This Italian Grinder Pasta Salad has cooked pasta, diced salami and pepperoni with pepperoncini, mozzarella, provolone, onions and fresh basil tossed in a simple creamy dressing. Yields 16 cups and will serve 16 (1-cup) servings.

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

What do you get when you combine an Italian Grinder with Pasta salad?

You guessed it, an Italian Grinder Pasta Salad. It’s all over the internet these days, so of course I made my version of this viral pasta salad to share with you. In it, cooked campanelle pasta is tossed with diced salami, pepperoni, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, sliced pepperoncini, red onion, romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes is tossed with a creamy and delicious yet SUPER simple creamy dressing. Basically it’s everything you love in a grinder sandwich but in pasta salad form.

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

This loaded pasta salad goes great with just about anything, chicken or steak, burgers, brats or hotdogs.

Ingredients for Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

To make This Italian Grinder Pasta Salad You Will Need:

for the dressing:

  • mayonnaiseLends flavor and creaminess.
  • red wine vinegarFor a touch of tangy acidity.
  • garlicGives the dressing distinct punchy flavor.
  • oregano (dried) – Adds earthy and slightly bitter flavor.
  • red pepper flakesFor a touch of spice and flavor.
  • freshly ground black pepperAdds some subtle bite and flavor.

for the pasta salad:

  • dry pastaI used campanelle but any similar shape/size pasta will work.
  • provolone cheeseLends a sharp, complex taste with buttery and creamy flavors.
  • mozzarella cheeseFor this salad I used small pearled mozzarella.
  • salami I used uncured salame (Fredrick’s of Meijer – not sponsored) that I diced up myself.
  • pepperoniSame as above. I used a pepperoni stick (Boar’s Head – not sponsored) and diced it into cubes.
  • red onionConsider soaking onions in ice water to remove a lot of the bite. You still get onion flavor but it mellows out considerably.
  • pepperonciniPurchase pre sliced pepperoncini for less prep work.
  • romaine lettuceAdds a pop of color and subtle crunch.
  • cherry tomatoesLend a touch of juicy sweet flavor.
  • basil (fresh) – Lends bright herbaceous freshness.
  • parmesan cheeseAdds a touch of nuttiness. Use freshly grated for best flavor.

dressing ingredients in bowl

Make The Dresssing:

In a bowl, measure and add 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light mayo, but any will do), 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic (grated – use 1 if large), 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes – or to taste.

whisking dressing ingredients

Whisk to combine, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance.

pot of water boiling

Make The Pasta Salad:

Start by bringing a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, stir in a palm-full (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) of fine sea salt and then add in 1 pound of pasta. For this recipe I’m using campanelle which is a flute-like shape. It’s a good idea to stir the pasta every couple of minutes. Cook accordingly to package directions.

rinsing cooked pasta with cold water

Once cooked, drain the pasta into a colander and rinse with cool water. Doing this rinses off any of the starch clinging to the pasta, which in turn keeps the pasta from sticking together. It also halts any further cooking and cools the pasta down so you can quickly make the salad.

I only ever rinse pasta for cold pasta salads. I pretty sure it’s considered a culinary sin otherwise.

soaking sliced red onions

Thinly slice 1 cup red onion. Add it to a bowl with ice and water. Let the onion soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prep all other ingredients.


Soaking onions in ice water removes a lot of the bite. You still get onion flavor but it’s mellowed out considerably.

pasta salad ingredients in bowl

In a large mixing bowl, add drained, cooked and cooled pasta, 8 ounces mozzarella pearls, 6 ounces diced provolone cheese, 3 ounces diced hard salami, 3 ounces diced pepperoni, drain and add in the onions, 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini, 1 to 1-1/2 cups sliced romaine lettuce, 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil.

pouring in dressing

Pour in the dressing.

toss and add in parmesan cheese

Add in 1/4 cup freshly gated parmesan cheese.

mixed pasta salad

Carefully toss to combine.

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Transfer to a serving dish, top with extra parmesan cheese, a few small basil leaves and freshly round black pepper.

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Can you Make Italian Grinder Pasta Salad In Advance?

You can make the salad dressing 1 day in advance however you should combine the salad ingredients and toss in the dressing no more than 30 minutes prior to serving.

How To Store Italian Grinder Pasta Salad:

Store any leftover pasta salad in a air-tight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. Keep in mind that the longer the salad sits, the more the pasta will absorb the dressing.

What To Serve With Italian Grinder Pasta Salad:

  • burgers, brats or hotdogs or plant based protein.
  • grilled chicken breast or thighs.
  • grilled steak of choice.
  • serve it as is for a simple meal.
Click Here For More Easy and Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes!

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Enjoy! And if you give this Italian Grinder Pasta Salad recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad
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Yield: 16 servings

Italian Grinder Pasta Salad

This Italian Grinder Pasta Salad has cooked pasta, diced salami and pepperoni with pepperoncini, mozzarella, provolone, onions and fresh basil tossed in a simple creamy dressing. Yields 16 cups and will serve 16 (1-cup) servings.



  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise, (I use light mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated (I use 1 if large)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1 pound dried pasta, like campanelle
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, diced
  • ounces hard salami, diced
  • ounces pepperoni, diced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced red onion, soaked in ice water for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1/2 medium head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (about 1 generous cup)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 306kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 357mg, Potassium: 184mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 319IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 161mg, Iron: 1mg