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Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing


45 min

Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing

Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Photo 1


Bean salad


45 min


8 persons




4.00 rating-star (270)


Author: Victoria Bailey
A homemade Italian pasta salad dressing takes this simple pasta salad loaded with veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and olives to a whole new level! Serve it right away or make it ahead for packed lunches, picnics, or summer barbecues.


  • (8 ounce) package uncooked tri-color rotini pasta: 1 pack
  • pepperoni sausage, diced: 6 ounces
  • provolone cheese, cubed: 6 ounces
  • red onion, very thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces: 1 medium
  • cucumber, thinly sliced: 1 small
  • chopped green bell pepper: 0.75 cup
  • chopped red bell pepper: 0.75 cup
  • (6 ounce) can pitted black olives, drained: 1 can
  • minced fresh parsley: 0.25 cup
  • grated Parmesan cheese: 0.25 cup
  • olive oil: 0.5 cup
  • red wine vinegar: 0.25 cup
  • garlic, minced: 2 clove
  • dried basil: 1 tsp
  • dried oregano: 1 tsp
  • ground mustard seed: 0.5 tsp
  • salt: 0.25 tsp
  • ground black pepper: 0.125 tsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
    Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Photo 2
  2. Transfer drained, cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add pepperoni, provolone cheese, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.
    Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Photo 3
  3. Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper for dressing in a jar with a lid. Seal the jar, and shake until well combined.
    Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Photo 4
  4. Pour dressing over the pasta salad; toss until well coated. Serve immediately, or cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before serving.
    Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Photo 5

History of the Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing:

Pasta salad originated in the United States during the 20th century and became a popular dish during the 1970s. This salad is typically made using cooked pasta mixed with various vegetables, meats, and dressings. It is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or even as a main course. With its simple yet delicious homemade dressing, this Italian Pasta Salad takes this classic dish to the next level.

Tips and Tricks for Pasta Salad with Homemade Dressing Recipe:

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Fresh vegetables and quality meats and cheeses will make all the difference in the taste of the salad.
  • Rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly so that it doesn't become mushy.
  • Let the pasta salad sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together for a tastier dish.
  • This recipe is easily customizable. Add or subtract ingredients based on personal preferences.

Tips for presenting the dish:

  • Serve the pasta salad in a large bowl for family style serving, or in individual bowls or jars for a more personal touch.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, for added color and flavor.
  • Serve the pasta salad with a side of garlic bread or breadsticks for a complete meal.

What Goes With Pasta Salad?

Pasta salad is typically served as a side dish, especially at potlucks and picnics.

How Long Does Pasta Salad With Homemade Dressing Last In the Fridge?

Since this pasta salad dressing is oil-based, it'll keep a little longer than its dairy-based counterparts. Store pasta salad with dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It's best served cold, so you won't need to reheat it — just take it straight out of the fridge and enjoy!

Can You Freeze Pasta Salad?

We don't always recommend freezing cooked pasta because too-soft pasta will not hold up well in the freezer. However, if you make sure your pasta is al dente, it should be fine.

To freeze pasta salad with dressing, simply transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or multiple zip-top bags wrapped in storage wrap and foil, if you don't plan to thaw the whole batch at once). Label with the date and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

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