This Creamy Italian Pasta Salad is made with a smooth Italian dressing, and loaded with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and other deliciousness. The perfect side dish for your next BBQ!
Another great dish to try is this Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Marinated Shrimp and this Kale Salad with Blackened Salmon.
Why we love this recipe
Pasta salad is one of our favorite dishes to make. They are quick to put together, and super versatile when it comes to flavors and additions. Whip one up to accompany your next meal, or take to your next cookout!
What kind of pasta to use for the Italian Pasta Salad:
For this particular pasta salad we used rotini pasta. Rotini pasta is also known as "spiral pasta," due to its shape. If you can find the tri-color rotini pasta, get it!
You should be able to find this type of pasta right in the pasta isle at your local grocery store. Regular rotini pasta will work just fine. The tri-color pasta makes for a nice presentation though.
Should you rinse the pasta after boiling?
Yes! Once it is boiled just until it is tender, but not mushy, you will drain the water and rinse the pasta. Rinsing the pasta does a couple things. First, it stops the cooking process so that it does not become overcooked and mushy. Second, it rinses off some of the starches so that it does not stick together.
The best dressing to use:
For this recipe we used both Italian and ranch dressings. Once they are combined, it creates such a smooth, creamy texture. Even more, it has that tangy and savory goodness that we are all familiar with.
It is best to use the bottles of already prepared dressing. However, the packets of dry seasonings can be used as well. If you go with the dry seasoning packets, be sure to prepare the dressing according to the directions on the packet.
How long will the pasta salad last in the fridge?
Once the pasta salad is prepared, transfer it to a container with a lid. It can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. As with most salads, this one is best when consumed right after it is prepared.
Making the salad ahead of time:
This pasta salad is a great side dish to make ahead of time. Prepare and mix everything the night before, place it in an airtight container, and refrigerate. You can even place it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate until it is time to serve.
When it is time to serve, remove the pasta salad from the refrigerator, and combine everything thoroughly. The dressing may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. So use a spoon, and gently mix everything back together.
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad
This Creamy Italian Pasta Salad is made with a smooth italian dressing, and loaded with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and other deliciousness. The perfect side dish for your next BBQ!
- 1 box Spiral noodles, (rotini pasta)
- 1 cup Pepperoni, chopped
- 1 cup Banana peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 cup Tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Sauce and Seasoning
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- 1 cup Ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoons Black pepper
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until it is tender, but not mushy (al dente). Drain the water and place the pasta in a large bowl.
- Add the chopped pepperoni, banana peppers, tomatoes, and both of the cheeses to the bowl. Use a spoon to combine well.
- Next add both of the dressings, and all of the seasonings to the bowl. Mix until it is fully incorporated and all of the dressing is coating the pasta and add-ins.
- Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Packets of dressing can be used instead of bottles- dressing must be prepared according to the package instructions though.
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Barilla Pasta, Tri-Color Rotini, 12 oz
365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Seasoning, Italian, 0.46 Ounce
SOLEADER X-Large Serving Spoons Set, 12 Inch Slotted Spoon and Serving Spoon, Premium Spoons Silverware, Cooking Spoon, Pasta Spoon, Mixing Spoon, Foodgrade 18/8 Stainless Steel, Pack of 2
bamfitwell Bamboo Cutting Board with Juice Groove
RJUN Kitchen Chef's Knives 8 Inches Ergonomic Juglans Regia Wood Handle German High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife and Gift Box
Meal Prep Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Set, Home, Refrigerator, and Kitchen Food Storage Organizers | Ecofriendly, Reusable, Heavy Duty By WHYSKO (With Black Lids)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 927mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.
This was a hit at our cookout last weekend. One of the best pasta salads we've had--thank you!
I loved that this recipe called for both italian and ranch dressing - talk about flavorful! My family loved every bite!
When you said it would be the perfect side, you were not lying! We served this at our last BBQ, and everyone was asking for the recipe! So creamy and loved the flavors.
Pasta salad for the win! This recipe has come at the perfect time. It was cooling, refreshing and filled with flavor. I’m definitely adding this to my summer menu.
When i tell you this is the most perfect pasta salad i have ever tried, believe me! Such creamy deliciousness and i cant wait to make this again!
The flavors in this pasta salad were mind-blowing! I loved it! Making this again ASAP!
Okay, so I must admit I have never tried italian and ranch dressing together - and boyyyy was it delicious!! I'll be making this recipe throughout the summer months and also sharing with the family!!
Who doesn't love a great pasta salad. I love the ingredients and seasonings that went into this one. An easy user friendly pasta salad recipe everyone loved!
What a winning combo! I never knew Ranch and Italian tasted so good together! This pasta salad is soo delish! I'll definitely be making it again 🙂
The big guy likes pasta salad, so we made it for his Father's Day dinner... as always, he had a hard time sharing with the kids (greedy). All the flavors and textures played so well off each other. Thanks for sharing.
Haha! I'm glad he enjoyed it!
This was spectacular! We loved eating it right out of the bowl! I went with italian dressing as suggested and loved the tang and bit of bite! SO delicious, and it was great for our meal prep.
Awesome! I am so happy you enjoyed it!