Pizza Pasta Salad loaded with pepperoni, olives, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, tomatoes, bell peppers and pepperocini.
Our summer BBQ’s are in full force. We’ve been using the grill almost every night to make dinner, which means I’m always in need of new side dishes to serve with dinner. Pasta salads are always an easy sell for my kids and my husband. What’s not to love about a PIZZA version?!
Is it just me, or do fun noodle shapes make a pasta dish more exciting? Like, when I make mac and cheese I will sometimes use little shell noodles or fun spiral ones like these cellentani noodles and my family loves the dish even more then usual. Some noodles are just cute and more fun to eat I guess. Besides the fun noodles, I love how this Pizza Pasta Salad is loaded with all of my favorite pizza toppings. the pepperocini peppers may be my favorite, but I love the fresh mozzarella cubes and the olives too. YUM.
Tips for this recipe:
You can really use any type of pepperoni or even turkey pepperoni. I used the original hormel pepperoni, which are small, but if you use the bigger ones I would cut them in half or quarters. I also think the hormel mini pepperoni’s are really cute and would be fun in this pasta salad.
The homemade dressing in this recipe is super simple and yummy, but if you want to use a store-bought Italian dressing it would taste great as well.
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time–super convenient too! If you do make it ahead of time I would reserve about 1/4 cup of Italian dressing to add right before serving, since the noddles will soak up some of the dressing as the dish marinates in the fridge.
- 8 ounces cellentani pasta cooked and drained, (or other bite size pasta)
- 1 (2 oz) package Hormel pepperoni
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese ball cubed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 green bell pepper seeded, chopped
- 1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, according to package instructions, until tender. Drain pasta and rinse well with cold water.
Mix dressing ingredients together and pour half of the dressing over the pasta. Toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Add a little more dressing, to your liking (you may not want to use it all). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again before serving.
*you can substitute ¾ cup store bought Italian dressing
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