One of my favorite side dishes to make for any gathering is my version of the Italian pasta salad. Although my version is similar to many of the other recipes out there, I add a few ingredients that make a huge difference!
Several years ago, I was looking for a quick side dish to bring to a party. After scouring my kitchen to find something to put together, I gave up. I ran to the grocery store to look at the premade pasta salads from the deli, but all I could find are the same old creamy pasta salads. I wanted something better.
Italian Pasta Salad
How hard could it be to make my own pasta salad? I headed down the pasta aisle and before I could pick up my first box of salad rotini, I stumbled upon a box of Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Classic; picked it up, went home and made it. It turned out OK, but I knew that I could do better. Below is what I came up with.
- 2 boxes of Barilla Tri-Color rotini
- 1 – yellow pepper
- 2 – red peppers
- 1 – green pepper
- 8oz block of mozzarella cheese
- Can of sliced black olives
- Package of sliced pepperoni
- A ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
- Package of cherry (or grape) tomatoes
- ½ jar of banana pepper rings
- 2 – tbsps. of minced garlic
- 1 – tbsp of dried oregano
- Lowry’s Garlic Salt
- Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Black Pepper
- Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
- Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Heinz White vinegar
Italian Pasta Salad Instructions
- Boil the pasta until it is al dente. When it is finished thoroughly rinse the pasta under cold water and set aside.
- Chop the red, yellow, and green peppers and put in a mixing bowl.
- Halve the cherry (or grape) tomatoes and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add the can of sliced (or whole) black olives and the banana pepper rings to the mixing bowl.
- Cut the fresh mozzarella ball into ½ inch cubes.
- Cut the block of mozzarella into ¼ inch cubes.
- Juliane the pepperoni into thin strips. If you are in a hurry you can just cut them in halves.
- Add the cheese and pepperoni to the mixing bowl with your other ingredients and toss until they are well mixed.
- Prepare the Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix according to the directions on the package, but substitute vegetable oil for olive oil.
- Combine all of the ingredients with the rotini and mix thoroughly.
- Add approximately half the bottle of your salad dressing and mix thoroughly.
- Add the garlic salt, black pepper, oregano, and minced garlic to the pasta salad and mix. thoroughly. You may add or reduce the amount of salt and pepper to your liking.
- Cover the pasta salad and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try my Basil Pesto Pasta recipe.
Check out more of my recipes under Cocktails and Eats!