A yummy pasta salad made with pepperoni, rotini pasta, lots of veggies & creamy mozzarella! It’s tossed in a zesty Italian vinaigrette & topped with fresh basil & grated parmesan!
Quick: what’s your absolute favorite pizza? Mine?? Definitely one with all the classic toppings! (I think it’s called a “supreme” pizza right?!🤔) Pepperoni, veggies, olives, all the tomato sauce and ALL of that ooey gooey mozzarella cheese… Geez just typing that is starting to make my mouth water! And guess what babes, this tasty pizza pasta salad tastes exactly like it just tossed into a bowl and drizzled with a zesty homemade Italian vinaigrette!
Ingredients for pizza pasta salad
- Pasta: We love using rotini pasta but feel free to use your favorite “medium” length pasta. (Penne, bowtie, cavatappi and gemelli would all be great substitutions!)
- Pepperoni: Use your favorite pre-sliced pepperoni for this recipe. (Regular or turkey pepperoni both work.)
- Cherry tomatoes: Use cherry or grape tomatoes for the best results. (They have a much better flavor than roma or other larger tomatoes.)
- Green bell pepper: Mild in flavor and adds texture to your salad. Look for peppers that are slightly firm with no bad spots.
- Onion: I would suggest using red onion for this recipe. Red onions tend to be sweeter than white or yellow onions and won’t overpower your salad
- Mozzarella: I personally love using mozzarella pearls! They’re the perfect size for this salad and there’s no extra cutting needed!
- Black olives: Use pre-sliced olives to cut down on prep work. You can usually find these in the canned vegetable aisle.
- Fresh basil: Look for leaves that are bright green with no brown spots for the best results. Your basil leaves should also be very fragrant and not wilted.
- Grated parmesan: Optional but totally worth it! (Just a tablespoon or two is all you need.)
- Italian vinaigrette: An easy homemade dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper!
How To Make The Best Pizza Pasta Salad
- Cook your pasta. Boil your pasta according to the package’s directions. Then drain it and set it aside to cool completely.
- Make the dressing. Shake all your dressing ingredients together in a salad dressing bottle or jar. (Or whisk them together in a bowl.)
- Prep the rest of your ingredients. Slice your pepperoni, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion and fresh basil. Then remove your mozzarella pearls from their packaging.
- Toss & serve! Add all your pasta salad ingredients to a bowl and drizzle your desired amount of dressing over the top. Toss until the salad is fully coated and serve immediately. (Or let it chill in the fridge or 30 minutes – 1 hour.)
This pasta salad would be great for an easy meal prepped lunch! Just divide the salad into separate containers and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat! (I’d suggest making a little extra dressing to drizzle over your leftovers too. Pasta salad tends to soak up it’s dressing the longer it sits, so tossing it in a small amount will help keep it fresh.)
- Optional toppings: Even though this pizza pasta salad is super tasty on it’s own, I’m still a toppings girl at heart. Which means I can never pass up an opportunity to sprinkle a little something over the top!😉 Here are of few of my favorite toppings to add!
- Grated parmesan (my personal favorite!)
- Red pepper flakes
- Extra fresh basil, sliced thin
- Diced chicken (for a little extra protein)
- Chopped Italian sausage/salami (turns this pasta salad into more of a “meat lovers” pizza 😉)
- How do you cool down pasta for pasta salad? After cooking your pasta, pour it into a large colander and immediately run cold water over it. (You can also place the colander in a bigger bowl filled half way with ice water to cool the pasta down even faster.)
- Is it better to make my pizza pasta salad the day before? While your salad will stay good for a few days in the fridge, I would suggest making it either the day of or the day before you plan to eat it for the best results. The longer your pasta salad sits the more it will soak up your dressing. (If making it early, I would suggest saving some dressing to toss your salad in again right before you eat.)
- How long with pasta salad keep in the refrigerator? 4-5 days.
Why you’ll love this pizza pasta salad recipe
- The best of both worlds! Think about it, you get all the best pizza flavors AND pasta! What could be better?!
- Easy to customize! Not a fan of olives? Leave them out! Prefer red bell pepper instead of green? Swap it out! You can make this salad to fit any of your personal preferences!
- Great for meal prep! Pasta salad stays good for days when stored in the fridge so it’d be the perfect option for a quick make-ahead lunch!
- Always a party favorite! Who doesn’t love pizza?! This pasta salad is always the first dish to go at every party!
Need it gluten free? Just use your favorite gluten free pasta instead!
Need it dairy free? Replace the mozzarella balls with dairy free mozzarella cut into cubes or use dairy free shredded mozzarella instead! (Our favorite lactose free mozzarella is from Buf Creamery & shredded mozzarella is from Trader Joe’s!)
More pasta salad recipes you might like:
- Cilantro Lime Pasta Salad
- Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad
- Taco Pasta Salad
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments! I love seeing what you create!]
Easy Pizza Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 1 box dry rotini pasta
- 50 pepperonis, halved (can use turkey pepperoni insetad)
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ of a green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ of a red onion, sliced thin
- 1 6oz can sliced black olives
- 8 oz. mozzarella pearls (or fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes)
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced thin
- Grated parmesan, optional
For the Italian vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt & pepper, to taste
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk your vinaigrette ingredients together or place them in a salad dressing bottle & shake. Then store it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the pasta salad:
- Boil your pasta according to the package's directions. Then drain the pasta and allow it to cool completely.
- Next pour your cooled pasta, pepperoni, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, mozzarella, olives and fresh basil in a large bowl. Drizzle your desired amount of vinaigrette over the top and toss your salad until it's fully coated.
- Let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or serve it immediately with grated parmesan sprinkled on top.