was looking for a new recipe to use and am going to use this one with it.
I’ve never made my own Italian dressing from scratch but you make it look so easy.. and this entire pasta salad looks delicious. Something my family would definitely love!
This definitely looks delicious with all the ingredients and texture. I love how quick and easy this can be made and how it can be made a main dish perfect for any meal and occasion.
This salad is so colorful and pretty!! Yum!
This looks fantastic! My husband is going to love it!
Ooh I love Pasta Salad, it reminds me so much of Summer! And that salad bowl is so cute!!
This looks extremely delicious!! I would just leave out the black olives.
Goodness, this salad looks fabulous! This would make a wonderful main dish meal for my husband and I and I’m dying to make up a batch of that dressing. You just can’t beat the taste of homemade.
This looks so bright and delicious! The dressing looks absolutely delicious too. I think I’ll make this without meat for an even healthier option!
Wow!! This looks incredible and perfect timing bc I have a group of women coming out this weekend to go wine tasting and we are planning to have a picnic. I think I will pack this. Yum!
I love all of the flavors and colors in this salad! It would be perfect for a family get together!
This salad looks delicious! I will definitely need this come the summertime! I’ve pinned for later!