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pasta salad perfect for summer picnics or barbecues.

Italian Pasta Salad

Refreshing Italian Pasta Salad - with rotini pasta, fresh, crunchy vegetables, and loads of flavors.

This has fresh, healthy ingredients and is easily customizable to include your favorites.

I love this because it is a wonderful make-ahead dish and a crowd-pleaser. The recipe is very simple. Perfect for your summer picnics and backyard barbecues. Enjoy!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 18 minutes
Servings 4 -6


  • 8 oz rotini pasta

to cook pasta

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups water

for the salad

  • 125 grams approx. ¾-1 cup English cucumber/Persian Cucumber; diced small
  • 150 grams 1 cup mozzarella; diced small
  • 50 grams approx. (½ cup yellow bell pepper
  • 100 grams approx. ¾-1 cupgreen bell pepper; diced small
  • 100-120 grams 10-12 numbers cherry tomatoes; quartered
  • 50 grams approx. ½ cuponion; finely chopped
  • 8-10 pitted olives; diced small

salad Dressing

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes; optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


how to make pasta salad

    cook pasta

    • Add pasta to the steel pot of the Instant Pot. Add salt, olive oil, and water. Give a quick stir. Latch the Instant Pot lid. Steam release valve in the SEALING position. PRESSURE COOK (MANUAL MODE in some models) for 3 minutes. (Note: assuming the pasta cooks in 7 minutes on the stovetop). Quick pressure release. [Be careful here. There might be heavy foam build-up]. Drain the pasta to the bowl and pour some cold water to fully cover the pasta. Set aside to cool.


    • Drain the cold pasta into a large mixing bowl. To the mixing bowl, add cucumber, tomatoes, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, mozzarella, onion, and olives.
    • Top with dressing ingredients - olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, parsley, basil, red chilli flakes (if using), salt, and pepper to taste.
    • Mix everything well. Do a taste test and adjust any seasonings to suit your taste.
    • Cover the bowl with a cling film and refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours (or overnight for best results).
    • Transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate leftovers.



    • 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish)
    • Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
    • Serving size – 8 OZ pasta typically serves 3-4 people. Since this is served as a side dish, this might serve more people.
    • This is a pretty forgiving recipe. You can adjust the vegetables & seasonings ingredients to taste.
    • Skip the red chilli flakes if you do not like them.
    • Taste as you go. Add more or less of the dressing ingredients as per your taste.
    • prep time - time required to chop the vegetables and get everything ready. cook time - time required to cook the pasta (plan for a few additional minutes for the instant pot to reach full pressure). additional time - time to refrigerate the salad for the flavors to develop.