Viva Italia Pasta Salad

Michelle Koletar/Mertz


I LOVE, love, love making up pasta salads. This one is very hearty with the meats & mix of veggies. If you prefer grape tomatoes, omit the red peppers. I also have added some chopped sundried tomatoes to this recipe w/ rave reviews.

pinch tips: Perfect Pasta Every Time





45 Min


10 Min


16 oz. box
preferred pasta (i like the trio italian)
6.5 oz jar(s)
marinated artichokes, very well drained & cut in chunks d
6 oz
can large black olives, drained well
20 slice
good quality pepperoni, cut in half
20 slice
genoa salami, cut in half, or about 1/3 lb cut in chunks
8 oz
jar, roasted red peppers, cut in chunks
green peppers, cut in chunks
1/3 c
parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz
sharp white cheddar, cut in chunks
16 oz
bottle italian dressing (kraft viva italian is my fav)
italian spices, basil, salt, pepper

Directions Step-By-Step

Cook pasta to firm (according to box directions). I cook in a whole peeled onion for flavor, Kosher salt, & some of the Italian dressing instead of plain olive oil.
Make sure your roasted red peppers, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes if using, are well drained. (I drain them, then squeeze thru paper towels.)
Drain pasta & add about 1/2 cup of Italian dressing. Stir well & refrigerate to cool for about 30 mins.
Meanwhile, cut up all veggies & add some Italian dressing to them & stir. (I throw everything in a big stockpot for ample room to stir & add.)
Add pasta & then season w/ ground black pepper, parmesan, basil & Italian seasonings. Stir & add more dressing.
Refrigerate for about 2 hours, then stir again, & add sharp cheese chunks. Add more dressing, if needed. I normally make this the night before if it's for earlier in the day next day or early morning if I am using it that night. Get pasta out of fridge about 30 mins before using to stir & taste. I sprinkle parm on the top of the bowl too, & have added fresh basil leaves around the edges as a nice garnish. Add more dressing if needed. Enjoy!

About this Recipe

Regional Style: Italian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids