Simple Italian Pasta Salad

This Simple Italian Pasta Salad is made with tender pasta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a homemade balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. It’s perfect as a easy side dish or quick lunch.

If you’re craving pasta salad, be sure to also try my Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad and Easy Pesto Pasta Salad recipes.

Simple Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

This Is One Of My Favorite Cold Pasta Salad Recipes

I have been loving these simple Italian (or Mediterranean) flavors for a while now so it made sense to add them to a quick and easy pasta salad to serve all summer long. Cold pasta salads have a special place in my heart and this simple Italian Pasta Salad is forever a favorite of mine. You just can’t go wrong with delicious kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh bright tomatoes, and herbs all served with carb-y pasta and a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. This salad stores and travels well, tastes great for a few days, and you can mix and match what you throw in to what you like or have on hand.

The beauty of making pasta salad in the summer is that the ingredients are all fresh and extra delicious. I like to add both fresh basil and parsley to this recipe, though you can add just one or the other. I also love using garden tomatoes for this because what tastes better than a perfectly ripe garden tomato? You are going to love how easy the dressing is to make, too. Make a double batch and store half for salad later in the week or dip some of my favorite no-knead bread in it.

I typically serve this (as written) as a side dish, but this recipe is really easy to modify to make it more hearty to serve as a main dish.

What Can I Add To Italian Pasta Salad?

What Type Of Cheese Would Be Good In Italian Pasta Salad?

I also like to add feta cheese when I have it on hand. The feta kicks it up a notch!

Do I Rinse The Pasta Once It Is Cooked?

When using pasta in a cold salad, you should always drain and rinse it in cold water. This will bring the temperature down of the pasta.

Cold Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Video of how to make simple Italian pasta salad:

Bowl of italian pasta salad

Simple Italian Pasta Salad

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Total Time: 22 min
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x


This Simple Italian Pasta Salad is made with tender pasta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a homemade balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.



  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup halved Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil and/or parsley (I like a combination of the two)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, and fresh herbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Add the dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.


This is delicious with the addition of chickpeas or white beans, pepperoni or salami, and/or some feta cheese to push this from a side to a main dish.

  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 10 SERVING SIZE: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168.6 Fat: 7.9g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 229.2mg Carbohydrates: 22.9g Sugars: 2.4g Protein: 4.2g Vitamin A: 12µg Vitamin C: 4.2mg

Keywords: italian pasta salad, easy italian pasta salad recipe, how to make pasta salad, best pasta salad recipe, cold pasta salad recipe, pasta salad recipe

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Italian Pasta Salad

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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We love pasta salads. Great

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.