Zesty Italian Pasta Salad: This super easy recipe is made using any type of pasta you prefer, a few other simple ingredients, and Zesty Italian dressing!
You know we love salad recipes around here right? Well this one is at the top of our favorites list for sure! And if you’re an overall fan of pasta salads then you’ll especially love this shrimp pasta salad!
Post originally published in 2017 – Updated in June of 2022!
If you need a little something to go along with this pasta salad, these Hot Italian Sliders would pair amazingly with this!
Pasta Salad Recipe – Cold, Italian Style and SO Easy
In the meal care package tutorial I shared with you a couple of months ago, I gave a sneak peek of this pasta salad when I packaged it in to a mason jar. (But more on that, and how you can do it too, below!)
But today, I’m sharing how to make pasta salad, the super easy and delicious way!
It not only looks gorgeous as a side dish with all of the pops of color, but it is packed with TONS of flavor.
Plus, in “slightly homemade” and Fantabulosity fashion, this side dish recipe is quick and oh so easy to whip up for a weeknight meal.
Cold Pasta Salad
A nice cold, flavorful pasta salad is a side dish that is PERFECT for a summer bbq. (Like I served at our Backyard BBQ Party!) But I must admit, no matter what time of year it is, it’s quite delicious any time of year, paired with some of my favorite main dish recipes, and one of my favorite steak sides!
Plus, with it being a cold pasta salad recipe, that means NO cooking, and very little prep! One of my favorite recipe combinations!
Italian Pasta Salad
When I started experimenting with this pasta salad, I was craving an Italian pasta salad. The thought of mixing together herbs with oils and vinegar crossed my mind, but then that sounded WAY too time consuming and fancy for this momma. So when I eyed the Zesty Italian salad dressing in my pantry, I knew it was exactly what this Italian pasta salad needed!
Then, the addition of the cute little pepperoni and mozzarella helped tie in the Italian theme as well.
But the combo of flavors with the red pepper, banana peppers, cherry tomatoes, and spinach rounding off the rest of it, is just what this cold pasta salad needed!
Tip for Pasta Salad Recipes:
When I’m making pasta salads, or ANY salad that has tomatoes in it (like one of my favorites: My Tomato Mozzarella and Avocado Salad), PLEASE don’t make this ahead of time and chill it. Now, if it makes life so much easier to… then that’s ok, go ahead. But the refrigeration of the tomatoes causes them to lose SO much flavor. But not only that, the pasta will soak up the dressing and it begins to lose that punch of flavor too.
What about left overs? Well save them… I do. But if you have any extra Italian dressing laying around to add more to your left overs, that helps a ton!
Mason Jar Pasta Salad
I couldn’t help but to also show you how I assemble the pasta salad in to a jar, when I’m making it to-go, to deliver to family and friends. The presentation of the rainbow layer of colors is my all-time favorite.
Here’s the step by step layering I do when making this Italian Pasta Salad for a care package!
Finish off the jar with a cute little ribbon and all they have to do is dump it out in to a bowl, stir and serve to their family!
Love Easy Side Dishes?
If you love easy side dishes, then you’ll LOVE the others here on the blog. Check out more easy side dishes and pin all of those that you love to your Pinterest board for when you need them!
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- 1 16-ounce bottle zesty Italian dressing
- 5 ounces cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup sliced banana peppers
- 5 ounces mini pepperoni’s
- 8 ounces of mozzerella pearls
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup finely diced red onion
- Cook bowtie pasta according to package directions.
- Drain pasta and rinse in cold water until pasta is fully cooled.
- Mix the past together with all of the remaining ingredients.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.