Salad
Side Dish

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad is a quick and easy recipe to make that is perfect for anytime of year. It's loaded with bright and flavorful veggies and finished off with a red wine and dijon mustard Italian dressing.

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Healthy Italian Pasta Salad that's loaded with bright and flavorful veggies and finished off with a red wine and dijon mustard Italian dressing.

why you’ll love this recipe

  • Healthy Italian Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make.
  • It comes together in just about 30 minutes.
  • This recipe is perfect for any occasion.
  • It’s loaded with bright and flavorful veggies.
  • Topped with a creamy and tangy homemade Italian dressing.
  • Can easily be made vegan with the use of vegan cheeses.
  • Swap gluten free pasta to make this recipe gluten free.
  • Check out my pearled couscous salad for another great salad option!

ingredients and Substitutions

all the ingredients that you need to make this pasta salad recipe.

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Healthy Italian Pasta Salad. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page for a full list of ingredients and instructions.

For the veggies I used cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red and yellow bell peppers. You can totally swap our or add in any of your favorite veggies.

I personally love adding in fresh basil and sliced black olives for added flavor.

A combination of pepper jack and cheddar cheese take any pasta salad to another level.

The dressing is made with red wine vinegar, high quality extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.

Fusilli is the best shaped pasta for pasta salad in my opinion. It holds onto the sauce well and tastes amazing cold.

how to make

ONE: Start by boiling water on the stovetop and preparing the fusilli pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside to cool down.

TWO: In the meantime, prepare the veggies by dicing the cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper and cutting the cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside.

THREE: Cube the pepper jack and cheddar cheese next and then slice the fresh basil into strips. Drain the liquid from the olives and set aside.

FOUR: When ready, prepare the homemade Italian dressing by combining all the ingredients together and mixing until well combined.

FIVE: Next, assemble the pasta salad in a large bowl by adding in the cooked pasta, prepared veggies, basil, cheese, and olives. Mix until well combined and top with the homemade dressing. Mix once more and serve immediately or place in the fridge.

Tips and tricks

Make this pasta salad the night before and place it in the fridge in an airtight container. The pasta will marinate in the dressing and have even more flavor the next day. Just add the basil the next day for best results.

Finely chop the red and yellow bell peppers for best results.

Make sure the dressing ingredients are well incorporated before adding to the rest of the pasta.

Use Fusilli pasta for best results.

How to serve and store

Serve this Healthy Italian Pasta Salad cold with your favorite protein or as a side dish for a potluck or BBQ.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 3-4 days.

a single serve bowl of the pasta salad.

Taste and Texture

This pasta salad is full of flavor and loaded with fresh vegetables.

It’s soft, chewy and has a lovely crunch from the raw veggies and a tangy and creamy homemade Italian dressing.

frequently asked questions

Is this pasta salad enjoyed cold or warm?

pasta salad is best enjoyed cold!

Can I make this recipe the night before?

Yes! I actually recommend it. Just add the fresh basil in when you’re ready to serve.

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of Fusilli?

Although I recommend Fusilli, you can use penne, shell or any other type of pasta shape.

other recipes you may like

Pearled Couscous

Watermelon Mint Feta Salad

Peach and Goat Cheese Salad

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad

Healthy Fruit Salad

If you make this Healthy Italian Pasta Salad, I would really appreciate a comment and rating down below, under the recipe card. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me over on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest!

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad is a quick and easy recipe to make that is perfect for anytime of year. It's loaded with bright and flavorful veggies and finished off with a red wine and dijon mustard Italian dressing.
PIN RECIPE
PREP TIME:
10 minutes
COOK TIME:
20 minutes
TOTAL TIME:
30 minutes
Author - Hannah

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 1 16-ounce box fusilli pasta (use gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup black olives, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 1 cucumber, diced

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

SCALE:

1X

YIELDS:

10 servings

Directions

  1. Start by boiling water on the stovetop and preparing the fusilli pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside to cool down.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the veggies by dicing the cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper and cutting the cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside.
  3. Cube the pepper jack and cheddar cheese next and then slice the fresh basil into strips. Drain the liquid from the olives and set aside.
  4. When ready, prepare the homemade Italian dressing by combining all the ingredients together and whisking until well combined.
  5. Next, assemble the pasta salad in a large bowl by adding in the cooked pasta, prepared veggies, basil, cheese, and olives. Mix until well combined and top with the homemade dressing. Mix once more and serve immediately or place in the fridge.

Notes

  • Make this pasta salad the night before and place it in the fridge in an airtight container. The pasta will marinate in the dressing and have even more flavor the next day. Just add the basil the next day for best results.
  • Finely chop the red and yellow bell peppers for best results.
  • Make sure the dressing ingredients are well incorporated before adding to the rest of the pasta.
  • Use Fusilli pasta for best results.

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