This Italian bow tie pasta salad recipe is probably the easiest recipe you’ll ever make, and it pulls double duty as a side or main dish! Made with simple, fresh ingredients, this pasta salad is the very definition of “ease”.
Whenever I’m pressed for time and in need of a dish quickly, I always opt for this Italian bow tie pasta salad. It comes together so quickly, and since it can be a main dish or side dish, it’s perfect for almost any situation. I’ve always loved making pasta salad for a dinner side or a potluck, and that ease is one of the main reasons. I can whip this up in no time flat, and I know it’s going to be delicious.
Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe
This pasta salad is filled with delicious, summery ingredients that add so much flavor without weighing down the dish. This is also a pasta salad that does NOT have a creamy base, which makes it a much lighter version that will give you all kinds of delicious flavors without making you feel like you ate a boulder. That’s always nice on a hot summer day. After all, there’s nothing worse than feeling stuffed to the gills when the heat is absolutely pressing on you.
This tasty pasta salad features grape tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, pepperoni, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and Italian dressing. It makes a tasty dish that’s filled with flavors and that won’t make you feel too filled up. Because it’s so fast, you can make it at a moment’s notice. It’s really the perfect dish on all fronts.
There aren’t a lot of tips for this recipe. It’s so simple and straightforward, it’s almost impossible to make a mistake. It’s one of the simplest recipes you’ll find here or on any other website. That being said, I have a couple of things to remember to ensure that your Italian bow tie pasta salad is the best that it can possibly be.
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes?
If you don’t have grape tomatoes on hand, you can use cherry tomatoes. Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are perfect for this dish because they aren’t too watery. If you tried dicing up a larger tomato, you’d end up with a water pasta salad.
Choose seedless cucumbers if at all possible when shopping for this recipe. While any cucumbers will work in this pasta salad, seedless varieties are best because they have the most meat and won’t be watery.
Always Chill Your Salad
Chilling this Italian bow tie pasta salad is the equivalent of simmering a dish. The chilling time allows all the flavors to meld together to create a dish that is bursting with flavor. This recipe will still be tasty even if you don’t chill it, but chilling takes it right over the top.
This bow tie pasta salad is an excellent base for getting creative with ingredients. It’s a simple recipe that lends itself very well to experimentation with various ingredients. The Italian dressing never changes because you want to keep that flavor, but you can do a lot with the rest of it.
Try Different Pasta
I like to use bow tie pasta for my pasta salad because it tends to hold the dressing better, but almost any kind of short noodle pasta will work. Try using pasta like:
I love to use pepperoni in this dish, however other Italian meats will work well in this recipe as well. For different flavor profiles try meats like:
Serving Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Whether you’re serving this dish as a main course or as a side, serving it is easy. All you need is a plate and a fork or knife. It’s already bursting with flavor, so there’s no need to add any extra toppings upon serving. Just let everyone enjoy the delicious flavors that are already present throughout the dish.
It’s perfect for weeknight meals, and it’s so flavorful and pretty that it’s always welcome at any party or get-together. Its light flavors make this pasta salad perfect for barbecues and other family events, potlucks, and summer holidays like the Fourth of July.
Storing Italian Pasta Salad
Storing this pasta salad is as easy as every other part of it. It already has to be refrigerated, so when you’re finished serving, simply pop it back into the refrigerator in its original container. This dish will keep well in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to four days.
Give This Italian Bow Tie Pasta Salad a Try
This Italian bow tie pasta salad is quick, easy, and packed full of flavor. That’s a triple threat if you ask me. It’s so flavorful and light, it’s perfect for any occasion. It’s filled with flavor but won’t weigh you down like other creamy pasta salads will, making it an exceptionally great recipe for hot summer days. And because it’s so fast, you can whip it up at a moment’s notice. Give this recipe a try, and I know you’ll love it as much as I do!
Pasta Salad Ingredients
- Bow Tie pasta
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Black olives
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive Garden’s Signature Italian dressing
- Black pepper
(Actual measurements are listed in the recipe card below.)
How To Make This Italian Pasta Salad
Step 1 – Prep
Boil pasta according to package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Step 2 – Assembling the Pasta
In a large bowl, add grape tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperoni, black olives, and mozzarella cheese. Add in pasta and mix well. Pour in Italian dressing and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper if desired. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
Try this delicious Bow Tie Pasta Salad today
Here are a few more recipes that can be found on the blog:
And here is a delicious Bow Tie Pasta Tuna Salad from Great Grub, Delicious Treats you might enjoy as well.
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces Farfelle noodles (Bow Tie Pasta)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cucumbers, peeled, diced
- 1 pkg pepperoni slices, cut into ¼ pieces
- (2) 2.25 oz cans black olives, sliced
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 24 ounces Olive Garden's Signature Italian Dressing
- Boil Bow Tie Pasta according to directions on package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add halved grape tomatoes, diced cucumbers, pepperoni quarters, sliced black olives, and cubed mozzarella cheese.
- Now, add in rinsed noodles and mix well.
- Toss in Olive Garden's Signature Italian Dressing until well combined.
- Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Chill until ready to serve.
Here are a couple of pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest: