Full of fresh, flavorful ingredients, this Creamy Italian Pasta Salad is a quick and easy dish for picnics, potlucks, or light and satisfying dinners. Pepperoni, mozzarella, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, and fresh herbs are tossed in Lemon Pepper and Asiago dressing for a crowd-pleasing meal that makes summer entertaining easy!
If you’re hosting a summer get-together or heading over to a friend’s house for a picnic, then this is the recipe for you! After all, a Southern potluck would not be complete without at least one pasta salad on the table!
When it comes to entertaining, the key is to keep it very informal — especially when children are involved. Playing hostess doesn’t need to feel stressful, but instead can be a group effort!
At this time of year, we tend to have cookouts with friends almost every single weekend. We rotate houses, but the rules are always the same: the hosts take care of the main dish (typically meat on the grill), while everyone else contributes a side dish or dessert. The kids run around outside, the men often stand by the grill drinking beer, and the wives have a chance to indulge in a few minutes of uninterrupted conversation. Everyone wins — and it’s not a difficult feat to pull off!
All of these fun summer gatherings inspired this particular dish, which I see as a perfect combination of my favorite Southern Macaroni Salad (with a creamy dressing) and a classic Italian Pasta Salad (with a vinaigrette dressing). It’s the best of both worlds!
My Creamy Italian Pasta Salad takes advantage of the fresh veggies and herbs that are available at this time of year and let’s them shine!
But here’s the true star of the show, and the ingredient that brings is all together: La Terra Fina’s Lemon Pepper & Asiago Dip and Spread. You guys…this stuff is SO darn good! It combines freshly-cracked pepper with lemon and rich Asiago, making gourmet flavors and ingredients convenient and accessible for all of us.
La Terra Fina’s products are crafted in small batches and are made with only real, clean ingredients, are certified gluten-free, and contain no nuts or trans-fats. This particular flavor is delicious as a spread on pizza or flatbread, or as a simple dip with crackers and veggies. Plus, it’s the perfect short-cut way to add tons of flavor to a Creamy Italian Pasta Salad!
To make the salad dressing, I whisk together the Lemon Pepper & Asiago Dip with my favorite Italian salad dressing and a splash or two of water.
Give it all a toss and the end result is a beautiful, fresh, and flavorful Italian pasta salad that comes together in about 15 minutes!
It’s the perfect addition to a summer entertaining spread, but it also works well as a light dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen! My kids love this creamy pasta dishand gave it rave reviews (even if they picked around the olives)!
While it’s delicious on its own, the pasta salad also pairs nicely with grilled Italian sausages, pizza or flatbread. The contemporary medley of classic flavors highlights the season’s best produce in a simple and satisfying dish that will disappear fast!
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad
Yield 8 cups
Full of fresh, flavorful ingredients, this Creamy Italian Pasta Salad is a quick and easy dish for picnics, potlucks with friends, or light and satisfying dinners. Pepperoni, mozzarella, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, and fresh herbs are tossed in a Lemon Pepper and Asiago dressing for a crowd-pleasing meal that makes summer entertaining easy!
2 cups (about 7 ounces) uncooked rotini pasta (about 4 cups cooked)
1 (10 ounce) container La Terra Fina Lemon Pepper & Asiago Dip and Spread
¼ cup Italian salad dressing
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 sweet bell pepper (any color), seeded and chopped
½ cup mini or diced pepperoni
½ cup sliced black olives
½ cup cubed fresh mozzarella
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside to cool completely.
In a small bowl, whisk together La Terra Fina Lemon Pepper & Asiago Dip and Spread, Italian salad dressing, and about 2 tablespoons of water to thin the dressing.
Once pasta is completely cool, place it in a large bowl. Gently add tomatoes, bell pepper, pepperoni, olives, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Pour dressing mixture over top and toss to combine.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cooking for a Smaller Crowd? This recipe can be easily divided in half to yield 4 total cups. Preparation instructions remain the same.
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 190 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 4.8 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
This post is sponsored by La Terra Fina. As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that we love!