Cold Italian pasta salad with rotini noodles, mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, and salami in a clear glass bowl.
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5 from 7 votes

Italian Pasta Salad

Everyone always loves this cold pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing. It starts with rotini noodles, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, pepperoni or hard salami, onion, and pepperoncini tossed together in a delicious homemade Italian dressing, making it the perfect Classic Italian Pasta Salad recipe to serve as a side for a BBQ or potluck.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Refrigerate2 hrs
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 664kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


  • 1 pound rotini pasta , uncooked
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese pearls (or chopped into pieces if you can't find pearls)
  • 8 ounces salami chopped, or substitute summer sausage)
  • 6 ounces black olives , sliced
  • 1/2 red onion , diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • pepperoncinis , sliced (optional)

For the Italian Salad Dressing (or substitute about 1 1/2 cups bottled zesty italian dressing):

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Make the salad dressing by combining all ingredients. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.

For the pasta salad:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain water and rinse pasta with cold water. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. 
  • Add pasta to a large bowl and pour half of the salad dressing over it. Toss to combine. Add remaining ingredients and dressing and toss everything to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer, before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.



I often use sauteed zucchini instead of cucumber.


Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1544mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 1.9mg