This summer Italian pasta salad is the perfect warm weather side dish or meal! It’s full of flavor, salty, creamy, & delicious. This recipe is based off of what Thomas’ Nana used to always make him growing up! It was one of his favorites to eat by the pool and he took his own little spin on the recipe! He upgraded it per usual and made it taste fabulous! Plus, the boys actually loved it which is always a win. It’s quick to make and perfect to make a ton if needed!
What you need to make summer Italian pasta salad + substitutions:
- Tortellini pasta- Who doesn’t love tortellini? Personally it’s one of my favorites! It adds a nice bulky pasta to this recipe. We love to buy ours from Costco!
- Bowtie pasta- Thomas’ Nana always used to do a mix of both of the pastas so that’s why we did both! You could pick just one over the other if you prefer but we love both.
- Salami- We got a big salami from Trader Joe’s and chopped it into big chunks. It adds nice saltiness as well as protein to this meal!
- White cheddar- You could exchange for mozzarella, but using a nice sharp cheddar adds a great depth of flavor. It’s rich and creamy and delicious.
- Red onions- The red onions add flavor as well as a nice vibrant color which always makes pasta salads fun.
- Black olives- Black olives are a favorite over here, but I know olives are controversial for people so you could leave them out if you prefer.
- Artichoke hearts- We used the artichokes that are marinated in olive oil and spices because they’re so delicious.
- Fresh parsley- Fresh parsley just adds a really nice touch and flavor. You could use basil if you prefer.
- Dressing- For the dressing we made our own and it’s fabulous! If you want to make it extra easy, you can use bottled Italian dressing as well!
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Summer Italian Pasta Salad
- 8 oz bowtie pasta
- 12 oz tortellini pasta
- 1 cup salami chopped
- 1½ cups white cheddar cheese chopped into cubes
- 6 oz can black olives
- 12 oz artichokes jarred & marinated
- ⅓ cup red onion chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- sea salt to taste
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- juice of ½ lemon optional
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Bring a medium or large pot of water and sea salt to a rolling boil. Cook your pastas according to the package in separate pots. Or just pick one pasta and do that one!
- Drain pasta and let cool for about 15-20 minutes. Reserve a splash of pasta water.
- Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl with the pasta water and add in all the add-ins: salami, white cheddar, black olives, artichokes, and red onion.
- Mix together and then make the dressing. Pour the dressing over the pasta. Mix it together really well. Add in the chopped parsley.
- Taste and add sea salt as needed. Refrigerate until cooled completely, about 1 hour minimum and enjoy cold!