Italian Pasta Salad

I wasn’t a picky eater when growing up, but pasta salad was one of those few things that I really didn’t enjoy. Thankfully my parents seldom made it at home and the few times I found myself needing to eat it at someone else’s home I would give myself just a small serving to be polite and choke it down quietly. Somehow, over the years, I’ve discovered that when made with some of my favorite ingredients – I actually not only tolerate pasta salad, but love it. 10-year-old me would be disgusted. 😉

So when my friend Nicole (who blogs over at Just Live It) shared that she had made an this pasta salad recently I took one look at that photo and said “YUM!” I went out and bought the ingredients the next week and with a few minor adjustments – it was perfect to our liking! The original recipe can be found here on the Taste of Home website.

Italian Pasta Salad.jpg

Italian Pasta Salad


16oz rotini
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4oz provolone cheese, cubed
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, minced
14oz pitted Kalamata olives (note: I used regular black olives the day I took this photo, but this recipe is much better with Kalamata because they add an extra zing of flavor!)

1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp fresh basil, minced (or 3 tsp dried basil)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder


1. Cook pasta until al dente then drain and rinse with cold water.

2. While the pasta is cooking, mix together ingredients for dressing.

3. When pasta is cooked and drained, place in large salad bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, peppers, onions, and olives. Pour dressing on top and mix well. Refrigerate until serving.

Serves approximately 100 people. Just kidding. It only felt like it. It’s more like it serves 6 people for dinner or would be a great size salad to take to a party as a side dish.

Italian Pasta Salad2

Do you like pasta salad?
What’s a food that you didn’t like when growing up, but really enjoy now?
Love Rach


27 responses to “Italian Pasta Salad

  1. “Serves approximately 100 people.” HA! That gave me a chuckle. It does seem like that when you stick the huge bowl in the fridge… I love that it makes a delicious dinner and then lunch for several days. Or, like you said, it’s great as a side salad for entertaining or BBQ’s.
    I’m sooooooo glad you liked it!!! 🙂 I’m making it again this week!

    • Haha! YES! It made me laugh at how big of a dish I needed to serve this. I switched bowls twice before finally pulling out the most gigantic bowl I have, haha! But wow was this yummy! I’m so glad you shared it, Nicole!

      • I’m soooooo glad you enjoyed the recipe!! Although I have to apologize… 😉 I’m making it this week and realized that I always half the recipe! LOL!! I never noted on the blog that it makes a ton, because I half it out of habit. Just making half of it is enough to provide us with a couple of lunches and a larger entree portion. *sheepish grin* I’m SO glad you like it, since you were obviously up to your ears in pasta! Ha, ha. 🙂

        • Hahaha! This makes so much sense!! I definitely think I’ll half it next time because my gracious it was SO MUCH pasta! It was delicious, though! I’m hungry for it again this week! 🙂

          • I have been making it quite a bit, because Brady can eat his weight in it. 😉 The kid LOVES it!! I told Nate that I’m going to take a break from it for awhile, so that Brady doesn’t get sick of it. I’m hoping to make it a lot this summer. Ha, ha. 🙂

  2. I did not love pasta growing up either and only eat it in moderation now. However, pasta salad like this is definitely my favorite and I really like the recipe for your dressing! I’ll be excited to make this for the warmer months coming up.

  3. Mmmm! I loooooove Pasta Salad. I make mine with Mozzarella and cucumber instead of olives. SO yummy!

  4. wow this looks delicious, love all the pretty colors!

  5. I love pasta salad but am picky about it too. This one I think I’d eat – it’s very pretty too!

  6. This looks so good! I haven’t had pasta salad in a long time. I love anything with cherry tomatoes, though!

  7. I never used to like pasta salad either when I was growing up! Yet, now I love it! It’s totally one of my favorite summer meals. Delicious!

  8. This looks delicious! I also remember choking down a small spoonful when we were over at someone’s house when I was younger haha. I also love it now! I am a fan of anything with pasta, but have been working really hard to cut down my carbs a bit ( though I know I could never cut them out completely).

  9. This looks so good, girl! Something about pasta salad is so refreshing to me and always makes me think of summertime 🙂 Pinned!

  10. Love how colorful this dish is!

  11. Yum!! I love love love pasta salad! I ate a lot of it when I was pregnant.

  12. I’ve never really been a pasta salad fan – but this one looks so good! I bet it would be even better with some chopped salami in there too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s