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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Pasta salad

A delicious dish that you can make ahead of time. Pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, feta, spring onions, olives and pepperoni are tossed together with a herbed vinaigrette.

846 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 125ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 350g cooked macaroni
  • 215g fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 150g sliced red peppers
  • 110g crumbled feta cheese
  • 50g chopped spring onions
  • 100g whole black olives
  • 170g sliced pepperoni sausage, cut into strips

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:2hr chilling › Ready in:2hr25min

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic granules, basil, oregano, black pepper and sugar. Add cooked pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, spring onions, olives and pepperoni. Toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1007)

Reviews in English (740)

by ChunkyMonkeyMommy

I'm so glad I waited to review this until the day after I made it. I tried it after chilling it for a couple of hours and wasn't too thrilled with it. I just made a bowl now, after it being in the fridge overnight and wow! It isn't dry at all and the flavors have really mingled and developed! I followed other's suggestions and used half balsamic vinegar instead of all red wine vinegar. I also used rotini pasta, regular tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, and a small purple onion. I left out the pepperoni just because I didn't have any, but next time I'll definately add it. As good as it tastes, if you do use balsamic, be warned that the pasta and feta will look brownish. I think someone else mentioned this, but if you're making for company, you might want to use white balsamic vinegar. This is soooo good, thank you for the great recipe!-17 Jul 2006

by Melissajean

This is the best pasta salad ever; however, the vinegar/oil ratio is a little strong for me. I recommend that you start with approx. 1/4 cup of vinegar (you can adjust and add more if you like) using half red wine vinegar and half balsamic as suggested by other reviews. I substitute 1 can artichoke hearts-not marinated-for the mushrooms. I also used diced red and yellow peppers for extra color and sliced olives. I prefer red onions instead of green onions and use tomato basil feta cheese and bowtie pasta. Yummy and beautiful 5 star salad!-28 Aug 2005


My sister-in-law made this for Mother's Day lunch and it was incredible! I think she said she scaled the recipe for 16 servings, but it still went perfectly. Some of the modifications she made was using a mix of yellow, red and green bell peppers for color. She also added some artichokes and replaced the cherry tomatos with sun dried tomatoes. And she cut the amount of mushrooms by half. But the taste was amazing. Note: if you don't like vinegrette type dressings, then you will not like this salad because the vinegar taste really comes through. (Which is what gives this pasta a great kick and Greek flavor!) I love it! Recipe is a keeper!-14 May 2003

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

I’m blessed to have grown up in a pretty diverse Southern city. My neighborhood consisted of a melting pot of different ethnic & religious groups, gays & lesbians.

The church I attended was no different. Although it had a particular denomination, I think anybody could join no matter your lifestyle, beliefs, etc. The people were lovely. But all that diversity made for some very entertaining moments.

I could seriously write a comedy series on all the different “characters” in that place. Today, we’re going to talk about Miss Mary for a second.

Miss Mary was a fiery, Catholic Italian grandmother with a thick New York accent. You never knew if she was gonna cuss you out (yes in church) or say “Come here dawlin give me a hug. You’re so thin are you eating?”. You also never knew if she was really angry or just talking loud and passionately.

She had this younger guy named Paul that helped her out a lot.

She would cuss poor Paul out as if cussing had points. Like seriously yall, I never knew you could string all the cuss words into one sentence until I met Miss Mary. She is the real MVP in my book!

For the most part, Paul would bare her brutal insults out of respect, but once in a blue moon, he would snap and let her have it in his own heavy New York accent.

I’m seriously laughing while writing this thinking about the time she blasted Paul to hell and back, for not getting her wheelchair up the ramp correctly and then in that same breath said: “Oh and happy birthday by the way.”

Every day after church we had lunch. Miss Mary would always bring the most delicious looking authentic Italian pasta salad. The bold fragrance of garlic, basil and onions would fill the room and people would rave about how fresh it tasted.

I never got the try Miss Mary’s Italian Pasta Salad.

Well, one day I loaded that Italian pasta salad on my plate, I was so happy and ready to give my taste buds a party! That’s when my sister said, “You’re gonna eat Miss Mary’s pasta salad? You know she eats out the bowl right?”

Oh well, from that point on I was left to admire the beauty of that Italian pasta salad. Man, was it torture to my greedy, foodie-kid soul seeing all that fresh basil, pearl mozzarella, pepperoni, peppers, and olives and not being able to touch it. Cause your girl, don’t do that shared eating business. At. All.

Nowadays, I make my version of that gorgeous Italian pasta salad that looks just like Miss Mary’s. I’m not sure if it tastes the same, but my oh my is it GUUUUUUUUD!

It has a sense of elegance about it and would be great for a bridal shower or wedding. One guy said, “This is pasta salad for adults!” Ha! I’d have to agree, although my little Ethan loves it!!

What I adore about this Italian pasta salad is that you can taste ALL of the ingredients. The homemade Italian dressing is bold, yet it doesn’t overtake everything like the store-bought versions tend to do.

You can seriously taste the sweetness of the tomatoes, the tartness of the olives and banana peppers, the coolness the pearl mozzarella, the spiciness of the pepperoni, the savoriness of the fresh basil..mercy.

To have so many bold players, it’s a surprisingly light-tasting pasta salad! Everything gets along so well.

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You can rate this recipe by giving it a score of one, two, three, or four forks, which will be averaged out with other cooks' ratings. If you like, you can also share your specific comments, positive or negative - as well as any tips or substitutions - in the written review space.

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How to Make This Recipe

Start by cooking 1lb gluten-free or regular pasta in salted, boiling water (dish will not be GF if using regular pasta.) I used Delallo gluten free rotini and also like Barilla’s GF pasta cuts for this salad.

Cook until the pasta is al dente then drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Shrimp and Avocado Taco Salad

Meanwhile, shake up the dressing. Again, traditionally we use a jar of Kraft Zesty Italian for the dressing, but since it’s not gluten free I use my Best Ever Italian Vinaigrette instead.

Next whip up the spice blend which is what really makes this pasta salad pop! If you don’t need to eat gluten free, use McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning. If you DO need to eat gluten free, click here for a gluten free copycat seasoning recipe >

Las step is to add 6oz chopped pepperoni, 1 chopped cucumber that’s been peeled then seeded, 3 Roma tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped, and a 2.25oz can sliced black olives that has been drained to a large bowl.

Add the cooled pasta, plus seasoning blend to taste (we usually start with 1/2 the bottle/copycat recipe,) plus 3/4 of the dressing then toss to combine. Refrigerate until cool then toss with the remaining dressing right before serving. As I mentioned, cooked gluten free pasta doesn’t hold up well overnight, but a few hours in the refrigerator to meld the flavors is just fine.

Before you get started, you need to boil, drain, rinse and cool your pasta shells by running cold water over them.

However, make sure the noodles are completely drained. They should not be hot or full of water when you assemble this salad.

Once your pasta is ready, move on to the next step.

Add prepared and cold pasta, mini pepperoni, olives, chopped pepper, hopped tomato, parsley and cheese in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Related Video

Be the first to review this recipe

You can rate this recipe by giving it a score of one, two, three, or four forks, which will be averaged out with other cooks' ratings. If you like, you can also share your specific comments, positive or negative - as well as any tips or substitutions - in the written review space.

Epicurious Links

Condé Nast

Legal Notice

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.

Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21).

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Summer picnics aren’t complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!

Isn’t it funny how we always wanted to be older back when we were kids? Older meant driver’s licenses. Older meant high school and then college. Older meant being able to buy beer. Older meant being able to rent a car. Then all of a sudden, time froze. Suddenly there were no more “older milestones” to look forward to. As a result, I swear I’m still 25. I just stopping getting older once I hit my mid-20’s.

A couple of months back, one of my buddies forwarded me a Facebook flashback to a post from 10 years ago. We were all dressed in green for the annual Baton Rouge St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We had gathered at his house at around 6am to start the festivities. Around 9:30am, we loaded the keg of green beer into a wheelbarrow and rolled it up to the parade route. We were crazy back then.

Flash forward 10 years, and we all have kids now. The keg of green beer in a wheelbarrow has been replaced with munchkins instead. The adults dressed as leprechauns are now kids dressed as leprechauns. Oh, and now we go to bed at 8pm. (When did we get so old?)

Speaking of old, I have become the most stereotypical old person ever. Nope, it’s not the going to bed at 8pm part. It’s the fact that I now watch PBS. On a regular basis.

Back over the winter when Robbie was just several weeks old, we discovered that our local PBS station played concerts almost every night. We listened to everything from the classic Simon & Garfinkle in Central Park concert to a Phish concert to Peter, Paul and Mary’s Christmas concert. It didn’t matter what was on, we listened to it. The music helped Robbie fall asleep. Then the strangest thing happened. Dad started loving watching those PBS concerts. (When did we get so old?)

One night we caught part of a Josh Grobin concert where he sang various songs from Broadway musicals. I’ve always appreciated Josh Grobin, but I’m not sure I’d call myself a fan. But after sitting and listening to him that night, I was hooked. (Laura has always loved his music, so she was obviously on board.) We ended up getting tickets to see Josh Grobin this summer up at Saratoga, and that concert will be one of the highlights of our summer.

Speaking of summer highlights, you’ve gotta include pasta salads in there. Summer picnics just aren’t complete without 4-5 different pasta salads. The other day, I took my mother-in-law’s Antipasti Salad and made a few tweaks to it. That salad is hands-down one of my favorite summer dishes, so I was hesitant to play around with the recipe. But I did. And this Pepperoni Pasta Salad was the result.

This epic Pepperoni Pasta Salad is loaded with everyone’s favorite Italian meat: pepperoni. Toss in some green peppers for crunch along with some mozzarella cubes + cherry tomatoes for flavor, and you’ve got summer in a bowl. Oh, and did I mention I used tortellini as the pasta of choice this time? Like all pasta salads (and soups, for that matter), this one tastes better on Day 2. That works out well since it means you can not only make this one in advance, but it will taste better, too. Score!

Speaking of foodie inspiration, where do you get new recipe ideas? RecipeLion is one of my favorite sites to wander around when I need to break out of the routine…or if I’m hungry. (And I’m pretty much always hungry.) Check it out!

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Are you still 25 in your mind, too? (Or maybe you’re actually still 25…lucky!)

How to Make Zesty Italian Pasta Salad with Pepperoni & Cheese Curds

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This easy, zesty Italian Pasta Salad comes together in just minutes and can easily be customized to your preference.


  • 16 ozs tricolor rotini
  • 6 oz bag pepperoni slices
  • 3 oz can of black olives
  • 16 oz bottle Italian Dressing
  • 12 oz bag Cheese Curds
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes


  1. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, break up the cheese curds. Slice the pepperoni into quarters.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked and cooled, add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

What Should I Put in Pasta Salad?

The great thing about an easy pasta salad recipe is that you can completely customize it to your tastes and needs. Need to feed more people for a potluck? Simply double the recipe and you’re good to go.

You can also swap out most of the ingredients for anything you prefer:

  • Pasta – while pasta is obviously essential to the recipe, you can be flexible on which type you use. I would recommend choosing a hearty pasta, like penne or bowtie, so you don’t have to worry about a mushy salad. I love the tri-color rotini for the extra bonus of color.
  • Vegetables – the veggies add in extra color and some crunch to your pasta salad. If you want to add more veggies, I recommend cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, or chopped bell peppers. You could also add in green olives to mix with the black.
  • Meat – if pepperoni isn’t your thing, you could easily swap it out for salami, ham, diced chicken, or even shrimp.

How Long Will Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Keep?

Another great thing about this pasta salad is that the flavor gets even better as it sits, so no one will complain about these leftovers. It should last around 4 days in the fridge, just make sure you put it in a container with a lid. I would suggest having a little extra dressing to pour on the leftovers, as the pasta can soak up the dressing as it sits and even though the flavor will be delicious, it might feel more ‘dried out’ than day one.

Looking for more Pasta Recipes?

Supreme Pasta Salad Ingredients:

Rotini– You’ll need one pound. I like to use tri-color.

Cucumbers– You can use 1-2. The more you use the more the pasta salad makes. You can peel it or not depending on your preference.

Tomatoes– You don’t have to use a specific kind. This recipe is flexible.

Celery– It gives the salad a nice crunch and color.

Bell peppers– Use red, green, orange, or yellow. I love to mix up the colors when I can.

Green onions– This gives the salad more flavor without a strong onion taste.

Olives– I usually just buy the cheapest can of olives. If it’s not already sliced, no big deal, I just slice it.

Pepperoni– I like to cut it in 1/2 or 1/4 depending on if kids will be eating the salad or not. Also, mini pepperoni’s would be so perfect in this salad.

Mozzarella or Cheddar Cheese– I usually add cubed mozzarella but you can add cheddar instead or a mix of both kinds of cheese.

Parmesan Cheese– Makes everything tastier, am I right?!

Italian Dressing– Use whichever brand you prefer or even make your own. I like Olive Garden or Wish-Bone dressing.

Salad Supreme– THE secret ingredient!! Try it once and you’ll know why! It adds beautiful color to the salad and the taste is so much better with it!

What do you put in Pasta Salad?

Honestly, it&rsquos personal preference, but here are a few of my favorite pasta salad ingredients:

  • sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • salami, cubed
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • green pepper, chopped
  • banana pepper, chopped
  • olives, whole and chopped
  • red onion, diced
  • broccoli, small florets

Also, when you&rsquore chopping all of the ingredients, I recommend keeping the pieces pretty small. This is my trick for creating any really good pasta-type salad.

The goal is to get as many of those tasty flavors into a serving as you can. If you only have eight pieces of broccoli in the salad because you cut them so big, it&rsquos likely that not every serving will have broccoli.

All right, let&rsquos whip up a batch!

For more Easy Pasta Salad Recipes, Check Out:

I could make a meal out of this stuff. That&rsquos how much I like it!

Oh, and for those who were asking, you can find that fun light-up marquee-style cactus here and the wooden cactus cutlery here. The adorable mini clay cacti were a DIY. You can learn how to make those here. The white ceramic cactus was a HomeGoods find. You can find the recipe for the Prickly Pear Margarita here.

I hope you enjoyed this Really Good Pasta Salad recipe! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Watch the video: How to Make Italian Pasta Salad. The Stay At Home Chef

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