This zesty Italian pasta salad is a healthy and delicious pasta salad easy to prepare and bursting with delicious Mediterranean flavors! Fast and simple an excellent pasta salad and easy olive oil vinagraitte recipe for doing meal prep, a simple throw together salad change it up with your favorite herbs and veggies!
How to Make this Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
This salad is a simple throw together together salad, just add all the ingredients to a large salad bowl, splash with the salad dressing and toss.
Cook your pasta just past al dente. Cook the broccoli quick, not too soft. Make this simple Italian vinaigrette by mixing olive oil, red wine vinegar with the herbs in a jar, screw tight the lid and shake well. Mix the all the salad ingredients; pasta, salami, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olives, cucumbers, red onion, spring onion, fresh parsley, basil, salt and pepper sprinkle with the dressing and toss.
Quick and easy to prepare this light, full-flavored dish just prepare the ingredients and toss together, change it up using your favorite veggies and salad dressing. Want to make it spicy? Chop up and add some jalapenos. Delicious cold, a real winner to make for meal prep!
How to Make the Simple Italian Vinaigrette
Make this simple Italian vinaigrette by mixing the ingredients below in a jar, screw the lid on tight and shake well.
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- parsley dry
- oregano dry
- salt & pepper
How to Cook Pasta
- Bring water to the boil in a large pot, add pasta to the water.
- Boil your pasta 1 minute longer than al dente (10 to 12 minutes, not too soft).
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
How to Cook Broccoli
- On a chopping board, cut the florets from the broccoli head and cut or break them into smaller bite-sized pieces.
- Bring water to the boil in a pot on the stove, add broccoli florets to the water.
- Your broccoli should be green and slightly crunchy, boil it briefly only for 3 to 4 minutes, check with a knife the tip should be able to poke easily into the florets.
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients
The great thing about an easy throw together salad is that it is so easy to change, use the ingredients that you love; ad avocado cubes, corn, artichoke hearts or some leaves, a handful of nice peppery arugula (rocket) or baby spinach are good options to consider.
Pasta – off course any pasta type would work, we like cork screw (fusilli) in this recipe, but bow ties (farafalle), small shells (conchiglie), penne, elbow macaroni or whatever is your favorite. For a healthy carb option use whole grain pasta.
Salami – buy a good salami and cut into small pieces, pepperoni also works well.
Mozzarella Cheese – we use mozzarella balls and cut them in half. Mozzarella is a healthy option, being lower in sodium and calories than most other cheeses. Mature cheddar, grated or cut into cubes is a delicious alternative to use as cheese in the salad. Adding grated parmesan with it’s hard texture and nutty taste is also a good option.
Broccoli – I recommend using fresh broccoli, buying florets saves some time.
Bell Peppers – we used red bell peppers, but any color will do, use multi-colored peppers for a even more colorful pasta salad.
Tomato – you can chop up any tomato in this Italian salad, we used grape tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) cut in half.
Onion – in this salad we add some red onion and spring onion. Red onions are delicious in salads, they are sweeter and more mild than brown onions and the purple and white color looks very nice. Spring onions have a fresh, sweet, and slightly pungent flavor, we like the subtle flavor it ads to the salad.
Herbs – we love fresh parsley and basil in any salad, chop up the parsley, only break up large basil leaves.
Zesty Italian Salad Dressing – our Italian dressing with red wine vinegar is a very simple but great vinaigrette, adding some mustard to this dressing also works well. There are many delicious Italian dressings on the market that are perfect for this salad.
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients
- 60 grams mozzarella cheese balls (1/2 cup)
- 80 grams salami
- 150 grams cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
- 30 grams olives pitted, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 40 grams red onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 15 grams spring onion 1 med (chopped 2 tbsp)
- 40 grams bell pepper, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 80 grams English cucumber diced (1/3 of med cucumber)
- 8 grams parsley, fresh chopped (2 tbsp)
- 8 grams basil, fresh (1/3 cup)
- 45 ml extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp)
- 30 ml red wine vinegar (2 tbsp)
- 5-10 grams crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp oregano dry
- 1/2 tsp parsley dry
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Boil the Pasta
- Bring water to the boil in a large pot, add pasta to the water. Boil your pasta 1 minute longer than al dente (10 to 12 minutes, not too soft). Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Add a the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, screw tight the lid and shake well.
Make the Salad
- Add all the ingredients to a large salad bowl, splash with the salad dressing and toss.
What did you think of our Zesty Italian Pasta Salad ?
Did you like this recipe? Please let us know, any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!