Pizza Pasta Salad with pepperoni, peppers, tomatoes, and mozzarella balls is super easy--and perfect for tailgates. Minimal chopping is required and you can mix and match ingredients.
If we're tailgating then you can bet I'm bringing along this Pizza Pasta Salad. It's one of the simplest recipes I have, yet everyone devours it! Teenagers especially love this dish, but adults are right there gobbling it up as well.
Pizza Pasta Salad Tweaks
You might make a fancy version of this easy pasta salad for girlfriends, with fresh spinach, goat cheese, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and sundried tomatoes. Or kid-friendly with just pepperoni and cheese!
You can really tweak this recipe to suit the occasion and the audience. Use different pastas, cheeses, vegetables, and meats and make it your own.
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Tools for Pizza Pasta Salad
You don't need any special tools for this Pizza Pasta Salad recipe, but I've gathered a few things that I love to use:
- A large plastic mixing bowl with lid - this easy pasta salad is so perfect for tailgating or potluck dinners, so I like to have a way to transport it easily!
- Glass bowl with lid - this one is glass and perfect if you're serving the pasta salad at home.
- Mozzarella balls
- Chopped bell pepper
- Grape tomatoes
- Banana peppers
- Chopped green onions
- Fresh basil
- Italian dressing
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How to Make Pizza Pasta Salad
Step 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again and place in a large bowl.
Pro Tip: The only time you should rinse pasta is when making a cold pasta salad to stop the cooking process. See Pasta 101: How to Cook Perfect Pasta.
Step 2. Add pizza topping ingredients of your choice. We like mini pepperonis, mozzarella balls, banana peppers, chopped peppers, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Step 3. Stir in Italian dressing, about a cup per 4 cups pasta. Add more to taste. Stir in fresh basil.
Pro Tip: You can make the pasta salad up to two days before serving but if you do, don't put the dressing on until ready to serve.
That's it! You could also throw in olives, hearts of palm, pineapple, marinated mushrooms...really anything you would put on pizza. This Pizza Pasta Salad is super easy and everyone loves it!
Tips for Pizza Pasta Salad
- Storage: store the pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- You can make the Pizza Pasta Salad ahead of time but don't add the dressing until ready to serve.
- 4 cups cooked pasta
- 1 pkg mini pepperoni slices
- 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped bell peppers
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup banana peppers
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup julienned fresh basil
- 1 cup mozzarella balls
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- Salt and pepper
- Place cooked, rinsed, and drained pasta in a large bowl.
- Add other ingredients and then stir in dressing.
- Serve immediately.
Tips for the Best Pizza Pasta Salad
Try to keep the ratio to about 4 cups pasta/3-4 cups toppings/1-1/2 cups dressing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 369mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
For more pasta salad inspiration, check out this BLT Pasta Salad with Avocado from Foodie Crush.
Update Notes: This post was originally published February 11, 2013, and on August 2, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.