Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Italian Pasta Salad with it's own dressing.

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe. A cold pasta salad recipe with Italian Salad Dressing includes Tri-colored Rotini, black olives and cheese.

Make your salads from scratch include those vegetables you like and exclude those you don't. Make as much of this salad as you need for your meal or double the recipe and enjoy leftovers.

It is delicious the second time around.

Serve with garlic bread and perhaps an Italian Cheese or cold cut meat sandwich for a nice, quick luncheon or patio party.

The serving possibilities are endless.

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

  • 1 (12 oz.) package Tri-colored Rotini Pasta
  • 3-4 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole black olives
  • 1 cup cherry or grapes tomatoes*
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano Cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 recipe Italian Salad Dressing below

Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan.

Stir in Rotini pasta. Cook about 20 minutes or until it is the firmness that you desire for your cooked pasta.

Remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water immediately to halt the cooking. Set aside.

In a large bowl, prepare the following recipe.

Vinaigrette Italian Dressing

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon light Karo (corn) syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder**
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

Pour water into a large mixing bowl (large enough to hold all your pasta).

Stir in olive oil.

Then, slowly stir in the vinegar.

The mixture will start to emulsify a little. This emulsifying (getting thickened) helps keep the mixture from separating.

Stir in the lemon juice.

Add the salt and oregano and mix well.

Fold in peppers, olives, and tomatoes.

Gently, fold in cold (room temperature) cooked Rotini.

Sprinkle cheeses on top and gently fold into pasta.

Reserve a little cheese to sprinkle on top as a garnish after your have placed it in your serving dish.

Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later.

*1 cup chopped regular sized tomatoes can be substituted.

**Garlic powder provides a stronger garlic flavor than fresh because it is very finely ground.

However, the fresh garlic contains the juice which may or may not provide more health benefits.

Types Of Pasta

  • Rotelle (wagon wheels)
  • Shells
  • Bow Ties
  • Spaghetti
  • Penne
  • Ziti
  • Macaroni

Rotini - the type we used in this Italian Pasta Salad Recipe (image above) comes in white or tri-colored.

Suggested Vegetables To Add

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms (fresh or canned)
  • Onions
  • Squash
  • Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers
  • Zucchini


  1. For full flavor, allow this Italian Pasta Salad Recipe to return to room temperature before serving, because some Italian flavors diminish somewhat when chilled.
  2. Pasta also needs additional moister when placed in the refrigerator, if it is to be chilled for several hours or overnight.

    Cutting juicy vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers into smaller pieces will result in a moister salad.
  3. If you prefer your bell peppers soft (cooked) instead of fresh (raw), cook them along with the pasta.

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