Basic Italian Pasta Salad With Purple Wine French dressing

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Put together to be the preferred particular person on the potluck – this Basic Italian Pasta Salad can have everybody asking for the recipe! It’s a wholesome and refreshing facet dish that appears like consolation meals.

In search of extra pasta salad dishes? Check out my Greek Tortellini Salad, Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad and Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad.

A large bowl of pasta salad on a marble kitchen countertop

Straightforward Pasta Salad With Salami and Cucumber

A stunning dish doesn’t must require a ton of effort. Seems, all you want are some recent greens, your favourite pasta noodles and a quick-fix French dressing dressing! You received’t have the ability to put down your fork when a bowl of this pasta salad is in your placemat.

Along with the veggies, pasta and dressing, it options salami and mozzarella for a lift of protein in addition to recent herbs to deliver house that traditional Italian taste. It’s historically served as a facet dish or an appetizer, however you can completely divvy it up into bigger parts and make it a major course. This big-batch recipe is nice for that!

Since potluck season is upon us and pasta salad is a must have, this model serves as much as 16 folks. You possibly can halve or quarter it in the event you’d like fewer parts, however there’s actually no want – you’ll really feel fortunate to have all these leftovers! They keep recent within the fridge for days.

Mozzarella pearls, halved olives, chopped salami and the rest of the ingredients on a kitchen countertop

What You’ll Want

This pasta salad stays true to its Italian roots, beginning with the elements. Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the quantities related to every merchandise.

For the Pasta Salad

  • Gluten-Free Rotini Pasta: Or one other brief, textured noodle of your alternative equivalent to penne, fusilli, cellentani and even farfalle (bow-tie pasta).
  • Salami: Lower into small cubes.
  • Cucumber: Sliced into half-moon shapes.
  • Halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • Halved Black Olives
  • Sliced Purple Onion
  • Contemporary Mozzarella Pearls: You could possibly use pre-shredded cheese as a substitute, however the pearls are more energizing and extra genuine. Dicing up a ball of recent mozzarella can be an possibility.
  • Sliced Pepperoncini: Also called Tuscan Peppers, these aren’t very spicy in any respect. They add a candy and peppery aspect to the salad.
  • Chopped Contemporary Parsley
  • Contemporary Basil: Chiffonade, or sliced into skinny strips.

For the Italian Dressing

  • Garlic Cloves: Freshly minced.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Purple Wine Vinegar
  • Salt: Added to style.
  • Olive Oil
A large white serving bowl full of Italian pasta salad

How you can Make Italian Pasta Salad

This traditional facet dish comes collectively in a flash, particularly in the event you use pre-cooked pasta. When you cook dinner the pasta on the spot, simply keep in mind to let it cool off a bit earlier than you mix it with the opposite elements.

Make the Dressing

Mix Garlic, Mustard, Vinegar & Salt: Add the minced garlic, dijon mustard, pink wine vinegar and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk all of it collectively.

Whisk In Olive Oil: Slowly pour within the olive oil, whisking your complete time, till the dressing is emulsified (totally blended). Set the French dressing apart.

Assemble the Salad

Prepare dinner Pasta: Prepare dinner the pasta to al dente in accordance with the bundle directions. Drain it and pour it into a big bowl. Enable it to chill for 5-10 minutes.

A large bowl filled with rotini pasta cooked to al dente

Add Remaining Components: As soon as the pasta has cooled off a bit, add the remaining salad elements to the bowl.

Various vegetables in a bowl with fresh herbs, mozzarella cheese, pasta and salami

Add Dressing & Toss: Pour the ready dressing over the salad and gently toss all of the elements collectively utilizing two wood spoons.

Take pleasure in! Serve the pasta salad instantly or retailer it within the fridge till you’re able to take pleasure in it.

One big bowl of Italian pasta salad placed on top of a marble surface

Can I Make It Forward of Time?

Utilizing pre-cooked pasta isn’t the one approach to get a head begin on this Italian salad. The dressing will also be made a day or two prematurely and refrigerated in a separate hermetic container from the pasta. Be happy to chop up the veggies, herbs and salami forward of time as properly, retaining them refrigerated in a 3rd hermetic container. That manner, all it’s a must to do is mix every thing and serve!

Suggestions for Success

Need a number of useful tricks to hone your salad-making expertise? I love the dedication!

  • Stick With Contemporary Components: Aside from the pepperoncini, which is pickled, all your salad veggies needs to be good and recent. The identical goes for the cheese and herbs in addition to the garlic within the dressing. Belief me, your salad can be higher for it.
  • Don’t Overcook the Noodles: Each genuine Italian recipe with pasta requires the noodles to be cooked al dente. In different phrases, they need to be cooked by way of however agency while you chunk into them. That is particularly necessary in the event you count on to have leftovers, because the pasta will soften up whereas it sits.
  • Serve Instantly: When you’re not serving this salad immediately, be sure you retailer it within the fridge till you’re able to take pleasure in it. I like to recommend retaining it in a cooler in the event you’re bringing it to a potluck to make sure most freshness.
Homemade pasta salad being mixed by a wooden spoon

Variation Concepts

Italian pasta salad could be taken in loads of completely different instructions. Listed below are some easy methods to change it up:

  • Use Honey Mustard Vinaigrette as Your Dressing
  • Swap Out the Mozzarella for Feta or Provolone
  • Use Kalamata Olives As a substitute of Black Olives
  • Substitute the Salami for Pepperoni
  • Use Totally different Herbs
  • Change the Pepperoncini With Diced Bell Pepper

What Does Pasta Salad Go With?

Whether or not you’re having fun with this pasta salad as a part of an informal household dinner or whipping it up for a elaborate occasion, it’s straightforward to pair with different dishes. Take your decide!

  • Eggplant Parmesan: Let’s begin with a traditional major course that matches the delicacies of this salad – Eggplant Parmesan. Every saucy, tacky chunk will depart you mesmerized!
  • Caprese Sandwiches: Within the temper for a fast yard grilling sesh? These Avocado Caprese Chicken Sandwiches are one other Italian-style entree that tastes nice alongside this pasta salad.
  • Baked Inexperienced Bean Fries: When you’re having fun with your salad as a major dish, I recommend pairing it with a crunchy or crispy facet like Baked Green Bean Fries. That variation in texture hits all the best notes!
  • Summer season BBQ Most important Dishes: After I consider this Italian Pasta Salad I consider all these summer season BBQ’s. A few of our favourite major dishes to serve with this salad are BBQ Baby Back Ribs, the last word Classic Turkey Burger, the Best Marinated Chicken Breast.
An overhead shot of pasta salad in a large bowl with a metal fork inside

How you can Retailer Leftovers

I’m going to allow you to in on just a little secret – Italian pasta salad is even tastier after it sits within the fridge for some time. It is because the dressing infuses the salad with taste whereas the dish is resting. Simply be sure you don’t depart it out at room temperature.

As a substitute, refrigerate your pasta salad in an hermetic container. It would keep recent for as much as 3 days.

Can I Freeze This?

The one element of this salad that does properly within the freezer is the pasta. The thawing course of would damage the dressing and make the veggies mushy.

To freeze cooked pasta, let it cool fully and switch it to an hermetic container. Freeze it for as much as 4 months, thawing it out within the fridge earlier than you employ it in your salad.


A close-up shot of a bowl of pasta salad with a wooden spoon inside

Basic Italian Pasta Salad Recipe


Put together to be the preferred particular person on the potluck – this Basic Italian Pasta Salad can have everybody asking for the recipe! It’s a wholesome and refreshing facet dish that appears like consolation meals.



For the Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb. gluten free rotini pasta
  • 8 oz. salami, reduce into small cubes
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber, half moon shapes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup black olives, halved
  • 1/2 sliced pink onion
  • 8 oz. pearl mozzarella balls
  • 1/3 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/4 cup chopped recent parsley
  • 1/4 cup recent basil, chiffonade

For the Italian Dressing

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup pink wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt to style


Make the Dressing

  1. To a medium bowl add garlic cloves, dijon mustard, pink wine vinegar and salt. Whisk collectively. Slowly pour in olive oil whisking your complete time till the dressing is emulsified. Put aside.

Assemble the Salad

  1. Prepare dinner pasta to al dente in accordance with bundle directions. Drain and pour into a big bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to permit the pasta to chill barely.
  2. As soon as pasta is cooled add salami, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, black olives, pink onion, mozzarella balls, pepperoncini, parsley and basil. 
  3. Pour the ready dressing over prime and gently toss all of the elements collectively utilizing two wood spoons. 
  4. Serve instantly or retailer within the fridge till able to serve.


  • Makes 14-16 servings.
  • To Retailer: Refrigerate pasta salad in an hermetic container for as much as 3 days.

Key phrases: italian facet dish, wholesome pasta salad, pasta salad with italian dressing

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