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Summer Pasta Salad with Feta and Italian Dressing

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This Easy Summer Pasta Salad recipe is a must for summer picnics, potlucks, and gatherings. It is also the perfect make-ahead pasta salad for your 4th of July celebrations! This Mediterranean-inspired recipe is a family favorite with salami, peppers, broccoli, zesty Italian dressing, and feta cheese.

Pasta Salad in a White Bowl with salami and vegetables.

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A cold pasta salad is a hallmark of summer. In fact, can you imagine a warm season without one? I admit, I can’t.

That’s where this Summer Pasta Salad with Feta and Italian Dressing comes in.

Finding a great recipe is a must for bringing to all sorts of gatherings, from picnics to potlucks, backyard BBQs, and all of the summer holidays.

Easy to make and is packed with fresh vegetables and bold flavors, these salads travel well, are always a favorite, and are simple and easy to make ahead. 

This salad is always a favorite because it has a great texture, with crunchy vegetables combined with herbs, tangy tomatoes, and flavorful salami.

While I’ve suggested some of my favorite vegetables to add to this pasta salad, make it your own by adding in your favorites!

Why I love this pasta salad recipe

It’s hard to pick just a few reasons to love this easy summer pasta salad!

  • It’s colorful and bright, as any summer pasta salad should be.
  • Contains favorite summer veggies that are both healthy and delicious.
  • Bold flavors that pair well with summer favorite foods.
  • Easy to make ahead, in fact, it becomes even more delicious with age.
  • Makes 12 servings, which is great for gatherings and leftovers.
Pasta Salad Ingredients on a white background


Use a variety of your favorite vegetables alongside other add-ins, here are my favorites for this pasta salad:

  • tricolor rotini pasta
  • salami
  • Italian vinaigrette dressing, use your favorite brand or make your own
  • feta cheese
  • grape tomatoes
  • sliced black olives
  • bell peppers, I like a mix of red and green
  • cucumber
  • broccoli florets
  • red onion
  • parmesan cheese, shredded
  • fresh parsley
Top view of Pasta Salad in a white bowl with a blue striped linen.

Tips on Making a Delicious Pasta Salad

  • Keep the vegetables small: Cut vegetables into pieces smaller than bite-size. It helps to incorporate all the pasta salad ingredients into each bite. 
  • Soak the onions to remove the bite: if you soak the sliced onions in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes before patting dry and using, you’ll remove some of the unpleasant bite and pungency while keeping their flavor.
  • Cook the pasta to al dente: As mentioned, overcooking will make a pasta salad mushy when the dressing is added. After cooking the noodles, immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. 
  • Refrigerator pasta salad for maximum flavor. While it’s tempting to dive right in, pasta salads benefit from chilling for a couple of hours. This gives the flavors time to develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of pasta should I use in this recipe?

Rotini is a tried and true noodle to use in pasta salad. I love the tri-color rotini for its bright colors, but use any short or medium pasta you have on hand. I might substitute pasta shells, elbow macaroni, or traditional rotini. Be sure to not overcook the pasta for this salad. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in salads and not stand up to it’s dressing.

How long will this pasta keep?

While I recommend chilling this pasta salad for at least 2 hours before serving to let the dressing soak into the pasta, it will keep from fresh in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Closeup view of Pasta Salad in a White Bowl.

A few more easy recipes you might enjoy!


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Pasta Salad in a White Bowl with salami and vegetables.

Easy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Mediterranean-inspired Pasta Salad is a favorite with salami, peppers, broccoli, zesty Italian dressing, and Feta cheese.


  • 16 ounces tricolor rotini pasta
  • 8 ounces salami, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of red pepper flakes


  1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Immediately rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Combine the pasta, salami, tomatoes, olives, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, and red onion in a large bowl. Then fold in the dressing, cheeses, and fresh parsley. Toss to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate before serving. I like it best when refrigerated for at least 2 hours.



  • If you want the broccoli a bit softer, quicky blanching the broccoli is easy. Bring 2 quarts salted water to boil. Add broccoli and cook until bright green and just tender; about 3 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Storing the Pasta Salad

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving and add additional dressing if necessary.  

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 748mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 10g

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