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a white bowl with the finished recipe with a kitchen towel draped next to it
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

The Best Italian Pasta Salad has to be easy and delicious! This simple classic version is just that and made with salami, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella cheese and drizzled with pesto dressing. Served cold, it's the perfect summer dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 491kcal
Author: Nikole Berg


  • Salad Servers


  • 1 12 oz. package tri-colored spiral pasta
  • 6-8 oz. salami sliced into thin strips
  • 6 oz. can black olives halved or whole
  • 10 oz. carton of grape or cherry tomatoes about 2 cups; quartered
  • 20 small mozzarella balls whole or halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto store bought or homemade
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch fresh ground pepper


  • Bring a large stock pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside on a large baking sheet to cool.
  • While pasta cooks, cut the salami, olives, tomatoes, and mozzarella balls.
  • When pasta is cool, add it to a large bowl. Add salami, black olives, tomatoes, and mozzarella balls. Pour dressing over and toss to combine.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.  Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil to refreshen salad after being chilled.

Pesto Dressing

  • Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake vigorously. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl, stirring to combine. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly.  Set aside.


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The following nutritional information is an estimate.


Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 704mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 48IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 1mg