This pasta salad is a foolproof summer favorite. It’s made with pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, onions, salami, olives, and herbs.

I can see two possible scenarios for a classic pasta salad:

  • Attending a picnic, potluck, or other end-of-summer-everyone-bring-something type party when you need to bring a side dish;
  • Making a meal out of the meat, cheese, and vegetables that are in my refrigerator. I want to eat it all day long.

This tasty little number is sure to please.

Pasta Salad Ingredients

Have you got two and a quarter seconds? Cool.

These ingredients are required:

  • Your favorite pasta noodle shape
  • Cherry tomatoes or any other vegetable that is not a threat
  • Mozz cheese balls
  • Salami (choose a good spicy salami)
  • Kalamata olives, or black olives
  • Pepperoncini (optional… sort of)
  • Red onion and Parsley

Choose pasta with a solid texture that will absorb the sauce. I prefer rotini, penne or farfalle.

Pasta Salad Dressing

It is important.

This is a recipe for a tangy Italian salad (no mayo!). Here are the ingredients.

  • Olive oil
  • white vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oregano, basil, and dried oregano
  • Sugary little treat
  • Fresh herbs (Parsley, basil, or chives, for example)

It takes about 60 seconds to make it at home using a food processor or blender. You made this dressing, you boss of the pasta salad.

How to Make Pasta Salad (4 steps)

It’s summer, so we don’t spend all day cooking. This beauty is for sharing with family, friends, neighbors, daycare workers, post office employees, and anyone else who can grab a fork. Let’s make some pasta salad!

  1. Follow the instructions on your package to cook pasta. Drain and rinse. Let it cool down a little, and add a few drops of olive oil.
  2. Chop your vegetables, cheese, meat, and other fixings.
  3. Blend your dressing or shake in a jar.
  4. Mix everything, taste it, and make adjustments. Use all your self-control muscles to avoid eating the entire dish before guests arrive.

How to make and store pasta salads in advance

The best part about pasta salad is the fact that it gets better and better as the flavors linger together.

  • How to store: After I make the pasta salad, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Make ahead: My favorite way to prepare pasta salad is 12-24 hours in advance. It will absorb the dressing and not become mushy.

One last piece of advice. It is not necessary to wait until you are invited to a potluck or picnic to enjoy some pasta salad.

This is the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.

On the way home, stop at the grocery store and buy some fresh herbs, olives, and good salami. All you need to do is cook some pasta and then combine it with the other ingredients. Dinner is a cold pasta salad with a glass or two of rose, and you can have the leftovers all week.


Pasta Salad Essentials:

  •  1 pound Uncooked pasta
  •  Three cherry tomatoes Cut in half
  •  8 Ounces Fresh mozzarella cheese balls Cut in half
  •  1 lb. Salami You can also find out more about summer sausage cut into cubes
  •  3/4 kalamata olives Sliced
  •  3/4 pepperoncini Do it!
  •  1/2 Sliced Red onion
  •  1/2 Fresh Parsley

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing:

  •  1/2 Olive oil
  •  1/4 white vinegar White vinegar or red wine vinegar will work.
  •  1/4 Water
  •  1 – 2 The following are the ingredients of tablespoons coarse sea salt (Yes, tablespoons! See notes section!)
  •  2 Cloves. You can also find out more about the following: (or one teaspoon Garlic powder
  •  One tablespoon Sugar
  •  Two teaspoons. You can also find out more about us on our website. Dry oregano You can also find out more about the following: Dry basil
  •  Black pepper Taste
  •  Fresh herbs If you wish! Sometimes, I add fresh Parsley, basil, or chives.


  1. For more flavor, cook pasta in salted water according to the package instructions. To prevent sticking, allow the pasta to cool and then toss it with some oil.
  2. Shake or blend the dressing in a jar.
  3. Mix all ingredients. I use three-fourths and save the remaining dressing for my leftovers.
  4. Please keep it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. It tastes the best the day after you make it.