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italian pasta salad in a bowl

Easy Italian Pasta Salad


This easy Italian Pasta Salad has a tangy homemade dressing and all the Italian-style ingredients like pepperoni, ham, olives, mozzarella cheese and rotini pasta. Make it ahead and the leftovers keep well, too!


  • 8 ounces rotini (see note)

For the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 finely diced red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (see note)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces (or use the mini balls)
  • 5 ounces pepperoni (see note)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 (2.25-oz) canned sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the salt and pasta. Boil the pasta according to package instructions (should be about 10ish minutes). When it’s done, drain it and then spread it in an even layer on a sheet pan to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing until well combined. Add the cooked pasta and all of the other ingredients and toss it all together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing and well mixed. Garnish with extra parsley.


I usually add one tablespoon of kosher salt to the boiling water for this recipe. It gives the pasta more flavor and most of the salt drains off. It’s optional but highly recommended. Just keep in the mind the nutritional estimate does not include this extra salt as it’s difficult to determine how much is absorbed by the pasta.

For the tomatoes, you can use fresh (as listed in the ingredients) or you can also substitute 2 cups roasted grape tomatoes or 1 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes. 

For the pepperoni, I used mini ones but if you can’t find them use the same amount of regular sliced ones but cut them into quarters.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 527
  • Sugar: 4.2g
  • Sodium: 1115.6mg
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 25.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.3g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 19.2g
  • Cholesterol: 55.4mg

Keywords: Italian-style pasta salad, easy pasta salad recipe, Italian pasta salad