BEST PASTA SALAD

BEST PASTA SALAD

BEST PASTA SALAD

Find an easy pasta salad recipe for your picnic or potluck. More than 470 recipes, including the classic Italian pasta salad.

Meet your new summer bestie:

A stupidly easy Italian pasta salad with rotini, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onion, salami, olives, herbs, and a drench of quick homemade Italian dressing.

If you want to know what I’ve eaten for 4 of my last 5 meals, it’s THIS SUMMER ESSENTIAL. We are kind of having a moment here.

In my mind, a nice classic pasta salad serves one of two scenarios:

  • Attending a picnic, potluck, or another end-of-summer-everyone-bring-something type party;
  • Addressing the leftover meat, cheese, and vegetables in my fridge and making them into a meal that I pretty much want to eat 24/7.
    This pasta salad will do both for ya.

Just… some stuff.

It’s very flexible. These are my favorite pasta salad mix-ins:

Good, spicy salami. Yummy cheeses. Tomatoes or some other friendly non-threatening vegetable. Greens of some sort – even if it’s just fresh parsley. Olives and red onions and pepperoncini.

Also, we need pasta with a good solid texture and shape to absorb all the sauce. I like rotini. (Also, DeLallo! It’s our favorite.)

Super easy Italian Pasta Salad – with pasta, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, olives, and easy Italian dressing. DANGEROUSLY GOOD

INGREDIENTS:

Pasta Salad Essentials:

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta – I like rotini!
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
  • 1 lb. salami or summer sausage, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pepperoncini (optional, but do it)
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil1/4 cup white vinegar (white vinegar or red wine vinegar work)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (yes, tablespoons – see notes!)
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each dry oregano and dry basil
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs if you want! sometimes I add fresh parsley, basil, or chives.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Blend up the dressing, or shake it together in a jar.
  3. Toss all ingredients together! I like to use about three-fourths of the dressing, and then I save the rest of the dressing to add to my leftovers.
  4. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. I think it actually tastes best the day AFTER you make it.

ENJOY!

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