Pizza Pasta Salad is a light and fresh pasta dish packed with all the flavors of a supreme pizza. That’s right— it’s packed with pepperoni, tomatoes and onions, fresh basil and mushrooms, and of course, a ton of cheese! Ready in minutes and even kids love it!
Pepperoni Pasta Salad
Pizza Pasta Salad is so simple, but this recipe is borderline genius! For one, it’s loaded with all those delicious pizza flavors we all know and love, except there’s no hot oven to deal with or the bloated feeling you get after eating a greasy slice.
In addition, it gets even better the longer you chill it, which makes it a great dish if you’re into meal planning. Finally, you can throw in literally anything you want in this recipe! Sweep your fridge for leftover meats, veggies, and use whatever seasoning you have on hand.
And did I mention there’s no cooking involved? Chop, mix, and done in literal minutes. Get ready for everyone to request this pizza-inspired salad all the time!
Ingredients for Pizza Pasta salad:
- Cooked and drained pasta: You can use any type you like, but we love the beautiful shape of bow-tie.
- Vegetables: Prep some cherry tomatoes, plus chopped onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
- Sliced pepperoni: Use your favorite brand!
- Cheese: Cube or shred mozzarella.
- Basil: Make sure to use fresh for maximum flavor!
- Dressing: Combine tomato paste with Italian herb blend, garlic salt, a dash of tomato paste plus red wine vinegar, pepper, and olive oil to bring it all together.
How to make pizza pasta salad?
- Mix the dressing. Whisk thoroughly and set aside.
- Combine. Toss the pasta with the mozzarella, pepperoni and the rest of the ingredients, then pour the dressing all over and toss some more.
- Serve. Get a fork and enjoy!
Recipe variations and substitutions:
We’re serious— you can put anything in your version of this Pizza Pasta Salad. But to give you a few ideas, try these:
- Margherita (vegetarian): Keep it simple with basil, lots of mozzarella, and the Italian dressing.
- BBQ Chicken: Got some leftover BBQ chicken? Shred/dice it, then add fontina cheese, cilantro, a dash of BBQ sauce to the dressing, and fontina cheese.
- Bacon Hawaiian: Simply add cooked, chopped bacon and pineapple chunks to the dish, and double the cheesiness with mozzarella and cheddar!
- Meat Lovers: For a heartier version, add sausage slices, meatballs, bacon, and ham.
- Four Cheese: Aside from mozzarella, add parmesan, feta, and cheddar cubes!
- Use other types of pasta: Wagon wheels, rotini, penne, and other medium-sized types of pasta will work, too.
What goes with pasta salad?
This is already satisfying on its own, but you can certainly make it part of a larger meal. For instance, it’s delicious as a side to Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Bacon Wrapped Pork Medallions, Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks, and Air Fryer Salmon. Furthermore, we also enjoy it with veggie dishes like Parmesan Brussel Sprouts and Air Fryer Asparagus.
More pasta recipes to try:
- Brussels Sprouts in Alfredo Sauce Pasta
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Jalapeno Popper Pasta – One Pan!
- One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta
How to store leftovers?
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container and keep it chilled for up to 5 days. The leftovers are even better the next day, because the flavors have a chance to meld!
- You can use your favorite bottled Italian dressing if you like.
- In place of the cherry tomatoes, you can also use the ones in can. For bolder flavor and a little heat, use fire-roasted tomatoes!
- The fresher your mozzarella, the better. Since everything here is mostly raw, you can really taste the quality of each ingredient. Fresh mozzarella adds a delightful creaminess to the dish.
- We love adding crispy bacon! Just make sure to crisp it up properly and drain all the grease, so it doesn’t congeal in the pasta.
- You can shred or cube your cheese, but you can do both for even distribution.
- As much as possible, use fresh basil because it really completes the pizza flavor profile.
- White onions add a sweeter, more mellow flavor than red onions. Consider subbing if the taste of raw red onions is too strong for you.
PizzaPasta Salad is a light and fresh pasta dish packed with all theflavors of a supreme pizza. That’s right— it’s packed withpepperoni, tomatoes and onions, fresh basil and mushrooms, and ofcourse, a ton of cheese! Ready in minutes and even kids love it!
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 cups white mushrooms sliced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 cup pepperoni slices
- 2 cups cubed Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 pound of bowtie pasta cooked to al dente, cooled under cold water, then drained
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning
- 2 rounded tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
Mix the Salad ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl stir together the Dressing ingredients.
Add to the salad and stir to combine.
Serve or store in the fridge,