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Easy Italian Pasta Salad (copycat Suddenly Salad)

Quick & easy recipe for the best Italian pasta salad - classic, zesty flavor with homemade Italian dressing! Serve cold with pepperoni, or go no meat! :: DontWastetheCrumbs.com

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The best Italian pasta salad – quick & easy to make with a classic, zesty flavor and homemade Italian dressing! Serve as a cold Italian pasta salad with pepperoni, or make as a vegetarian or gluten-free option!



Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz medium pasta (I used rotini)
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, cubed (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup cucumbers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 ½ oz pepperoni, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan, finely grated

Italian Pasta Salad Dressing

  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup vinegar (any flavor works well)
  • 1½ cups olive oil


  1. Prepare the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse briefly with cool water.
  2. Prepare the Italian salad dressing according to the directions below.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the olives, tomatoes, cheese, cucumbers, pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan for the pasta salad.
  4. Combine the cooked pasta with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, although this salad will be fine if it’s left outside at a picnic. This salad can be prepared earlier in the day or the day before.

Instructions for Italian Dressing

  1. Combine everything above in a jar or container capable of holding at least 2 1/2 cups. Cover and shake well. Recipe makes just scant of two cups of dressing.


Want a Vegetarian Pasta Salad?

My version includes meat, but you can easily add more vegetables and/or garbanzo beans to make it vegetarian! (Here’s how to make Instant Pot beans so you can still keep the kitchen cool.)


Keywords: Italian pasta salad