recipe

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad

If you love your pizza piled high with toppings like meat, cheese, and veggies, you’ll love this Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad made with pepperoni, veggies, mozzarella cheese, and other pizza inspired flavors!

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What’s your favorite kind of pizza?  While I won’t turn away a hot and bubbly slice of plain pie – or any pie for that matter – I really love a good slice of pizza piled high with veggies, meat, and cheese!  You get a little bit of everything in every bite!  Plus, I like to think that adding veggies to pizza makes it healthier, meaning I can have an extra slice!

We’re a big, pizza loving family.  We have pizza every Friday night and my entire family makes their own pies – there’s no delivery here! So while I was trying to think of a side dish that would stretch throughout the week, I instantly thought about making a pizza style pasta salad.  Then, I thought about making a loaded pizza pasta salad with veggies, pepperoni, and other pizza inspired flavors. 

Pasta salad is one of my go-to sides to make when I don’t have much else in the house.  As long as you have a box of pasta, some cheese, veggies, and a bottle of salad dressing, you can make a pretty delicious salad!  Plus, pasta salad always lasts us a while.  It not only makes an excellent side, but an easy, cold lunch during the summer months!

I usually make my pasta salads with tricolor pasta to give it a little more color.  But it’s actually been hard to find since the pandemic started.  Weird.  Right?  So I’ve been using chickpea or whole wheat pasta instead.  It’s not as colorful, but it works just as well!  

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad 

 
Making pasta salad is really simple.  After cooking my pasta, I let it cool and chop up the rest of my ingredients.  For this salad, I used pepperoni, black olives, onion, a large green bell pepper, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes.  I also cut about half of a small block of mozzarella into cubes and finished the salad with Italian dressing.

I finish most of my pasta salads with a bottle of Italian dressing.  It adds just the right amount of zing!  I also like to keep a little extra dressing on the side to refresh the salad when needed.

Like most pasta salads, this salad gets better the longer it sits and soaks up every bit of flavor.  So if you want to whip it up a day ahead of time, go for it!  I would just suggest saving extra dressing for the next day.  You’ll be surprised at how fast the pasta salad soaks up the dressing! 

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. rotini pasta
  • 1 stick pepperoni, cut into quartered pieces
  • 6 oz. black olives, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 16 fl. oz. bottle Italian dressing
  • Optional: fresh basil, fresh oregano, Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package.
  2. Rinse with cold water, allow pasta to cool, and add to a large bowl.
  3. Add the pepperoni, olives, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and mozzarella to the pasta.
  4. Pour in the Italian dressing and stir.
  5. Serve pasta salad with fresh basil, oregano, and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese, if desired.
  6. Store up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
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Serve this salad with a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese, on top and some fresh basil and oregano leaves.  If you want to be bold and add a little kick, sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes onto the salad, too! 

Did you make this Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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