Easy Pasta Salad – a classic Italian Pasta Salad loaded with fresh produce and Italian favorites like salami, black olives and cheese; tossed with a vibrant homemade dressing. Great for spring potluck, summer parties or as a regular low-carb meal!
I’m a sucker for pasta. Aside from the obvious fact that you can do pretty much anything with pasta, it’s also a straight up easy dish to prepare.
And since where already in the spring-summer season, it is only rightful to enjoy fresh produce and toss them in a bowl of pasta salad
This time, I’m sharing to you this classic and easy Italian Pasta Salad which gives you the best of both world -pasta AND veggies. But it gets better than that.
We’re adding a few Italian touches in this salad including bits and pieces of salami, pepperoni, black olives, rotini, mozzarella and other herbs like basil.
If that makes you think of diving face first into your salad bowl, you’ll also love our finishing touch to this easy pasta salad – a homemade dressing! It perfectly complements all the element in our pasta salad.
You’ll love the herby, slightly sweet, tangy with a little kick dressing. It reminds you of the smell of green leaves and anything spring and vibrant.
It’s a great light weeknight dinner, as a potluck meal, make ahead lunches and even on barbecue parties. If you want to go cheesy, sprinkle your pasta salad with a light amount of crumbled feta cheese or grated parmesan like I did.
Tips and Notes:
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Allow it to cool completely before tossing it with veggies or sprinkle a bit of oil to prevent from sticking.
- You can use either sliced or whole olives. But the latter are juicer, though.
- This salad is even better the next day. Store them in a fridge for 2-3 days.
Easy Pasta Salad
- ½ pound rotini pasta , cooked according to package directions
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup red onion , cut in half half moons
- ½ cup red bell pepper
- 1-2 cups cucumber , cut in half moons
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives , pitted and halved
- 3/4 cup frozen peas , thawed
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into bite size pieces
- ¼ pound pepperoni , ham or salami
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil , chopped
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, or feta cheese , optional (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 dried teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1-2 basil leaves , chopped leaves
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add water to a large pot, salt and then bring water to a boil. Once the water has boiled stir in the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Pasta should have a bite to it.
- In a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients; minced garlic, oregano, parsley, vinegar, basil, mustard , sugar salt and pepper and olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large or salad bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, onion, red peppers, cucumber, olives, peas. pepperoni/salami/ham, grated parmesan cheese, bite sized mozarella cheese, parsley, fresh basil and ground pepper to taste. Pour vinaigrette dressing over the pasta and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill before serving.