Super easy pasta salad – with pasta, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, spicy salami, pepperoncini, olives, and easy Italian dressing. DANGEROUSLY GOOD.
Pasta Salad Essentials:
- 1 pound uncooked pasta
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half
- 1 lb. salami or summer sausage, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 3/4 cup pepperoncini (optional, but do it)
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Italian Pasta Salad Dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (white vinegar or red wine vinegar work)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1–2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (yes, tablespoons – see notes section!)
- 2 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons each dry oregano and dry basil
- black pepper to taste
- fresh herbs if you want! sometimes I add fresh parsley, basil, or chives.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, in salted water for more flavor. Allow to cool slightly and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking.
- Blend up the dressing, or shake together in a jar.
- Toss all ingredients together! I like to use about three-fourths of the dressing, and then I save the rest of the dressing to add to my leftovers.
- Keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. I think it actually tastes best the day AFTER you make it.
Update 7/12/22: Based on reader feedback and additional testing, the olive oil in the dressing was reduced to 1/2 cup (previous, it was 1 1/2 cups).
Please note that the amount written is for COARSE sea salt. If you are using fine table salt, start with 2 teaspoons and add more to taste. The dressing itself will be very salty. Like, too salty for a normal salad. But in this recipe, that’s what we want! That dressing is going to get tossed with an entire pound of plain pasta, as well as a whole lot of fresh unseasoned vegetables, and it will taste delicious once it’s all tossed up. If you don’t want as salty a dressing, feel free to reduce it to 1 tablespoon.
You can also save time on onion prep with this guide on how to cut an onion.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Side
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pasta salad, pasta salad recipe, best pasta salad, potluck recipe, summer recipe