When the mercury starts climbing soon, the last thing you want to do is heat the kitchen up for classic, homemade pizza. That is where this pasta salad comes in. This pasta salad recipe is quick and easy to make, it is tossed with a simple vinaigrette, and you can customize it with all your favorite pizza toppings! I can also vouch that it will be a hit if you bring it along to a potluck. Because let us be real, who can resist pepperoni? 

Pizza Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad Ingredients: 

1 pound uncooked pasta (I use elbow macaroni) 

8 ounces mozzarella, diced 

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup diced cherry tomatoes 

4 cups chopped pizza toppings (I used pepperoni, black olives, green olives, bell pepper and onions)

1 batch Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette (see below) 

Dressing ingredients: 

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

¼ cup red wine vinegar 

3 teaspoons garlic powder 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

½ teaspoon salt 

½ teaspoon black pepper 

 Pasta salad directions: 

1. Cook the pasta in large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 30 seconds until no longer hot. Drain completely. 

2. In a large bowl, combine cooled pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and pizza toppings. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top, then toss to combine. 

3. Serve immediately or cove and refrigerate for up to three days. 

Vinaigrette directions: 

1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Lifelong resident of Marshall County, Rachel Marion is Program Coordinator of the Marshall County Leadership Challenge. She is married to Tom Marion and lives in Arab with their two dogs, Hector and Lola. She has an expansive cookbook collection, follows dozens of food blogs and when she isn’t cooking, she is thinking about cooking. 

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