Italian Pasta Salad is one of those recipes that is great for any occasion, especially if your needing to feed a crowd. This delicious recipe is packed with veggies, pasta, salami, cheese, and seasonings to give you a bomb of flavor that will leave you full and satisfied.
The Best Italian Pasta Salad
This pasta salad with salami is so good! Although this recipe does have a lot of ingredients, it is super simple to make! You can just prepare all of your ingredients and combine them together in minutes. This is a recipe I love to make for parties or BBQs because it is always a hit.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
Mozzarella Balls: This is my favorite type of cheese to use because it is super soft and has a subtle cheesy flavor.
Cherry Tomatoes: Use these or plum tomatoes. I prefer using tricolor tomatoes.
Red Onion: I like using a red onion, but white or yellow will work just as well.
Cucumber: To make the prepping a bit easier, I like to cut the cucumber in half and removed the seeds using a fruit scoop.
Black Olives: Use black olives, but you also can use green or purple because they would also taste delicious here.
Seasonings: Use parsley, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to season the recipe.
Salami: I love using salami with this recipe, but you can choose another Italian sausage or kielbasa.
Pasta: Pasta is of course my favorite part about this recipe. You can use any kind of pasta that has a curve because it will soak up the pasta. You can use pasta like fusilli, rotini, farfalle, and many more.
Bell Pepper: Red bell pepper is what you want to use for this recipe. It not only tastes better but has a sweeter taste and balances out the saltiness in the recipe.
Lemon Juice: Using fresh lemon juice is always the best choice to get the freshest taste!
Dijon: Dijon will give the pasta salad a nice tangy and slightly smokey flavor.
Maple Syrup: To balance out all the seasonings is maple syrup. The syrup will add sweetness to the recipe which makes it taste so good!
How To Make Italian Pasta Salad
Step 1. Follow the directions on the pasta package or box. Cook the pasta with a sprinkle of salt and drain using a colander. Allow the pasta to cool or set it in the fridge for a bit to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
Step 2. Add the dressing ingredients into a jug or mason jar and shake to combine. Place in the fridge or at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Step 3. Cut your veggies and salami and place them into a large mixing bowl. Put in the cooked pasta and pour the dressing on top. Add more seasonings, if needed.
Step 4. If you want your pasta to really soak up that flavor, you can cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 1 hour. Serve and Enjoy!
What To Serve With This Recipe?
You can serve this recipe with a TON of stuff. I love making this recipe as a side for burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and more. This is also an incredible recipe to serve for a big crowd of people. Place the pasta with a buffet of food.
Tips & Tricks For Making This Italian Recipe
These are some great tips and tricks for making the best pasta salad:
- Make sure not to overcook the pasta. You want it to be firm but not too flimsy. You package instructions should cook the pasta until al dente.
- To keep the pasta from sticking together, I like to add some olive oil on top after cooking and draining.
- You may be able to avoid chilling the recipe further by cooling the pasta in the fridge before adding the other ingredients. Although, the pasta salad does taste so good when cooled and the flavors have time to soak up and blend.
- If you are in a rush, you can spread the pasta onto a baking sheet to cool faster
- If you need to store the recipe, it can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup mozzarella balls mini, whole or halved
- 13 cherry tomatoes plum or , I used tricolor, halved
- ½ red onion medium dice
- 1 cup cucumber sliced and seeds removed (I cut the cucumber in half and removed the seeds with a fruit scoop)
- ½ cup black olives green or purple would also taste delicious here
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 10 oz salami smaller dice (or other Italian sausage, or kielbasa)
- 15 oz pasta fusilli, rotini, farfalle, or any other pasta that has little curves that the dressing gets stuck in
- ½ cup bell pepper diced (red tastes better as it is sweeter and balances the salty flavors well)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
- 1 tsp Dijon
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package directions (al dente). Add a little salt to your pasta. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and let cool down or even chill in the fridge before stirring with other ingredients. (We are going for a cold salad here).
- For faster cooling, arrange pasta on a baking sheet while you cut other ingredients.
- Make the dressing. In a mixing jug or mason jar with a lid, combine dressing ingredients and stir/shake well. Let stand (fridge or room temperature) for 15-30 minutes for flavors to blend.
- Prepare your veggies and salami by cutting them and arrange in a large mixing bowl. Add in the pasta and stir in the dressing. Taste for seasoning.
- For better flavor, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. It is however optional.