This Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing recipe is a delicious make-ahead dish that is perfect for potlucks and parties! The salad is loaded with veggies, pasta, and salami then is mixed together with a zesty, homemade Italian salad dressing!

If you love pasta salads, you’ll love our Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad and the Easy Pasta Salad Recipe!

Ingredients for pasta salad with Italian dressing in a bowl.

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

This quick pasta salad takes just a few minutes to make and is perfect for a family barbecue or as a side dish for a potluck. It is kid-friendly, can be prepped in advance, and is a great way to use up extra veggies in your fridge. The flavors taste just as good as your favorite restaurants, like the popular Olive Garden!


  • Pasta – a short pasta will be best for the dressing to stick to. Rotini, fusilli, penne, or farfalle are some of our favorites. However, just about any short pasta will work. 
  • Salami – adds protein and amazing Italian flavor to the salad.
  • Red Onion – gives great texture and an added level of flavor. 
  • Cucumbers – give a great crunch and add freshness.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – we suggest cherry or grape tomatoes as they are best for make-ahead salad and won’t get soggy.
  • Bell Pepper – adds color and a crunch to the salad. Yellow, green, or red bell peppers (or a combination of colors) will all work. 
  • Olives – our recipe uses pitted Kalamata olives, drained and sliced in half. You could also use black olives, or leave them out completely if you don’t like olives!
  • Italian Dressing – we use our Homemade Italian Dressing recipe.

Chef’s tip: Chop ingredients into uniform pieces to get all of the flavors in each bite!

Ingredients for pasta salad in ramekins.

How to Make Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

  • Cook pasta– Cook your pasta al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse the pasta under cold water.
  • Prepare dressing- combine the olive oil, white wine vinegar, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and basil in a glass jar or in a bowl. Shake in a mason jar or whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Chop vegetables- halve the tomatoes and olives, cube peppers, slice the red onion, and chop cucumbers.
  • Chop salami- cut the salami into bite-sized strips.
  • Combine- in a large bowl, add the rinsed noodles. Add all of the chopped ingredients.
  • Add dressing- add the dressing and mix to combine. Top with fresh herbs like chopped parsley or cilantro, if desired.
  • Serve and Enjoy!
Pasta with salami, vegetable and homemade dressing in a large serving bowl.

Substitutes and Variations-

  • Add heat: Use spicy salami if you want to add some heat.
  • Different meat: Although salami adds a wonderful Italian flavor to this salad, feel free to substitute it for pepperoni, prosciutto, or ham.
  • Vegetarian option: You can easily leave out the meat for a vegetarian salad.
  • Add cheese: Add fresh mozzarella or feta cheese if you love cheese!

Serving Suggestions-

This recipe is great on its own, but you can also serve it with these crowd favorites:

Pasta with vegetables, salami and dressing tossed

frequently asked questions-

How do I keep the pasta from becoming soggy?

To prevent a soggy pasta salad, cook pasta until al dente- or firm to the bite.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Yes, this salad is perfect to make in advance. Prep your ingredients and dressing up to two days in advance. Keep them covered in the fridge in separate containers and toss them together just before ready to serve.

Can I freeze this salad?

We do not recommend freezing this salad.

How do I store leftovers?

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can I use store-bought dressing?

You may definitely use your favorite store-bought dressing for a quicker recipe.

Pasta with salami, vegetable and dressing tossed in a large serving bowl.

More Salad Recipes:

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing Recipe

Author: Valentina
5 from 1 vote
This amazing Pasta Salad with Italian dressing recipe is a party favorite and so easy to make. Pasta with vegetable, salami and a homemade Italian dressing – great as a make-ahead recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 10 oz dried pasta uncooked
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 2 mini cucumbers sliced
  • 6 oz hard salami (or genoa) sliced
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olive drained and sliced or halved
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ bell pepper cut into cubes

Italian dressing


  • Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients.
  • Cut all the vegetables and salami.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse the pasta under cold water.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  • Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


499kcal Calories62g Carbs21g Protein18g Fat6g Saturated Fat2g Polyunsaturated Fat9g Monounsaturated Fat34mg Cholesterol1241mg Sodium705mg Potassium5g Fiber7g Sugar918IU Vitamin A38mg Vitamin C61mg Calcium2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 499 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 1241mg54%
Potassium 705mg20%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 918IU18%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)