Italian pasta salad, packed with fresh ingredients and a light homemade dressing, works for dinner and kid lunch sides for days!

Recently my friend Jennifer made us a pasta salad with her homemade dressing (which we devoured) and it inspired me to whip up my own. This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is the result. Manga!


  • 2 boxes of rotolini pasta
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, cut into coins and halved
  • 1 bag of San Marzano tomatoes, sliced (you can use cherry)
  • Fresh kalamata olives, pitted and halved (I buy the pre-pitted)
  • Fresh mozzarella bocconcini, drained and halved
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, shredded or torn
  • 1 handful of fresh Italian parsley, shredded or torn
  • 1 stick of pepperoni, cut into coins and halved
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped


  • 1 mason jar and lid
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (really good olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1 lemon, juiced ( strained to remove pits)
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper


  • Prepare the dressing in the mason jar. Shake vigorously and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Cook the pasta, drain, and set aside in a large bowl. I typically use the bowl I’ll be serving the pasta salad in to conserve dishes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare all of the salad ingredients above. Once the pasta has cooled, mix in the salad ingredients and the dressing. Stir to combine and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • If well sealed the salad will keep up to 3 days. I often use it for dinner and then spoon helpings for a couple days on the side of my kids’ packed lunches.