Easy Summer Pasta Salad - a colorful blend of peppers, onion, olives, and pepperoni tossed in a red-wine vinaigrette. Easy to mix together and perfect for lunches or summer gatherings.
Pasta salads are a staple of summer. You are sure to find pasta salad at every picnic or barbecue. They are so easy to prepare and keep well in the refrigerator. Pasta salad is the perfect meal prep item to have on hand for lunches during the week.
Pasta salads are a great way to use up what you have on hand. Change up the vegetables using what you have in your fridge. Omit the pepperoni for a meat-free option or add in cheese. These salads are so customizable which makes them so much fun to make!
Colorful pasta salad
This easy summer pasta salad is loaded with color and tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
- Rotini pasta
- Assorted bell peppers - red, orange, and yellow
- Red onion
- Black olives
- Turkey (or regular) pepperoni
- Red wine vinegar
- Grapeseed (or avocado) oil
- Dried oregano
Tips for pasta salad
- Use your favorite pasta shape. I love the tri-colored rotini, but you can use whatever shape you have in your pantry. Orecchiette, elbows, and small shells work great as well.
- Cook the pasta in salted water. Add 2-3 teaspoons of salt to the water per box of pasta. This flavors the pasta itself.
- Rinse the pasta before assembling the salad. Typically, pasta should not be rinsed, but I prefer to rinse when I make pasta salads. Otherwise, the salad can get gummy from the excess starch.
- Toss with extra vinaigrette if storing for more than 1-2 days. Pasta salad can be served immediately, but refrigerating helps the flavors to blend. If the pasta salad is eaten throughout the week, toss with extra dressing since the pasta will absorb the dressing as it sits.
- Vinaigrette-based pasta salad is ideal for warm weather. This recipe does not have a mayo-based dressing or cheese, so this salad holds up well outdoors during the warm summer months.
Thanks for sharing!
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. If you post your photo on Instagram, tag me @mycasualpantry using hashtag #mycasualpantry.
More pasta salad recipes to try:
- Chorizo Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Dressing
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Tortellini Antipasto Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Chickpea Antipasto Salad
- Muffuletta Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Summer Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces tri-colored rotini
- ½ red pepper diced
- ½ yellow pepper diced
- ½ orange pepper diced
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 3 ounces black olives sliced
- 3 ounces turkey pepperoni mini-size or regular-size cut into quarters
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ⅛ cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the diced peppers and onion, sliced olives, and pepperoni to the pasta.
- Whisk the red wine vinegar, oil, and oregano until combined. Add black pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.
Author's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated.