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
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.
Courses lunch, dinner, potluck, party
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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.