Rating: 4.5 stars
262 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 189
  • 4 star values: 62
  • 3 star values: 8
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2

A homemade Italian pasta salad dressing takes this simple pasta salad loaded with veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and olives to a whole new level! Serve it right away or make it ahead for packed lunches, picnics, or summer barbecues.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
15 mins
45 mins

Looking for a crowd-pleasing pasta salad recipe that everyone will love? You've come to the right place! Plus, this simple recipe comes with a homemade pasta salad dressing that makes the dish impossible to resist. 

How to Make Pasta Salad With Homemade Dressing

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated pasta salad with dressing recipe: 

Make Pasta Salad

Boil rotini in lightly salted water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, then drain again. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl. Toss with pepperoni, provolone cheese, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

Make Pasta Salad Dressing

Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid. Tightly seal the jar, then shake until combined.

Combine and Chill

Pour the dressing into the bowl with the pasta salad. Toss until well-combined. You can serve immediately, but we recommend allowing the pasta salad to chill in the fridge for about eight hours before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld. 

What Goes With Pasta Salad? 

Pasta salad is typically served as a side dish, especially at potlucks and picnics. In need of a little entree inspiration? Browse a few of these mouthwatering recipe collections: 

How Long Does Pasta Salad With Homemade Dressing Last In the Fridge?

Since this pasta salad dressing is oil-based, it'll keep a little longer than its dairy-based counterparts. Store pasta salad with dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It's best served cold, so you won't need to reheat it — just take it straight out of the fridge and enjoy!

Can You Freeze Pasta Salad?

We don't always recommend freezing cooked pasta because too-soft pasta will not hold up well in the freezer. However, if you make sure your pasta is al dente, it should be fine. 

To freeze pasta salad with dressing, simply transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or multiple zip-top bags wrapped in storage wrap and foil, if you don't plan to thaw the whole batch at once). Label with the date and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is so delicious," raves massmom5. "Absolutely the best pasta salad I've ever eaten! I didn't have fresh parsley, so I used half the amount of dried. I omitted the black olives because I'm the only one who likes them. I followed another reviewer's advice and quartered sliced pepperoni and used slices of provolone that I cut into strips. I took it to a 4th of July picnic today and I got so many compliments."

"Everyone liked this recipe," says gtyyup. "Changed a few veggie ingredients to what I had on hand, but this recipe is great to be able to make changes to particular tastes."

"This is a KEEPER," according to karlawithak. "It's great because you can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge. I used pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, sliced mini-peppers, sliced red onion. No olives or provolone, mainly because I didn't have them. Also didn't have pepperoni, but will include it next time. The dressing is terrific, I agree. I only used ½ the dressing to lighten it up. Only problem is not eating all the leftovers tomorrow when no one is looking…"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Pasta Salad:


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

  • Transfer drained, cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add pepperoni, provolone cheese, red onion, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

  • Mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper for dressing in a jar with a lid. Seal the jar, and shake until well combined.

  • Pour dressing over the pasta salad; toss until well coated. Serve immediately, or cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

443 calories; protein 15.9g; carbohydrates 25.4g; fat 32g; cholesterol 38.9mg; sodium 835.7mg. Full Nutrition