This easy Rotini Pasta Salad is a great dish to make for any occasion any time of year. Zesty Italian Dressing mixed in with fresh vegetables and savory pepperoni makes this a great dish for pitch-ins, cookouts, picnics or a family meal.
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Why Is Cold Pasta Salad Such A Great Dish?
We love a good cold pasta salad recipe here at Bubba Pie. They are always so easy to make, easy to serve and they work great as a side dish to just about any meal. I often also have pasta salads for a nice, light lunch! They also travel really well, so they are perfect for an office party, a potluck or a cookout at a friend’s house!
This Rotini Pasta Salad is certainly a winner. I love the curly look of the pasta! It gives this dish an engaging look and a burst of taste and flavor. While we love the ingredients listed here, the great thing about pasta salads is that they are pretty flexible. You can add and subtract ingredients as you see fit into this recipe.
Can You Make Pasta Salad The Night Before?
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. Up to a point, the flavors will actually get better the longer they sit together in the refrigerator. So, yes, I’d certainly recommend making this dish the day or night before you are planning on serving it.
Can I Use Any Type Of Pasta For Pasta Salad?
We think that Rotini works best for this recipe. But, yes, you can play around with your type of pasta in this dish. Just note: size and shape DOES matter. I’d suggest against a long, thin pasta like Spaghetti. Stick with Rotini, Farfalle or Penne. Short, small and easy to eat is the way to go!
This recipe Serves 12-16 people. Depending on your needs, that may sound like a lot or not enough. Of course, you can double or half all of these ingredients as needed!
Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- Rotini pasta
- Cucumber, sliced and cut into quarters
- Grape tomatoes, quartered (you could also use Cherry Tomatoes)
- Mini pepperoni
- Sliced olives, drained
- Italian seasoning
- Black pepper
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- 16 oz, Italian Salad dressing
- Green onions, sliced
What Can You Serve With A Pasta Salad?
As I mentioned above, this pasta salad would go great with just about anything. But a couple dishes I would suggest would be:
Can You Cook Rotini Pasta In An Instant Pot?
For this recipe, the pasta was actually cooked in the Instant Pot. We love to cook pasta in our Instant Pot, it always comes out super tender and perfectly cooked. For this process, we used 5 cups of water per 16 oz box. Set it to cook for 4 minutes, then do a quick release.
But, if you don’t have a Pressure Cooker, you can certainly cook it according to the instructions on the box. But, no matter how you cook it, make sure you rinse it with cold water once you take it out. This will stop the cooking process and keep the pasta’s texture just the way you want it.
Rotini Pasta Salad
I think the star of this recipe is the pepperoni. It gives it that salty, savory kick that works so well with the Italian Dressing. I also love all of the textures. You have the softer pepperoni and the pasta mixed in with those fresh, crunchy veggies! For even more flavor and texture, you can also substitute for chunks of salami. Yum!
And, you can certainly add your own vegetables to this Italian pasta salad recipe. Broccoli, diced red onions, bell peppers, shredded carrots or zucchini would work great!
Or, top with mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese or parsley as a garnish.
Storage and Leftovers
You can store leftover Pasta Salad in an Airtight Container in your refrigerator. They should stay good in your fridge for 4-5 days. But the noodles will eventually start getting softer.
Unfortunately, you cannot freeze pasta salad.
If you try any new ingredients in this Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear some of the ideas you might have tried. Enjoy!
Items To Help With This Recipe
- LARGE MIXING BOWL– While you may not need a mixing bowl with a pourable spout for this recipe, we love having these on hand just in case.
- MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS– Yep, I’m sure you already have some of these. But I’m sure they are mismatched and your missing some sizes. And THIS SET is SUPER COOL and only $10!
- COLANDER– We love this Colander because it is collapsable and easy to clean!
Rotini Pasta Salad
- 1 lb 16 oz, rotini pasta
- 1 large cucumber sliced and cut into quarters
- 1 pint grape tomatoes quartered
- 1 cup mini pepperoni
- 1 can 3.8 oz, sliced olives, drained
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 bottle 16 oz, Italian dressing
- 2 green onions sliced
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, pepperoni, olives and pasta and mix well.
- Stir in seasoning and cheese and mix well.
- Add dressing and mix well to coat.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for flavors to mingle.
- Stir topped with chopped green onions.