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Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes! Fresh and colorful cheese, vegetables and salami and Italian vinaigrette are tossed with your favorite pasta to create an unforgettable dish for just about any summer occasion.
Pasta salads are one of my go-to potluck dishes from fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad to a delicious Caesar Pasta Salad and of course my famous Dill Pickle Pasta Salad! Not only does everyone love them, but pasta salads are super easy to make and they’re even better when made ahead of time!
Potluck Perfect Pasta Salad
Whenever summer rolls around, we always seem to be headed to barbecues, potlucks, and patio parties. Of course, I’m always asked to bring a big pitcher of Classic Mojitos (it’s the drink I’m known for) but I almost always bring a cold pasta salad recipe along too! This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is a really fun twist on a classic pasta salad because it’s loaded with so many goodies. It travels well and goes with pretty much anything.
Big Bold Flavors
This easy pasta salad recipe is loaded with flavor, you can add in your own favorite Italian inspired ingredients diced artichokes and sundried tomatoes also make great additions!
Ingredients for pasta salad: You can use shells, or whatever medium noodles you happen to have handy, though
Noodles for Pasta Salad
Tri-color rotini does an amazing job at holding the cheese and Italian dressing in the crevices for max flavor!
Cook the pasta al dente so it isn’t mushy and it holds up well to the dressing.
Tips to Make the Perfect Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad Dressing
To make this recipe easy and quick, I use a bottled Italian dressing but of course, homemade Italian Dressing is amazing if you have the ingredients on hand.
Make ahead… The best thing about this pasta salad recipe is that it gets better as it sits and the flavors blend! It’s the perfect make ahead side dish, it takes 20 only about minutes to prepare. What could be better than that?
As this Italian pasta salad sits in the fridge, the acids in the dressing actually work to help break down the starches in the pasta and the proteins in the veggies, resulting in a more flavorful and tender pasta salad (so be sure not to overcook your noodles)!
Make Homemade Italian Dressing combine the following: