Perfect camping, picnic, or potluck salad, Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe. Make with small bite pasta, salami, vegetables, cheese, and Italian dressing.

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

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I’m soaking up every flavor of summer, which includes this vibrant Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe, and that included this last weekend, camping here in central Oregon.

Even though it was hotter than HOT (we picked the hottest weekend of the year to camp, I believe), we had a lovely time with our dear friends.

This past weekend, we went camping at The Cove Palisades State Park, just 45 minutes North of Bend, where there is houseboating, water skiing and fishing on Lake Billy Chinook.

My friends and I got up at 6 am and hiked The Tam-a-lau Trail, a 6 mile loop trail, not far from our campsite. So glorious in the early morning (and cool).

This was our first outing in our new-to-us Sprinter Van. You may ask, what is a Sprinter Van? More importantly, what did we eat?

Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

I’m laughing out loud here, because we all know that camping is about being in the great outdoors with good friends and amazing food. Right? My friends are the best cooks, so I love camping with them.

The night Paul and I were in charge of dinner we made these Best Turkey Burgers and Peach Caprese Salad Recipe: Sweet peaches with fresh mozzarella and basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze (or olive oil and balsamic vinegar). Another one of our favorite “burger” recipes is Brie-Stuffed Cranberry Turkey Burgers!

BEST Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta Salad Ingredients

What makes the best pasta salad? I say delicious, fresh ingredients, like small bite pasta, salami, vegetables, cheese, tons of veggies, and Italian dressing.

Little bites of pasta are my favorite, so we used Delallo’s Ditalini Rigati (no. 57) and it was so good.

Full of veggies, salami, cheese, olives, and artichokes hearts, this is my new favorite summer salad.

sprinter van conversion

Now what is a Sprinter Van? I say it’s a weekend camper, that helps you get outside and start adventuring. We can’t wait to camp in our #SprinterVanRE! (My husband just put in the small window that is above our heads while sleeping.)

Not everyone can afford to buy one that is already converted (to a mini motor home, in a sense)–“hand raised”– which is why we bought a shell and will do the conversion ourselves. We owned our white Westfalia for 12 years, and it was very sad to see her go. We sold her to a family in Texas!

First up in the Sprinter? A bed. A fan. Windows and floors. Next up? Electrical, kitchenette, solar panels, and few other things (stay tuned).

I love being able to stand up in our Sprinter!

The biggest drawback to the Sprinter? Its price. Which is why we are doing it ourselves. I’ll be sharing more posts on our conversion experience. For now, Alder slept very well, which is very important.

Back to camping…our first time, we learned a lot about our Sprinter. Things we want to do and change for our next camping trip.

One thing that was a guarantee: GOOD FOOD, and FELLOWSHIP with some of our best friends!

Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe for summer

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Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 -8
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  • 1 lb. small bite pasta, I used DeLallo’s Ditalini Rigati No. 57
  • 1 small cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 7.1-ounce jar Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 cup chopped salami
  • 1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Italian dressing to taste, approximately ½ to 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup good quality grated parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and cool.
  • Add the pasta to a large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour dressing over salad mixture. Gently mix together.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

More summer pasta salads: Baby Pasta Salad [The Baker Mama], Bruschetta Orzo Pasta Salad [Rachel Cooks], and Individual Caprese Pasta Salads [A Farmgirls Dabbles].

Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe