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Pizza Pasta Salad

Written By: Shantel Whitford

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes


  • For the Dressing
  • • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Pasta Salad
  • • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • • 8 oz dried short pasta, such as rotini
  • • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • • 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • • 4 oz mozzarella cheese cubbed
  • • 4 oz pepperoni slices
  • • 1/2 cup olives, halved or sliced
  • • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves


Make the dressing

Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Soften the red onion in the dressing. Add the finely chopped red onion and stir to combine. Set aside to soften while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Cook the pasta

Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente — soft with just a bit of chew — about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

Quickly cool the pasta. Drain the pasta in a colander and run under cold water. Dunk the colander in the ice bath and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Combine the pasta salad ingredients in a bowl

Drain the pasta well. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella, pepperoni, olives, and parsley.

Toss the pasta with the dressing

Add the dressing, including the onions, to the pasta and toss until evenly combined.

Chill for 30 minutes before serving

Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld before serving.

We love to start BBQ outside in the spring, and one of our favorite side dishes is pasta salad. There are so many ways to make a pasta salad. Our kids call this pizza pasta salad because of the pepperoni, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Sometimes I toss in some fresh, chopped bell or sweet peppers. Spinach is also a nice fresh addition. Sometimes, I skip the ice bath, and we enjoy this as a warm salad. This is a great salad that tastes even better the next day, that is if there is any left.


About The Author

My name is Shantel Whitford, and I am a proud member of the Kalispel Tribe and professional chef. I am excited to share with you recipes and healthy ways to prepare food from the market to feed your families. I have been cooking since I was three, when my grandmothers had me up at the stove helping. They inspired my passion for food, and I am looking forward to helping ignite your creativity when it comes to feeding your family.

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