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italian pasta salad in white bowl with basil sprig nearby

Italian Pasta Salad

  • Author: Melissa Riker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: none
  • Cuisine: Italian American


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar also works)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 pound rotini
  • 12 ounces Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 4 ounces roasted red peppers, diced
  • 8 ounces pepperoni, cut in half or quarters
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into shreds
  • Optional: 1/2 cup diced red onion, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, 1/3 cup sliced black olives, 1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half, any other veggies you might want to add!


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cook rotini al dente according to package instructions.
  3. Shock pasta under cold water and continue to rinse until fully cooled, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine pasta and remaining ingredients in a large bowl along with dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before serving cold.


  • Cook pasta al dente so it doesn't get mushy in the dressing
  • Chop veggies and cheese into small pieces so they are easy to combine in one forkful
  • To make it even prettier for special occasions, try to include a wide variety of colors in your vegetables!
  • Shock the noodles with cold water after cooking and ensure they are completely cool before adding the other ingredients
  • Make this at least 2 hours before serving, preferably overnight to allow flavors to blend

Keywords: Italian pasta salad