4.77 from 13 votes
Cold Italian Shell Pasta Salad
Italian Shell Pasta Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
chill time
1 hr
Italian Shell Pasta Salad comes together quickly with the help of store-bought bottled Italian dressing. It's wonderful as a chilled side dish or vegetarian main course.
Course: BBQ Side dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian Cuisine
Keyword: bbq side dish, chilled pasta salad, cold pasta salad, Italian pasta salad, Italian Shell Pasta Salad, make-ahead side dish
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 246 kcal
Renee - Kudos Kitchen: Renée
  • 1 pound shell pasta cooked 2 minutes less than package directions, and drained.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup bottled Italian dressing
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup bell pepper seeded and small diced
  • 3/4 cup red onion small diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 8-ounce containters mozzarella Fresca (cherry size), drained
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves for garnish
  1. Add the Italian dressing and the olive oil to the hot cooked and drained pasta.

  2. Stir in the black pepper, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, dried basil, and dried oregano.

  3. Allow the pasta to cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese to the pasta.

  5. Stir well to combine.
  6. Season with additional salt if needed.
  7. Spoon the pasta salad into a large serving bowl.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 60 minutes.
  9. Right before serving stir in the fresh basil leaves, and additional Italian dressing if needed.
  10. Serve cold.
Recipe Notes

Tools and equipment:

large pasta pot, colander, wooden spoons, cutting board, paring knife, chef's knife, measuring cups, large bowl for serving


Add in suggestions:

cooked chicken, cooked turkey, cubed salami, cooked ham, tuna fish, cooked Italian sausage, pepperoni, capers, artichokes, garbanzo beans

Additional vegetable suggestions:

blanched green beans, green zucchini, yellow zucchini, blanched broccoli, red bell pepper

Nutrition Facts
Italian Shell Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 246 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 311mg14%
Potassium 194mg6%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 555IU11%
Vitamin C 16.2mg20%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.