I’m not sure what has gotten into me but I’ve been all about salads for the last month. Both in life and on the blog. I’ve been craving and eating salads daily. Mostly of the green, leafy variety but you can’t beat a good pasta salad, and this one is a doozy. It’s full of all things pizza – pepperoni, mozzarella, olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, and Parmesan cheese. It appeals to both kids and adults alike and is a great one to add to your list of potluck/BBQ/picnic fare.
I promise July will bring at least a couple new dinner ideas and maybe a sweet or two but for now let’s talk about this yummy salad.
I like spiral pasta in this salad and especially a colorful one like Wacky Mac. It is so vibrant and really makes it a stand out dish. There are other varieties of tricolor spiral pasta out there and they’ll work just fine but I’m a Wacky Mac girl.
You’ll also need some sliced pepperoni and some good quality mozzarella cheese.
Look for a can of medium black olives; the perfect size for a salad. When I was a little girl and a bowl of black olives were in my vicinity, I’d put on the end of each finger and run around with “olive claws” and then I’d eat each and every one of them. You did this too, right?
Still today I have to resist the urge every time I open a can. Some people around here already think I’m a little strange and olive claws would only make things worse.
Combine the cooked pasta with the pepperoni, cubes of mozzarella, chopped green bell pepper, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and some Parmesan cheese. Then just mix in some of your favorite bottled salad dressing.
Italian dressing is a good choice but I think it would be great with a variety of others – Caesar, balsamic, even creamy ranch.
Make it portable by packing it into mason jars. Pizza Pasta Salad to go!
- 1 (12 ounce) package tri-color spiral pasta (like Wacky Mac)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 cup sliced pepperoni
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 (6 ounce) can medium, pitted black olives
- 1 small container cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
- Bottled Italian salad dressing (or any other flavor!)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until cooked pasta is completely cooled. Allow to drain well while preparing other ingredients.
- Transfer cooled pasta to a serving dish. Add mozzarella, pepperoni, bell pepper, and olives and toss to combine. Add dressing to your liking and toss again to distribute throughout.
- Chill salad for at least one to two hours before serving.
- Note: If you double the recipe, you can use the entire can of olives!
Looking for more summer sides?