One of my favorite salads of all time is a cold Italian Pasta Salad. You can find them at almost any grocery store deli, but I love to make them fresh at home.
You can easily make this top 9 friendly, with a wheat and gluten free noodle. Barilla has a Rotini that’s GMO free, vegan and gluten free. Although, there’s so many options compared to about 10 years ago. You can find them at most mainstream grocery stores as well as on Amazon, and in specialty stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts.
This recipe can easily be made the day before and also holds up well in the fridge for 2-3 days!
To make this top 9 free, just skip the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and use gluten free noodles. This is such a versatile and forgiving recipe! You can even sub out or add in other vegetables. My mom made a very similar one growing up, and she used broccoli in it!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 16 oz Pasta (tri-color rotini, bow tie, etc), cooked & rinsed cool
- 1 8 oz Block of Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
- 1 Orange Bell Pepper, diced small
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced small
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced small
- 1 pint Grape Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 3.8 oz Can of Sliced Black Olives, drained
- 1/3 Red Onion, diced small
- 7 oz Salami, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 C Italian Dressing
- 1 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions so that it is al dente (slightly firm with a bite that slightly sticks to your teeth).
Having it a little firm will help as when you let the dressing and vegetables marinate with the pasta, that breaks it down and "cooks" it further.
Rinse pasta after cooking, in cold water to ensure it stops any further cooking.
Set aside, and chop and prepare all ingredients except the dressing and Parmesan cheese.
Once chopped and prepared, combine and toss with pasta. Drizzle dressing over salad, give a good toss.
Add parmesan cheese, and give a final good toss. Store in fridge up to 3 days.