Italian Pasta Salad


Eggless Gluten Free High Altitude Lunch & Dinner No Seed Oils Salads | Published June 25, 2021 by Mimi Council

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Indulge in the Mediterranean charm of this Italian Pasta Salad, a vibrant and flavorful dish that captures the essence of Italy in every bite. Cold Penne pasta combined with fragrant basil leaves, mozzarella, tomatoes, and more is a simple dinner that everyone will love.

If you love pasta as much as I do, be sure to check out some of my other favorite recipes like my Baked Feta Broccoli Pasta with Lemon, Caprese Pasta Salad, or my Butter Parmesan Pasta.

italian pasta salad

Bursting with sun-kissed cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, rich green olives, and fragrant basil leaves, each forkful of this Italian Pasta Salad offers you a taste of Italy. The pasta, dressed in a zesty Italian vinaigrette infused with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and a hint of garlic, delivers a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Whether enjoyed as a light lunch or a side dish at gatherings, this Italian Pasta Salad is sure to be a hit with whoever you serve it to! Especially if you're having a party, this is a great dish as it makes a lot of servings. This easy Italian Pasta Salad is an easy and delicious recipe.

italian pasta salad

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Easy to Prepare: Italian Pasta Salad is simple to make, requiring minimal cooking time and effort! It can easily be prepared in advance, making it a simple option for parties or busy schedules.

Burst of Flavors: Italian Pasta Salad offers a delightful medley of flavors, combining tangy vinaigrette, savory met, fresh veggies, and herbs for a satisfying meal everyone will love!

Nutrient-Rich: Packed with healthy ingredients like tomatoes, bell peppers, olive, and organic pasta, this Italian Pasta Salad provides a healthy does of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

italian pasta salad

Ingredients & Health Benefits

Pasta: I use organic Penne noodles, you can use twists or bow ties as well.

Summer Sausage: I use Organic Prairie Summer Sausage. If you don't have this you can use salami or even chicken.

Mozzarella: I use Organic Valley Mozzarella and grate it myself. Read my article 5 Reasons to Grate Your Own Cheese.

Bell Peppers: I use organic bell peppers, green and yellow. You can use any colors. Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Cucumbers: I love organic cucumber for crunch in this salad. It's high in water content which is great for hydration.

Cherry Tomatoes: I use organic Cherry tomatoes, Grape tomatoes would also work. Tomatoes have cancer fighting properties.

White Onion: Organic white onion can be subbed for red or yellow as well. Onions are loaded with antioxidants.

Green Olives: I use organic green olives with red pepper in the center. Olives have healthy fats that also give this salad some saltiness which I love!

Parmesan: I like to buy a block of organic parmesan and grate it myself.

Basil: I use fresh basil to top this salad. Basil is full of antioxidants and its great for digestive health.

Salt and Pepper: I use this in the salad and in the dressing!

EVOO: I love organic extra virgin olive oil for dressings as it's anti-inflammatory and has great flavor.

Balsamic Vinegar: I use organic balsamic vinegar for the dressing, it adds tang. Plus vinegar is great for gut health.

Lemon Juice: You can use fresh lemon juice or even organic lemon juice from a bottle, either will work.

Spices: I use organic garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, and salt and pepper for the dressing.

Tools Needed

3-Quart Pot

Mixing Bowl

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Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Cook the noodles per the instructions on the box. Drain and allow to cool completely.

Step 2

To make the dressing: In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk together to combine. This dressing will separate, so best to store in a bottle that can be shaken up if you won't be preparing the entire salad at once.

Step 3

In a very large bowl, add the noodles, sausage, mozzarella, green and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, and parmesan. Toss to distribute evenly.

Step 4

Before serving: Add the fresh basil, dressing, and give it a good salt and pepper (to taste) and toss again.

italian pasta salad

Tips

  • Make sure your noodles are cooked and cooled before making this salad. You can even prep and cook them the night before and store in an airtight container in the fridge. That makes this salad really easy to prep the next day.
  • You can prep the dressing the day before as well. Just don't store it in the fridge as it will congeal. You can leave it out overnight if you'll be prepping this the next day. If storing for a longer period of time, store in the fridge, as this is a great dressing for lots of stuff!
  • If you can't get the Organic Prairie Summer Sausage (1. you're missing out as it's amazing), but 2. you can use Italian Dry Salami in its place. I prefer the summer sausage as it's thicker so you can cut into small chunks that have more bang when eating it in a bite.
  • You don't have to put all the dressing on the entire salad. When I make this I like to prepare everything, and then leave the basil and dressing off. When I want to make a bowl, I'll prepare a bowl of the salad, dress it, add fresh basil and salt and pepper at that time. Because it's just Delaney and me, whenever I make this we will eat this salad all week long so this makes it stay fresh longer.

FAQ's

Can I use another protein?

Yes, if you don't have summer sausage you can use Italian Dry Salami or chicken breasts as well.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, but leave off the dressing and fresh basil until right before serving.

italian pasta salad

Craving More?

italian pasta salad

Italian Pasta Salad

Mimi Council
Italian Pasta Salad is a vibrant and flavorful dish that brings together the best of Mediterranean cuisine. This salad features Penne pasta mixed with a colorful array of fresh vegetables like juicy tomatoes, crunchy bell peppers, and tangy olives. I add in mozzarella, summer sausage, fresh parmesan and basil so each bite is a perfect balance of texture and taste!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Makes 20 servings
Calories 344 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 2 pounds Penne noodles
  • 1 Organic Prairie Summer Sausage (diced)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 cucumber (sliced and quartered)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ white onion (diced)
  • 2 cups green olives (sliced)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

Instructions
 

  • Cook the noodles per the instructions on the box. Drain and allow to cool completely.
  • To make the dressing: In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk together to combine. This dressing will separate, so best to store in a bottle that can be shaken up if you won't be preparing the entire salad at once.
  • In a very large bowl, add the noodles, sausage, mozzarella, green and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives, and parmesan. Toss to distribute evenly.
  • Before serving: Add the fresh basil, dressing, and give it a good salt and pepper (to taste) and toss again.
  • Store the undressed salad in the fridge for up to 7 days, dressed up to 3 days.

Notes

Gluten Free — Use gluten free noodles.
High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 10gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 401mgPotassium: 232mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 347IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 1mg
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