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!
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.
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
- 1/2 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.
Amount Per Serving Calories 256Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 26mgSodium 927mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 7g