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overhead shot of a bowl of italian pasta salad with salad tongs in it
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4.67 from 18 votes

Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian Pasta Salad is what everyone needs in their go-to recipe arsenal for quick and easy recipes ideal for a potluck, picnic or any other summer get-togethers. It's healthy, it's fast, super easy to make, delicious and bursting with flavor. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian food, italian pasta salad, pasta salad
Servings: 12
Calories: 512kcal


Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound pasta such as penne, elbow, fusilli or rotini
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half or quartered
  • 8 ounce salami thickly sliced or cut in small pieces
  • 8 ounce bocconcini mini, or cut in half or quarters if using regular size bocconcini
  • ½ medium red onion finely chopped
  • 8 ounce spicy salami thickly sliced or cut in small pieces
  • 8 ounce Monterey Jack cheese cut in small cubes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives sliced

Italian Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon parsley fresh, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon oregano fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
  • 2 tablespoon basil fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • Cook pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package directions. For 1 lb of pasta you will need about 2 gallons of liquid, also make sure to salt your water well, at least 2 tbsp of salt. After you drain the pasta do not rinse it, if anything add a little olive oil to it to prevent it from sticking together.
  • Combine salad ingredients: Toss all the pasta salad ingredients together. 
  • Prepare salad dressing: In a small bowl or jar add all the dressing together and whisk well. If using a jar, put the lid on and close it, then shake well. You want the dressing to emulsify a little bit, this will ensure the pasta will absorb the dressing.
  • Toss and serve: Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.



  1. Cheese: I used mini bocconcini, but regular mozzarella cut in cubes can be used as well. Another alternative to Monterey Jack cheese could be a marble jack cheese, or a sharp cheddar cheese.
  2. Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. This salad is even better the next day.
  3. Nutrition: This salad will yield about 15 cups, so nutritional information is based on a little over a cup per serving. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 1.7mg