Blend perfectly cooked rotini with fresh veggies, spices, and Italian dressing for a flavorful pasta salad that the whole family will love.
Prep Time15 minutesmins
Cook Time7 minutesmins
Total Time22 minutesmins
Keyword: Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
8ouncesrotini,about 2 ½ cups pasta
1cupfirm small cherry tomatoes,cut in half (peeled or unpeeled)
1cupEnglish cucumber,chopped into 1-inch slices
1red or yellow bell pepper,chopped
1orange bell pepper,chopped
1½cupspepper jack cheese,cubed in to 1-inch pieces
4ouncessliced salami or pepperoni,optional
2tablespoonsspice blend,or recipe below
8ounceszesty Italian dressing(1 cup)
salt and pepper,to taste
Chopped parsley,optional garnish
Spice Blend (optional)
3tablespoonsParmesan cheese,or Romano cheese
Bring water to a rolling boil. When it comes to a boil, add the tablespoon of salt and the rotini.
Cook the rotini according to the al dente directions on the box.
Drain then rinse pasta with cold water to stop the cooking process.
In the meantime, cut the vegetables and cheese into bite-size pieces and put in a salad bowl.
Add the pepperoni, optional.
When the pasta is done and has been cooled, add it to the bowl.
Make the spice blend if using. Shake or pour the spice blend over the contents of the bowl.
Pour the zesty Italian dressing on top and stir everything together.
Chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
To prevent pasta pieces from sticking together, use a good quality pasta and a big enough pot in which to cook it.
If you don’t have instructions after the pasta has been cooked for about 6 to 7 minutes, taste a piece of pasta and see if it's crunchy. If crunchy, keep boiling at 30-second intervals until it is firm but not crunchy.
If you’re adding any optional meats, add them to the salad along with the veggies and cheese.
Leaving the pasta salad in the fridge overnight gives the veggies a chance to soak up some of the extra dressing, and lets the flavors intensify.