Classic Italian Pasta Salad

pasta salad with olives, pepperoni, cheese, kale, and cucumber in a white bowl

5 from 3 reviews

Classic Italian Pasta Salad gets a veggie and flavor boost with the addition of kale and homemade Italian Salad Dressing



For the Italian Salad Dressing

For the Pasta

For the Salad


  1. Prepare Italian Salad Dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake well to combine.  This can be made up to a week in advance.
  2. Make the pasta: Place pasta, water, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in the pressure cooker pot.
  3. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position.  Cook at high pressure for half of the pasta package cooking time minus 2 minutes (see notes for examples of this).
  4. When pressure cooking is complete, use a quick release.  If liquid sprays from the knob, close knob, wait 30 seconds then release pressure again.
  5. Drain and rinse pasta with cool water.  Add to a large bowl and toss with a splash of the Italian Dressing.
  6. Prepare the salad: Add pepperoni, parmesan, peppers, mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumber, and black olives to the bowl of pasta.  Reserve about 2 tablespoons of dressing and pour the remainder over the salad ingredients and toss to combine
  7. In a separate bowl combine the kale, 2 tablespoons of dressing and a pinch of kosher salt.  Massage the kale (in other words – squeeze and pinch the kale) for 1 – 2 minutes until it’s soft, dark, and reduced in volume by nearly half.
  8. Add kale to the salad bowl and toss to combine.
  9. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
  10. Stores well in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Keywords: Italian Pasta Salad, Italian Salad Dressing, Instant Pot