Italian Pasta Salad

Italian pasta salad is packing a punch of flavor with a homemade Italian dressing. This pasta salad is bursting with goodness – salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, and pepperoncini! 

Try this Italian Pasta Salad with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, and more! It's such a crowd pleaser! #bunsinmyoven #pastasalad #recipes

I have been a long time lover of the cold pasta or vegetable salad.

I think my husband was a little shocked and dismayed the first time he came to a family dinner at my parent’s house. Everyone brings sides and the majority of those sides are cold salads.

My broccoli salad with bacon has been a favorite forever. So is my mama’s classic macaroni salad.

He is not much for these types of salads. They usually have onion and he’s not a fan of that. He’s also weird about cold pasta and potatoes, so you can imagine his struggle.

For my Italian pasta salad recipe, keep scrolling down to the recipe card.

pasta salad recipe in bowl

Luckily for him, I love this type of side dish and am happy to eat his portion for him. 😉

This pasta salad with Italian dressing is basically a big ol’ bowl full of heaven. There is SO much good stuff packed into one pasta salad. I bet you won’t want to share!

How to make pasta salad:

First, you have to boil up some pasta. Don’t overcook it, because pasta salad needs a more firm pasta.

You’ll want to let your pasta cool before adding in all the goodies, so drain and rinse under cold water. <— If you have strong feelings about rinsing pasta, go ahead and stick it in the fridge rather than rinsing under cold water, but know that it’s going to stick together a bit when you go to mix it up.close up of pasta salad recipe

Next, you’ll dice up all the goodies going inside.

For this Italian pasta salad recipe, we’re using a big mix of things – fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, cherry tomatoes, fresh baby spinach, red onion, and pepperoncini. You can adjust these ingredients to fit your tastes with no problem.

Skip the pepperoni for extra salami. Swap the pepperoncini for mild banana peppers. Use grated mozzarella instead of fresh mozzarella. It’s hard to mess this one up, though in my opinion, the recipe is perfect as written. 😉

Stir all that goodness into the pasta and move on to the dressing.

italian pasta salad in bowl

Pasta salad dressing:

If you love Italian dressing (I do!!), you’re going to love my homemade version! It’s perfect for coating the pasta salad.

You’re going to need some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, sugar, oregano, basil, and rosemary.

The sugar does not make this sweet – it’s just a bit to balance out the acidity. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, sweet Italian dressing is from the devil. I feel the same way about sweet pickles. 😉

Everything just gets whisked together really well. Easy as pie.

italian pasta salad in bowl

Pour the dressing right over your pasta salad, stir to coat, and taste for seasoning. I usually add a bit more salt, but taste it and see what you think.

There you have it – pasta salad with Italian dressing! Easy, right?

I told you this one was simple!

It’s a hearty and filling recipe too. So many things packed into one little side dish. You have to make this for your next get together, friends! You won’t regret it.

Italian Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 8 minutes Total Time 18 mins
Serves 10     adjust servings

This Italian pasta salad is bursting with flavor from the pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, and veggies! The homemade Italian dressing is perfect for this salad!


For the pasta salad

  • 1 pound tri-colored rotini
  • 8 ounces mozzarella balls
  • 8 ounces salami
  • 8 ounces pepperoni
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini

For the dressing

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. To make the pasta salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta is cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cut the mozzarella balls in half. Cut the salami and pepperoni into small pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes and roughly chop the spinach. Dice the peperoncini into small pieces.
  3. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl with the prepared mozzarella, salami, pepperoni, tomatoes, spinach, onion, and pepperoncini.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir well to coat.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
  7. Taste and add additional seasoning as desired.


Recipe Notes


Disclaimer: The nutrition information presented below is not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 592kcal Calories from fat 352
% Daily Value
Total Fat 39g 60%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 1043mg 43%
Carbohydrate 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 22g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g