Classic Italian Pasta Salad is a colorful and reliable, go-to pasta salad recipe for spring or summer dinners, parties and picnics.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad is a colorful and reliable, go-to pasta salad recipe for spring or summer dinners, parties and picnics.

I’m back from Mexico and have this Classic Italian Pasta Salad to share with you today!  I had the best time and loved where we stayed. I must say it makes it much easier to snap back to reality when you are coming home to nice weather and not 10 feet of snow and cold.  I love springtime here in upstate NY and don’t mind “reality” right now at all.  I feel like I have my own little mini resort in my backyard with our huge patio and gazebo.  I spend a lot more time out there than I care to admit once the weather turns nice.

I’m so glad you’re here! Follow along on Pinterest for more inspiration!

Pasta salads are always a hit for Memorial day, potlucks, summer picnics or a simple weeknight meal side dish. Everyone needs a good, reliable pasta salad recipe in their life, right?  This Classic Italian Pasta Salad is so colorful (I love colorful food because somehow in my head it makes the food taste better) and hearty enough to actually stand as a light meal on it’s own.  Pasta salads are great because you can make them ahead of time – and it actually is advantageous to make them in advance for the flavor to be the best it can be.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad with pepperoni for a Memorial day, 4th of July, or summer side dish.

This quick chop and throw-together Classic Italian Pasta Salad is full of great flavor and will be your new favorite side dish.  It’s a great salad to use some of those fresh garden vegetables you may have laying around.  The little dash of white sugar I like to add to my pasta salads actually takes the edge off the Italian dressing without making the salad itself sweet at all.  You can leave this out but I really believe it makes a difference in the flavor!  Here are a couple of my other favorite pasta salad recipes: Simple Pasta Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad and Greek Pasta Salad.  You may also like some of the creative pasta salads from my friends: Creamy Pasta Salad that is light and slightly tangy from my friend Mary and Shrimp Pasta Salad with homemade Italian dressing from my friend Amy. Enjoy!

Classic Italian Pasta Salad for a Memorial day or 4th of July side dish.

Visit my Step-By-Step Video on How to Make This Classic Italian Pasta Salad

Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14-16 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) package fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ pound provolone cheese, cubed
  • ½ pound sliced pepperoni, cut in half
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle good quality Italian salad dressing
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Pat the noodles dry with a clean dish or paper towels to get some of the water off.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, olives and sugar.
  5. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat.
  6. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours for flavors to come together before serving. If letting sit overnight, you may need some more Italian dressing added before serving because the pasta will soak it up. Enjoy!