The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Hands-Down The Best Italian Pasta Salad RecipeThe Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe, hands down. Your new go-to pasta salad for spring!

The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
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One of my favorite family recipes, is a classic Italian pasta salad Lt. Dan’s grandma, Mo, used to make.

Every time she served it she would change the recipe just a little bit. Yet her pasta salad always included fusilli pasta, little slivers of hard salami, black olives, tomatoes, and cheese. Over the years, I’ve made her recipe, tweaking it as I go, just as Mo always did.

Making The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

I know many families have a Italian style pasta salad recipe that gets pulled out for picnics and large events.

I’m partial to Mo’s because it’s heavily loaded with fresh veggies and pops of rich flavor from the salami, olives, and soft mozzarella.

How to Make The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

How To: The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Perfect! The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Therefore, this is what I consider The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe. It’s bold, textually diverse, and holds up well for several days in the refrigerator.

I’ve never tasted another version I like better.

Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

The homemade Italian vinaigrette is made with a generous amount of fresh garlic, giving the entire bowl a zesty punch.

My personal adaptation is to add jarred “Grilled Piquillo Peppers” to offer a bit of tangy sweetness. If you can’t find them, jarred roasted red peppers provide a similar appeal.

Love It! The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe is a great make-ahead for parties, family events, or as an easy lunchbox item to enjoy all week.

Lt. Dan says my version of Mo’s pasta salad is “Legit” and that’s really saying something. To him, Mo was the queen of all things. She certainly left her mark on both of us.

LOVE! Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
5 from 4 votes

The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
23 mins
The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe - Hands down the most perfect Italian style pasta salad we've ever tried!
Servings: 12 Servings
Nutrition Facts
The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 363 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 478mg 20%
Potassium 254mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 33g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 7.5%
Vitamin C 22.9%
Calcium 13.2%
Iron 7.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


For the Vinaigrette:
For the Italian Pasta Salad:
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped hard salami slices
  • 3/4 cup chopped grilled piquillo peppers, or jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 12 ounces mini mozzarella balls, drained and halved (22-24 balls)
  • 3.8 ounces sliced black olives (1 can), drained


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add a large spoonful of salt to the water. Then stir in the dried pasta. Cook according to package instructions, usually 6-8 minutes to al dente. Drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water in a colander. Shake off the excess water and place the pasta in a large salad bowl.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, whisk all the ingredients of the vinaigrette in a small bowl. Set aside. Then chop all the salad ingredients.
  3. Pour the tomatoes, sliced hard salami, chopped piquillo peppers, red onion, parsley, mozzarella ball and olives over the pasta. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss well to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe tastes best, when it's had time to sit, so the flavors mingle together. If you can, make it several hours (or even a day) ahead.

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18 comments on “The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

  1. Pingback: 5 Simple Pasta Salads For Your Next Summer BBQ - Karen Sincerely

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  3. Chadposted August 11, 2018 at 11:58 pm Reply

    Absolutely delicious!!! I’ve made this 2x this week! Can’t get enough!

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  5. Stella Pylesposted June 27, 2018 at 10:53 am Reply

    This was the best ever

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  11. Courtneyposted July 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm Reply

    I made this for a party over the weekend and it really was the best pasta salad recipe. It was soooo good. I wouldn’t (and didn’t) change a thing.


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  14. Amy Dongposted March 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm Reply

    This is summer perfection…we’re almost there! YAY!

  15. Lindsay | With Salt and Pepperposted March 31, 2017 at 2:01 pm Reply

    I love Italian salad and I love everything about this homemade vinaigrette!  Such a flavor packed salad for spring :-)

  16. Heather Christoposted March 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply

    I love a good classic pasta salad! It gives me hope summer is coming!

  17. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted March 31, 2017 at 10:17 am Reply

    Love this pizza like pasta salad!

  18. Peggieposted March 31, 2017 at 8:04 am Reply

    This looks great. Can’t wait to make it.