Colorful rotini pasta, pepper jack cheese, fresh veggies and pepperoni tossed in Italian dressing make this Italian Pasta Salad a side dish perfect for any occasion.
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So easy to throw together and so darn delicious, this salad is one that I am regularly asked to bring to gatherings, along with my famous (or almost famous) guacamole. This recipe calls for Italian dressing with cheese in it. Don't have any on hand? You can make this Italian Dressing with Parmesan Cheese in just 5 minutes!
This pasta salad will go great as a side with this Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and the Italian-flair Loaded Turkey Panini Sandwich. Serve it up with your favorite grilled meats, too - it's a great side to steaks, pork and chicken. Or even hot dogs and hamburgers!
Hungry for more pasta salad recipes? Try this classic Costa Rica Tuna and Pasta Shells Salad.
- Rainbow rotini pasta
- Baby artichoke hearts
- Green onion
- Pepper Jack cheese
- Italian dressing (with cheese)
- Prep broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, cheese and carrots into bite-size pieces (if your pepperoni slices are too large, you can quarter them like I did)
- Toss with cooked rotini pasta
- Dress with Italian dressing and serve
Bow tie pasta (farfalle) makes a nice substitute for rotini pasta, and you can even find them tri-colored.
Add salami to this salad for even more Italian flavor - or swap out the pepperoni for salami. Either sausage makes this salad delish!
Sliced black olives make a very nice addition to this salad.
Cherry tomatoes, halved, are a colorful addition to this salad. I generally hesitate to use them, because the flavor can be pretty concentrated and detract from the other ingredients.
This pasta salad will go great as a side with this Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and the Italian-flair Loaded Turkey Panini Sandwich. Serve it up with your favorite grilled meats, too - it's a great side to steaks and BBQ chicken! Or even hot dogs and hamburgers!
This Italian Pasta Salad would not freeze well. You can, however, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
The idea of dicing the carrots and cheese can be daunting. Give this amazing food chopper a try - I love mine, it's worth every penny (and actually it's pretty reasonable)!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces Rainbow rotini pasta cooked and drained
- 9 ounces baby artichoke hearts if jarred, drain first
- 5 ounces pepperoni sliced
- 1 cup cauliflower florets sliced if needed to bite-size pieces
- 1 cup broccoli florets sliced if needed to bite-size pieces
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1 cup Italian dressing with cheese, vinaigrette style more if desired
- Cook the pasta according to instructions, then drain and add to a large bowl.
- Add all the prepped ingredients, including the Italian salad dressing, and toss thoroughly.
- Refrigerate for a few hours so the flavors blend, toss once more, then serve chilled or, for even better flavor, set out at room temp for an hour before serving.