This Italian Pasta Salad is great for summer get-togethers, picnics and cookouts. It is simple to make, feeds a large crowd and is loaded with your favorite Italian-inspired ingredients.
Pick your favorite pasta and pair it with chickpeas, artichokes, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then top it with a light dressing. Don’t forget to add fresh herbs like basil and parsley to take the salad to the next level.
I like to buy a big block of mozzarella cheese and cut it into chunks because I feel that it holds up better, especially if you are making this salad ahead of time. You can use fresh mozzarella, but I wouldn’t add it into the salad until you are ready to serve it. Try it with cheeses like sharp cheddar, gouda, pepper jack or provolone, too. Have extra cheese? Get tips on how to store it so it stays fresh.
If you love this salad, you also must try Creamy Southwest Vegetarian Pasta Salad and Pasta Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing. Perfectly-packable Individual Caprese Pasta Salads were made for picnics or camping trips.
Italian Pasta Salad
- 20 minutes
- 10 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 10-12 servings
- 16 ounces rotini pasta (or pasta of your choice)
- 16 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup salami, chopped
- 1 cup pepperoni, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped
- 6 ounces artichoke hearts, halved
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup pepperoncini, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package. Remove, drain and run cold water over it. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, chickpeas, salami, pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, artichokes, red onion, pepperoncini, fresh basil, fresh parsley, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Gently toss to combine.
- In a mason jar or salad dressing container, combine the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to combine.
- Ideally refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!