This amazing, fresh, delicious, zesty Italian pasta salad is packed with all the favorites – mozzarella, olives, tomatoes, salami, and of course, pasta! It is easy to make and incredibly delicious.
If you’re looking for a fresh, flavorful pasta salad to take to a summer BBQ, this is it!! Filling enough to eat as a meal or perfect as a side. This zesty Italian pasta salad comes together in just under half an hour. While the pasta is boiling/chilling you can prep the remaining ingredients. Toss it all in a big bowl and it’s ready!
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad
PASTA: When it comes to choosing the pasta, make sure to grab a short noodle. I generally prefer bowties, rotini, shells or penne for pasta salad. These noodles are easy to eat and hold the dressing better than their longer counterparts.
TOSS & ENJOY: Toss everything together with minced shallot, freshly chopped parsley, coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and the dressing. You can enjoy it right away OR store it in the refrigerator overnight. The salad will marinate in the dressing and whoa will it be delicious!
Why do you rinse the pasta with cold water? You should rinse the pasta with cold water because it not only cools the pasta’s temperature down, but it also removes some of that extra starch that comes from boiling pasta.
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 lb bowties rotini, shells, or penne
- 1 6 oz can whole olives - halved
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes - halved
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 8 oz mini mozzarella balls
- 3 tbsp parsley - chopped
- 3 oz salami traditional dry - cut in thirds or quartered
- ¼ tsp coarse kosher sea salt
- 1 small shallot - minced
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup vinaigrette - your favorite!
Optional Add Ins
- ¼ cup roasted red bell peppers - sliced
- ¼ cup marinated artichokes - chopped
- 4 pepperoncini - seeds and stem removed sliced into thin rings
- Bring a large stockpot filled 2/3 of the way with water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package's directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Refrigerate while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss with dressing.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.