Get ready for your next BBQ or Picnic! This Easy Italian Pasta Salad is literally the easiest pasta salad you can make. It's one of the most classic sides for burgers and hot dogs, steak tips, or whatever else you're grilling up this summer.
Ingredients You'll Need
Pasta: Almost any type of pasta will work well in this recipe. Choose one with plenty of nooks and crannies to grab onto the dressing. I prefer the Tri Color Rotini for the bright colors, however any rotini, ziti, macaroni, or bow-tie would be great. You can even swap out the pasta for a gluten-free pasta.
Bell Peppers: Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers are best for this recipe. They're much sweeter than green peppers.
Pepperoni: Chop up a pepperoni stick for this pasta salad. You could also use salami, or leave out the meat for a vegetarian option.
Mozzarella: One ball of fresh mozzarella is all you need here. Chop it up into ½ inch pieces, or use the mini mozzarella balls and cut them in half.
Dressing: I love a Zesty Italian Dressing on this Pasta Salad. Use bottled dressing (I used Kraft for this one) or make a homemade Italian Dressing.
How to Make this Easy Italian Pasta Salad
You won't believe how simple it is to make this salad.
First, cook the pasta according to package directions. Make sure to salt your water to flavor the pasta! Next, bring the pasta to room temperature or cooler so it doesn't melt the cheese when mixing the ingredients. Finally in a large bowl toss the pasta with all other ingredients.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for an hour or so to let all those flavors sink into the pasta. Enjoy!
Pasta Salad Variations
The best thing about this Italian Pasta salad is how customizable it is. You can swap out or add any of these ingredients.
- Black Olives
- Chopped Roma Tomatoes or halved Cherry Tomatoes
- Diced or sliced Red Onion
- Diced Cucumber
- Chopped Salami
- Chopped Artichokes
- Substitute the pasta for Gluten-Free Pasta.
This classic pasta salad recipe has been my go-to BBQ side for many years now and is always a big hit. It's simple, light, and reminds me of summer.
Other Summer Recipes to Consider
- Cannellini Bean and Sun Dried Tomato Salad
- Cherry Tomato and Chicken Sausage Pasta
- Bacon Cheeseburger Salad
Get ready for your next BBQ! This Easy Italian Pasta Salad is literally the easiest pasta salad you can make. A perfect classic side with some burgers and hot dogs, steak tips, or whatever else you're grilling up this summer.
- 12 ounces tri color rotini
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 6 ounce pepperoni stick, chopped
- 8 ounce mozzarella ball, chopped in ½ inch pieces
- 1 cup zesty italian dressing
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, cooking just past al dente.
- Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for a minutes or two to bring to room temperature, or cooler.
- In a large bowl, mix the pasta with all other ingredients and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to sink into the pasta.