Italian Sub Pasta Salad

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Looking for a crowd-pleasing side dish? This Italian Sub Pasta Salad is just what you need! With all the flavors of a classic Italian sub, it’s a hit at any gathering. Quick to make and easy to customize, it’s ideal for summer entertaining or a tasty weeknight meal.

large bowl of Italian Sub Pasta salad.

Here on Inspired by Charm I love a good pasta salad recipe. You’ll find I’ve shared the classics along with a variety of unique variations. Today I’m sharing a recipe that combines all the delicious flavors of a classic Italian sub into a fun and easy pasta salad.

This Italian Sub Pasta Salad is perfect for summer entertaining, quick lunches, or even as a side dish for your weeknight dinners. It’s packed with savory meats, creamy cheeses, and fresh veggies, all tossed in a zesty homemade dressing. You can customize it with your favorite sub toppings, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish. Love that! 

If you’re looking to try a new side dish, you’ve got to give this one a go. I know you’re going to love it! 

And speaking of unique Italian Sub inspired recipes. I also have an Italian Sub Dip. It is so good and has become a really popular recipe here on Inspired by Charm. I definitely recommend checking it out.

Italian Sub Pasta Salad in a large bowl and served on a plate.
large white bowl of Italian sub past salad.

Why You’ll Enjoy This Recipe

  • This Italian Sub Pasta Salad can be tailored to your preferences. Swap in your favorite sub toppings to make it truly your own. Whether you prefer more veggies, different cheeses, or a bit more spice, you can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.
  • This pasta salad is an excellent side dish for all your summer gatherings. It’s a crowd-pleaser that combines the familiar flavors of an Italian sub with the ease of a pasta salad. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead, saving you time on the day of your event.
  • With simple steps and readily available ingredients, this recipe comes together quickly. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or a last-minute addition to your picnic or BBQ. You’ll have a delicious dish with minimal effort.
  • Packed with savory meats, flavorful cheeses, and a zesty dressing, this pasta salad is a hearty and satisfying option. Each bite offers a burst of flavor that will leave you and your guests coming back for more.

Looking for more delicious pasta salad recipes? As a pasta salad lover myself, you know I’ve got you covered. Check out this collection of my favorite pasta salads for all of my best recipes

ingredients in Italian Sub Pasta Salad in a bowl.

Ingredients

Let’s gather up the ingredients you’ll need for this pasta salad. As I mentioned above, feel free to use or not use whatever ingredients and toppings you enjoy in your sub. You can’t go wrong. 

Salad:

  • Pasta: Use your favorite dry pasta. I like a spiral pasta shape that holds the dressing. (I used these fun Goodles Loopdy-Loos I found at Target.) The pasta provides a hearty foundation that absorbs all the delicious flavors.
  • Salami and Mini Pepperoni: These meats add a savory, slightly spicy flavor that mimics the taste of a classic Italian sub.
  • Muenster and Provolone Cheese: These cheeses bring a creamy, slightly tangy taste that complements the other ingredients beautifully.
  • Banana Peppers: Chopped banana peppers add a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the salad.
  • Black Olives: Sliced black olives contribute a rich, briny flavor that pairs well with the other savory ingredients.
  • Red Onion: Chopped red onion provides a crisp, slightly sweet bite that adds freshness and crunch.
  • Grape Tomatoes: Halved grape tomatoes bring a burst of juiciness and a pop of color to the salad.
  • Romaine Lettuce: Shredded romaine lettuce adds a refreshing, crunchy texture that balances the richness of the meats and cheeses.

Dressing: 

  • Mayonnaise: The creamy base of the dressing, it helps to bind all the ingredients together.
  • Hot Chopped Pepper Relish: This adds a zesty, slightly spicy flavor that enhances the overall taste of the salad. I bought my hot chopped pepper relish from Jersey Mike’s. They sell it in their stores. You can also find this relish at the grocery store. It may sometimes be called hoagie spread or hot/red pepper relish. I bought my hot chopped pepper relish from Jersey Mike’s (they sell it in their stores). You can also find the relish for this recipe at the grocery store. Sometimes it is called hoagie spread or hot/red pepper relish. 
  • Dijon Mustard: Provides a tangy and slightly sharp flavor that complements the richness of the mayonnaise.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Adds a subtle acidity that brightens up the flavors and balances the richness of the dressing.
  • Dry Italian Seasoning: A blend of herbs that infuses the salad with classic Italian flavors.
  • Sugar, Kosher Salt, and Ground Black Pepper: These spices season the salad perfectly, enhancing all the other flavors. Adjust as preferred.
bowl of Italian Sub Pasta Salad with flowers in the background.

How To Make

I assume by now you’re ready to try this Italian Sub Pasta Salad. Let’s get to it! I’ll walk you through the steps below. I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and instructions in the printable recipe card below.

  1. Begin by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions (or until al dente). Drain and rinse under cold water. Shake well to remove excess water, then place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.
colander filled with cooked pasta.
  1. Add in the meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour this over the pasta salad and toss until everything is evenly coated.

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dressing for Italian Sub Pasta Salad.
  1. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Toss again before serving.

You are going to love this! 

Italian Sub Pasta Salad in a bowl with portions served on a plate.

While I’ve made this recipe a few times, this particular time I wasn’t making it for anything special. It was just to photograph in order to share with you. I had a little for lunch every day for about three days and could barely contain myself when 12 noon rolled around and I could serve myself up a dish. SO GOOD! I really hope you give this one a try! 

hand with a fork taking a bite of Italian Sub Pasta Salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this pasta salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! This pasta salad can be made a day in advance. In fact, allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours helps the flavors to meld together beautifully. Just give it a good toss before serving.

What’s the best way to store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This pasta salad will stay fresh for up to three days. Just give it a quick toss before serving again, as the dressing may settle at the bottom.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer. Rotini, bow ties, or penne work great because their shapes hold the dressing and other ingredients well. Feel free to use what you have on hand or what you like best.

Is there a way to make this salad healthier?

Certainly! You can lighten up the dressing by using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or opt for a light mayonnaise. Adding more fresh vegetables and using whole wheat pasta can also boost the nutritional value without sacrificing flavor.

bowl of Italian Sub Pasta Salad.
plate of Italian Sub Pasta Salad on a napkin.

More Pasta Salads I Know You’ll Enjoy

And that’s a wrap on this tasty and versatile Italian Sub Pasta Salad that’s sure to be a hit at your next potluck! (Or if you’re anything like me, just to enjoy on your own.) I hope you enjoy making and eating this as much as I do.  If you give this recipe a try,  be sure to stop back and leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. I’d appreciate it! 

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Italian Sub Pasta Salad

Looking for a crowd-pleasing side dish? This Italian Sub Pasta Salad is just what you need! With all the flavors of a classic Italian sub, it’s a hit at any gathering. Quick to make and easy to customize, it’s ideal for summer entertaining or a tasty weeknight meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: italian sub, pasta salad, sub sandwich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 345kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta (I used Goodles Loopdy-Loos)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) salami, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) mini pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounce) Muenster cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounce)s Provolone cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped banana peppers
  • 2/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Dressing:

Instructions

  • Begin by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions (or until al dente). Drain and rinse under cold water. Shake well to remove excess water, then place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.
  • Add in the meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Toss to combine.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour this over the pasta salad and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Toss again before serving.

Notes

*I bought my hot chopped pepper relish from Jersey Mike’s (they sell it in their stores). You can also find the relish for this recipe at the grocery store. Sometimes it is called hoagie spread or hot/red pepper relish. The flavors and ingredients may vary, but any type should work for this recipe.
Make this recipe your own! You can add more or less of any ingredient to taste including the “toppings” or dressing ingredients. 
While I recommend making and serving this pasta salad on the same day, I found that it lasted for an additional two days in the refrigerator and was just as delicious.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1008IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg

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6 Comments

  1. The pasta salad was a hit at a family party! I did alter it slightly by omitting the shredded romaine lettuce and the hot chopped pepper relish and adding some chopped orange pepper. For the noodles I used cavatappi. It was absolutely delicious and looked great too! Looks like it’s going to be a summer of Italian Sub Pasta Salad!