This Zesty Italian Pasta Salad recipe has all of the elements of a Chopped Italian Salad but in pasta salad form: abundant veggies, fresh cheeses, and a sweet and tangy Italian dressing.
This cold pasta salad with an Italian dressing recipe makes a huge batch! It will serve about 12 people as a main dish or 18-24 as a side dish! This salad makes it perfect for summertime cookouts, get-togethers, and potlucks.
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
To me, summertime screams quick and easy meals. Pasta salads are it when it’s too hot to heat the kitchen. I find myself making pasta salads just about every week, and a giant salad like this pasta salad usually gets us through 2 dinners and a few lunches.
Can you freeze pasta salad?
There are differing beliefs when it comes to freezing pasta salads. Some believe that it changes the texture of the pasta too much. Others believe that while it does change the texture a tad, there are a few steps you can take to assist in a better outcome.
This dish has all of the elements of your favorite chopped Italian salad but in pasta salad form, including a sweet and tangy Italian dressing that’s ah-mazing!
My daughter loves this pasta salad for school lunches, and I often bring it to cookouts or potlucks because this recipe serves a ton!
Cook’s Note – Cold Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing:
- This recipe will serve 12 people as a main dish or 18-24 as a side dish.
- This pasta salad makes a TON, feel free to cut the recipe in half. The pasta salad is even tastier the second day as the flavors continue to marinate in the fridge.
large mixing bowl
Pasta Salad Add-Ins:
This recipe is delicious as is, but sometimes I like throwing in additional ingredients that I have on hand. Below are some of my favorite add-ins.
- grilled chicken
- shredded chicken
- crispy pancetta
- grilled shrimp
- cooked, sliced, and cooled Italian Sausage
- sliced zucchini
How Much will this pasta salad with Italian dressing cost to make?
RECIPE COST: $21.99
PER SERVING COST: $1.83
NOTE: I calculate the recipe prices by using name brand grocery prices on grocery store websites.
- 16 oz pasta $1.38
- (2) 14.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans chickpeas $1.72
- 1 6.5-Ounce can sliced black olives $2.79
- 1 ½ cups salami $4.20
- 8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese $1.46
- 1 ½ cups Roma tomatoes $0.78
- 1 small red onion $0.70
- 2 medium cucumbers $0.96
- 1 ½ cups artichoke hearts $1.92
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese $1.98
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar $0.78
- ¼ cup honey $0.33
- 2 Teaspoons dried Italian seasoning $0.39
- 4 large garlic cloves $0.20
- 1 cup olive oil $2.32
How do you make Italian pasta salad?
Italian Chopped Pasta Salad
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 4 large garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 16 oz pasta
- 2 14.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans chickpeas
- 1 6.5-Ounce can sliced black olives
- 8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 ½ Cups salami chopped
- 1 ½ Cups chopped Roma tomatoes
- 1 small red onion diced
- 2 medium cucumbers chopped
- 1 ½ Cups artichoke hearts chopped
- salt & pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup olive oil
MAKE ITALIAN DRESSING:
- Place vinegar, honey, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle the olive oil until the dressing is combined and emulsified. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, or add more oil if you want it less acidic.
- Cook the pasta as per the package instructions. Drain and rinse pasta with cool water, set aside.
MIX PASTA SALAD:
- In an extra-large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, garbanzo beans, olives, mozzarella cheese, salami, tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, and artichokes. Toss with the Dressing and evenly coat. Season with salt and pepper.
CHILL AND SERVE:
- Chill the pasta salad for at least 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
I recently updated the photos to this Italian pasta salad recipe; you can see the original ones here: