Do you love a good pasta salad? I am not a huge fan of mayo-based pasta salads, but I love ones that use dressing. My favorite thing about pasta salads is how easy they are to make. This Balsamic Pasta Salad Recipe comes together in just minutes once you cook the pasta. The balsamic vinegar flavor really complements the cheese and pepperoni. This is the perfect summertime side dish to bring to a cookout.
⭐Why this Balsamic Pasta Salad Recipe is awesome
- This easy pasta salad comes together quickly and just requires a few basic ingredients.
- Great for potlucks or parties!
- You can make it the day before serving. The flavors really meld together overnight.
🥣Salad Ingredient Notes
- Cooked Noodles - any short noodle of your choice.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Pepperoni Stick - Adds a little kick!
- Bottle Balsamic Dressing - Can also use light dressing.
📋How to make this balsamic vinaigrette pasta salad
To make this balsamic pasta salad, start by cooking your pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Set the pasta aside in a large bowl so it can cool.
Now slice the pepperoni stick and block of cheddar cheese into bite-sized chunks. Add to the bowl with the cooked pasta. You are almost done, can you believe it? I told you this was easy.
The pepperoni gives the salad a bit of a kick. If you are interested in a more mild salad, you can substitute an equal amount of salami stick for the pepperoni.
Now it is time to add the shredded Parmesan cheese to the bowl. You can buy a block of Parmesan cheese and shred it yourself, or you can just take a supermarket shortcut and buy shredded Parmesan cheese. That is not cheating!
Pour the entire bottle of balsamic vinaigrette dressing into the bowl and mix well. I like using the dressing since the work is done for me and I don't have to measure and mix the olive oil and the regular balsamic vinegar.
Cover the salad and refrigerate it for an hour.
Feel free to garnish with some fresh basil leaves. Your guests are seriously going to gobble this up. It makes a great side dish for a BBQ or cookout. It really is the best pasta salad recipe. Be sure to also try this Southwest Chicken Salad Recipe.!
Tip 1: I like using rotini pasta because the curls really hold the dressing well, but feel free to use whatever short pasta you have on hand. Penne, farfalle, and cavatappi pasta also work well.
Tip 2: You can also use sliced pepperoni in place of the chunks of pepperoni stick.
What vegetables can I add to this pasta salad?
If you want to give this salad a little more bulk, you can add tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions.
How can I add protein to this salad?
This salad is delicious with grilled chicken breast. Simply grill the chicken in extra virgin olive oil, slice, and mix into the pasta salad.
How do I store this salad?
This salad tastes even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to meld. You can store it by covering it with plastic wrap and refrigerating it for up to 3 days.
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Balsamic Pasta Salad Recipe
- Slice your pepperoni stick & block of cheese into bite sized pieces.
- Take a large bowl and pour in your cooked noodles.
- Toss in your bite sized cheddar cheese, pepperoni pieces & Parmesan cheese.
- Pour in the entire bottle of balsamic dressing.
- Mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Serve & enjoy!
- I like using rotini pasta because the curls really hold the dressing well, but feel free to use whatever short pasta you have on hand. Penne, farfalle, and cavatappi pasta also work well.
- You can also use sliced pepperoni in place of the chunks of pepperoni stick.