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With creamy cheese, salty salami, buttery castelvetrano olives, tender white beans, sun-dried and cherry tomatoes, perfectly cooked pasta and homemade Italian dressing, Italian Pasta Salad is an easy and delicious meal for any time and absolutely perfect picnic fare. With all of these flavors and textures, you can make every bite different!
This is a riff on my Italian Chopped Salad, made heartier with the addition of pasta. It's one of my go-to salads for potlucks and picnics (along with my Seafood Pasta Salad, Egg Salad, Creamy Cucumber Salad, Corn Salad, Fregola Sarda with Radicchio and Hazelnuts and Italian Potato Salad). It's always a hit and I can make it in minutes! I always toss this pasta salad with Italian dressing made from scratch, something that I always have on hand for a quick green salad or for dipping raw vegetables for a healthy snack.
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad
Step 1: Make homemade Italian salad dressing. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
Step 2: Combine all salad ingredients (pasta through cannellini beans); drizzle with desired amount of Italian dressing and gently toss to coat; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to allow flavors to meld. Serve.
Italian Pasta Salad Recipe Video
Italian Pasta Salad
Homemade Italian Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 medium clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Italian Pasta Salad
- 10 ounces dried rotini pasta or other short pasta
- 4 ounces provolone cheese diced small
- 4 ounces salami sliced into thin ribbons
- 8 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup castelvetrano olives pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans or 1 15-ounce can drained
- To make the Italian Dressing, combine first 5 ingredients (red wine vinegar through thyme) in a blender; blend until combined. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and blend to combine. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients to pasta (cheese through cannellini beans). Pour desired amount of homemade Italian Dressing over and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to allow flavors to meld before serving. Serve.
David @ Spiced says
This pasta salad is right up my alley, Marissa! I love every single ingredient in that list, and this salad sounds like a great option for Memorial Day picnics. Sign me up for a big plate of this one! I do have an Italian pasta salad recipe from my mother-in-law that I love, but I've never used cannellini beans in it. I'll have to add some next time I make it. Yum!! 🙂
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I love pasta salad! It's such a necessary dish for summer BBQs--I'll be adding this one to my rotation for sure!
I love to hear that, Kelsie! Thank you.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I don't often eat pasta salad but this one looks really good because there are so many bits and pieces in it! 😀
I don't either, Lorraine, but when I do, I want it to be more about all of the the goodies than the pasta itself!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I absolutely LOVE pasta salads, especially ones that are on the hearty side like this one! Loving the salami in here, Marissa! I can see this easily becoming a summer staple!! Pinning!
P.s I hope you are having fun on vacay!!
Yay! Thanks so much, Cheyanne. Vacay was amazing, but looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon!
I adore pastas salads so much! And the addition of salami sounds awesome here! Need to give it a try soon.
Thanks so much, Neha!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
Pasta salad is a must for summer gatherings! Love the idea of salami in here!
I agree! Thank you, my friend!
Kevin O'Leary says
The salami in this pasta salad makes it really special. What a great dish for summer cookouts!
Thanks, Kevin! Definitely love the salty kick of salami in this!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Perfect party food for summer get togethers.
Thank you, Karen!
What a beautiful salad, Marissa! I'm a huge fan of pasta salads, and you've managed to put all things I do love. Normally I go with a simple dressing which is balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but this one is lovely and so aromatic!
Thank you so much, Ben! Balsamic vinegar and olive oil is a favorite dressing combo of mine too. 🙂
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
This is definitely my kinda salad! Love the savoury, briny flavours of the olives and then the freshness of the tomatoes...not to mention sun-dried tomatoes - so good! Gotta make this one over the summer months. Perfect to go alongside a bbq!
Yay! Thanks, Dawn!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa! I wish I had a big bowl of this in my refrigerator! It's 94 and humid here and that does not inspire me to cook. I have been thinking of macaroni/pasta salad for a while now and will be making this soon!
Hi Dorothy! 94 and humid...that does not sound comfortable at all. Definitely the right weather for a cold main dish salad! Hope it's a little cooler today.