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Easy and Delicious Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

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There’s nothing better in the summertime than a cold salad like my Zesty Italian Pasta Salad. This recipe is easy and delicious using fresh vegetables, pasta, and a zesty Italian dressing. This cold pasta salad comes together in minutes and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Zesty Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad is perfect to take to a family gathering or even for a week night side dish. The Zesty dressing takes this salad to a new level of yummy goodness. 😋

If you love cold salads as a side dish you will also like BLT Pasta Salad, Mexican Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad Or my Amish marcaroni Salad.

Ingredients for zesty italian pasta salad

What Do you need to make Zesty Italian Pasta Salad?

  • Rotini pasta – garden pasta
  • Summer sausage – or salami
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Red onion
  • Cucumber
  • Green bell pepper
  • Red peppers
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Mozzarella pearls – or cubed mozzarella cheese 
  • Parmesan
  • Parsley
  • Zesty Italian dressing – your favorite brand or a homemade Zesty Italian dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Zesty Pasta Salad how to in a large bowl

How To Make Easy Pasta Salad 🥗

  1. Cook the colored pasta according to package directions.  You can cook the pasta it for one minute less than the directions say for best results. 
  2. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking and cool quickly.
  3. Have all the vegetables, meat and cheese cut and add to the cooled pasta.
  4. Toss in a large bowl to combine. 
  5. Pour the homemade italian dressing over the pasta and gently stir.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Keep refrigerated till ready to serve.
close up view of pasta salad in a bowl

Tips For Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Undercook your pasta by 1 minute.  If it is too done, it will get mushy as it soaks up the dressing.
  • Cut all the vegetables the same size for a prettier pasta salad.
  • Use Fresh Vegetables for better results.
  • Feel Free to make this pasta to fit your family. 
  • If your family doesn’t like onions, you can omit them. 
  • If your family likes lots of meats, you can add all you want.
Pasta Salad On a spoon

How Do you Keep Salad From Drying Out?

Make sure to under cook the pasta slightly. The pasta will absorb the zesty dressing and get mushy if the pasta is over cooked.

Make sure you store in an air tight container. Add 1/2 cup of Zesty Italian dressing if the salad seems dry.

Zesty Pasta salad in small bowl

How To Cool Pasta down fast

Place pasta in a colander and drain. While pasta is still in the colander run ice cold water over the pasta for about 3 minutes.

What to Serve with Pasta Salad

You can eat this salad recipe as a main course since it has meats, vegetables, and a pasta. If you’re using this easy recipe as a side dish you can serve it with:

What’s the Difference between Italian Dressing and Zesty Italian Dressing?

Zesty Italian Dressing has a little more garlic and some red pepper flakes to give the flavor a little more zesty bite.

Storage:

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Italian Pasta Salad
Zesty Pasta Salad

Easy and Delicious Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

There's nothing better in the summertime than a cold salad like my Zesty Italian Pasta Salad. This recipe is easy and delicious using fresh vegetables, pasta, and a zesty Italian dressing. This cold pasta salad comes together in minutes and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 10 ounces summer sausage or salami, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (3.8 ounce)can black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the colored pasta according to package directions.  You can cook the pasta it for one minute less than the directions say for best results. 
  2. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking and cool quickly.
  3. Have all the vegetables, meat and cheese cut and add to the cooled pasta.
  4. Toss in a large bowl to combine. 
  5. Pour the homemade italian dressing over the pasta and gently stir.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Keep refrigerated till ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1420mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 24g

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