Nana's Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad is a classic and easy recipe to make. Perfect for family gatherings, potlucks and barbecues, it is a crowd pleaser that you can make with ingredients you have on hand in your pantry and fridge.
 pasta salad recipe

My mother in law made the best pasta salad! She never measured anything. As my daughter says about her Nana" She's one of the only people on the planet with the "vinegar" tastebud. She just KNOWS when there is just too much vinegar or not enough, and how to pour just the right amount in to make it perfect. No measurements, just has that knack.
pasta salad recipe

 My husband  made his "mom's" pasta salad for Mother's day this year. He made this during our lock-down of the Corona Virus with ingredients we had on hand in our pantry and refrigerator. He came as close as possible to his mom's Italian Pasta Salad It was delish!

Feel free to substitute ingredients you have on hand or prefer yourself! (such as fresh, chopped broccoli, diced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garbanzo or kidney beans, etc.)

Here's the recipe for the version made today.


Italian Pasta Salad
Servings: 6


1 ½ cups elbow macaroni
½ cup diced pepperoni
½ cup diced salami
½ cup cubed cheese: Colby/ jack or mozzarella
½ cup sliced olives
¼ cup diced green peppers
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup (or to taste) Bottled  Italian Dressing.or homemade.(See below )

Honey Dijon Dressing
1 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
1/8 cup vinegar  (balsamic if you have it)
1/2 Tablespoon thyme
1  Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1  Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Blend all together. Makes approx. 1 1/4 cups.  Store in refrigerator

Pasta Salad Directions: 
  • Cook Pasta according to package directions, drain and let set aside to cool.
  • In serving bowl, mix togethe prepared pepperoni, salami, cheese, olives, green peppers, and onions. 
  • Add in the cooled, cooked pasta to serving bowl of ingredients and stir gently to mx well. 
  • Stir in Dressing (bottled or homemade) a little at a time,stirring well to mix, till ingredients are coated well. 
  • Reserve some remainng dressing in a container and just before serving, stir salad, and if pasta has absorbed some of the dressing, stir a little more in.
  • Cover the pasta and store in the refrigerator till serving.

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