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21 Refreshing Italian Pasta Salad Recipes

As soon as the days get warmer and the winter chill disappears, my mind dreams of Italian pasta salad recipes.

For me, pasta salad screams summer – it reminds me of long, lazy weekends spent at the beach in Sicily with my big, loud family.

Pasta salads are such a versatile and beloved dish in Italy that you’ll find countless variations from the northern regions to the sun-drenched south.

Italian pasta recipes Pintarest

Tips to make Italian pasta salads perfect

As an Italian girl who adores pasta salads, I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years to ensure they turn out delicious. 

  • Cook the pasta al dente. You want the pasta to have a nice, firm texture that will withstand the other ingredients. Overcooking will result in a mushy, unpleasant pasta salad.
  • Dress the pasta while it’s still warm. Tossing the freshly cooked pasta with the dressing allows it to absorb all the flavors.
  • Use high-quality, flavorful ingredients.
  • Balance the flavors. Make sure to include a mix of salty, acidic, and fresh ingredients to create a well-rounded taste. 
  • Let the salad marinate. After tossing everything together, allow the pasta salad to sit for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours) so the flavors can meld. And believe me it tastes even better the next day!

21 Must-Try Italian Pasta Salad Recipes

#1 Rotini Pasta Salad

Rotini Pasta Salad

With a few simple ingredients, this pasta salad is ready in a few minutes and has the perfect Italian taste!



This Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad is full of Italian flavors! It’s one of my favorite Italian pasta salad recipes.

It’s a great side dish made with marinated artichokes, grape tomatoes, basil, and a homemade dressing.

#3 Linguine Pasta Salad Recipe

Linguine Pasta Salad Recipe

This fun and twirlable linguine pasta salad is loaded with fresh vegetables and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

It’s a crowd-pleaser recipe that everyone at your table is sure to enjoy.

#4 Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

This delicious pasta salad is tossed in a bright and zingy dressing and incorporates lots of sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and fresh herbs!


This Italian Pasta Salad recipe is a tried-and-true family favorite.

It’s easy to make and uses simple ingredients. Perfect for any gathering, this pasta salad is bound to be a new favorite!

#6 Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

Smoked Italian Pasta Salad

Smoking some of the ingredients on a smoker grill adds so much flavor to this smoked Italian pasta salad.

Salad recipes are already popular during the spring and summer months, and this one is really special.

#7 Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

Transform the classic Caprese salad into a hearty and easy-to-prepare Caprese Pasta Salad!

This dish combines the beloved flavors of fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella with pasta, making it an ideal choice for summer BBQs as a side salad or a satisfying vegetarian main course.



This spring pasta salad features vibrant green asparagus, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, basil, and olive oil, all served with penne.

Asparagus Pasta Salad is a simple and fresh vegetarian delight!



This Italian-inspired spaghetti salad with chilled shrimp, garden veggies, and a zesty vinaigrette is just what you need.

It’s super easy to make and so delicious!

#10 Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad

This grilled vegetable tortellini pasta salad is full of delicious Italian antipasto flavors and dressed in a light pesto dressing.

Make a large batch because everyone loves it!

#11 bruschetta pasta salad

bruschetta pasta salad

I’ve got something special for your next gathering — a fresh and flavorful bruschetta-inspired pasta salad!

It’s a fun twist on classic bruschetta with juicy cherry tomatoes, fragrant basil, and juicy mozzarella.

#12 Marinated Tomato Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

Marinated Tomato Pasta Salad with Prosciutto

Feast your eyes on this Italian-style pasta salad featuring ripe tomatoes marinated in a tangy balsamic dressing paired with salty prosciutto and chewy pasta.

It’s a game-changer!

#13 Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

It’s the perfect way to savor the bold taste of homemade pesto in a delicious and easy-to-make pasta salad!

#14 Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Craving all the delicious flavors of an Italian grinder sandwich?

Then you’ll love this satisfying pasta salad version! Salami, provolone, peppers, and a zesty Italian dressing make this the ultimate potluck or picnic dish.

#15 Italian Tuna Pasta Salad

This protein-packed pasta salad featuring flaky tuna, crunchy veggies, and a tangy Italian dressing is the way to go!

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


Tortellini Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, olives, peppers, parmesan, and Italian dressing.

A fun, cheesy twist on classic Italian pasta salad!



#18 Summery Italian Pasta Salad 

Summery Italian Pasta Salad

This summery pasta salad is a veggie-packed version of the Italian classic.

A lighter plant-based option perfect for lunch or dinner.

#19 Ditalini Pasta Salad Recipe

Ditalini Pasta Salad Recipe

This dish features tiny ditalini pasta mixed with colorful veggies, olives, and a tangy Italian vinaigrette.

It’s a fun and flavorful recipe.

#20 Tortellini Caprese Salad

Prepare to be amazed by this cheese-filled tortellini, fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil, all coming together in a delightful tortellini Caprese salad. 


This traditional Italian Puglia dish features al dente pasta tossed with fresh tomato, basil, and hard ricotta, a few ingredients for a super delicious dish.

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