This is kind of just like a basic Italian pasta salad, but I’m calling it “Pizza Pasta Salad” because this is how I use my leftover pizza toppings. Haha! When you buy a jar of peppers, olives, or any other pizza toppings, it’s always way too much for one pizza, so I repurpose all the pizza toppings in a pasta salad the next day. And the best part is that this Pizza Pasta Salad is another one of those great “refrigerator salads” that hold up well for days, so you can keep munching away happily throughout the week!
What’s In Pizza Pasta Salad?
Whatever you want! Ha! That’s the beauty of this one. In my pizza pasta salad I included mozzarella, pepperoni, green bell pepper, black olives, red onion, and banana peppers. Here are some other things that would be awesome in this pasta salad:
- Grape tomatoes
- Green Olives
- Fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)
- Mushrooms (marinated mushrooms would be even better)
- Artichoke hearts
Honestly, the only thing I probably wouldn’t put in my pizza pasta salad is pineapple. While I am a pineapple-pizza fan (sorry-not-sorry), I don’t think it would be very good in this pasta salad.
What Dressing Do you Use?
In the recipe below I’ve included a homemade Italian dressing with grated Parmesan cheese. If you want to take a short cut and use a store bought dressing, I suggest some sort of Italian dressing or Caesar dressing (non-creamy style), and if it doesn’t have Parmesan already in it, I would add some. The Parmesan cheese really adds some oomph to this pizza pasta salad.
Can I Use a Different Pasta?
Absolutely! This recipe is endlessly versatile. You can use any short shaped pasta, like bowtie, penne, or even shells. While you can use a long shape pasta like spaghetti, that type tends to be difficult to stir chunky objects into (they like to fall to the sides or bottom of the bowl). This recipe should also work fine with whole wheat or gluten free pasta.
How Long Does Pizza Pasta Stay Good?
This pasta salad is very refrigerator friendly and will last about 4-5 days in your refrigerator. That means it’s great for your weekly meal prep!
Love refrigerator salads as much as I do? Check out my round up of 19 Refrigerator Salads for Eating Healthy on the Go!
Italian Pizza Pasta Salad
Homemade Italian Dressing
- 1 lb. rotini pasta ($1.00)
- 3 oz. pepperoni ($1.25)
- 4 oz. mozzarella ($1.15)
- 1 green bell pepper ($0.89)
- 1/4 cup red onion ($0.11)
- 1/2 12oz. jar banana pepper rings ($1.00)
- 1/2 4oz. can sliced black olives ($0.70)
- Make the Italian dressing first so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and Parmesan to a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients together, or place a lid on the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
- Cook the rotini according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the pasta drain well, shaking the colander every few minutes to remove excess water from the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the other pasta salad ingredients. Cut the pepperoni in half or into quarters, and chop the mozzarella into small cubes. Dice the bell pepper and red onion. Drain the banana pepper rings and black olives.
- When the pasta is cooked, cooled, and drained well, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the rest of the prepared ingredients (pepperoni, mozzarella, bell pepper, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives). Toss the ingredients to combine.
- Give the dressing another shake or stir before drizzling it over the pasta salad. Toss the pasta salad once again to coat everything in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
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Scroll down to see the step by step photos!
How to Make Pizza Pasta Salad – Step by Step Photos
Make the Italian dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Add ½ cup olive oil, ¼ red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese to a bowl or jar. Either whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until combined. Set the dressing aside.
Cook one pound of rotini pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the pasta drain well, shaking the colander every few minutes to shake off excess water.
While the pasta is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the pasta salad ingredients. Chop 4oz. mozzarella into small cubes and cut 3oz. (half of a 6oz. package) pepperoni into half rounds or quarter rounds.
Dice one green bell pepper and about ¼ cup red onion. Drain ½ of a 12oz. jar banana pepper rings, and ½ of a 4oz. can sliced black olives.
Once the pasta is cooked, cooled, and drained well, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the pepperoni, mozzarella, green bell pepper, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives to the bowl. Toss these ingredients together.
Give the dressing one last stir or shake…
Then pour the dressing over the pasta salad.
Toss the salad again until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat!