This veggie-packed zesty Italian pasta salad is super flavorful and has officially become one of our new favorite simple meals that’s even toddler-friendly! The base recipe is vegetarian, but there’s also an option to add salami or sausage if you’d like. You do you!
I’m a big fan of pasta salad – anyone else? It’s just so easy and versatile! I mean – pasta, veggies, and cheese drizzled with yummy dressing; what’s not to like, right?
Pasta salad is a great way to use up extra cooked pasta and veggies, and it’s perfect for packed or picnic lunches. It also makes a great side dish or main dish for a BBQ – simple serve it with a grilled protein!
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients
- whole wheat pasta (rotini, fusilli, bow tie, and penne all work great)
- bell pepper
- cherry tomatoes
- canned artichoke hearts
- black olives
- fresh mozzarella
- salami or Italian sausage (optional)
- Italian dressing (here’s the recipe for my creamy parmesan & herb Italian dressing, which is our new fave!)
How to Make Pasta Salad
Homemade Italian Dressing for Pasta Salad
Need more tasty packed lunch ideas? Here are some of my favorites:
- Healthy Chicken Salad
- Healthy Tuna Salad with Avocado
- Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
- Quinoa Taco Salad
- Shrimp, Cucumber, and Feta Orzo Salad
- Mason Jar Kale Salad
- 8 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions (rotini, fusilli, bow tie, and penne all work great)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 15-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 3.8-oz can sliced black olives, drained
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
- 8 oz salami or Italian sausage, diced (optional)
- 3/4 cup Creamy Parmesan & Herb Italian Dressing, recipe linked below in 'Notes'
- Optional, for serving: baby arugula, grated parmesan, chopped parsley
- Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Serve on a bed of arugula and garnish with grated parmesan and chopped parsley, if desired.
My favorite homemade dressing for this: Creamy Parmesan & Herb Italian Dressing