This is a copycat recipe for the discontinued Kraft’s Italian Pasta Salad boxed meal that used to be sold in stores.
It’s made with tri-color rotini, Zesty Italian dressing, Italian seasoning, garlic, and onion powder, and topped with Parmesan cheese.
Customize this pasta salad with pepperoni, sausage, cubes of cheddar, mozzarella, and Colby jack cheese, mini croutons for a crunch, tomatoes, onions, green and red peppers, olives, and/or slices of carrots.
For the Love of Pasta Salad
Can we talk for a second about how much I love pasta salad?
Kraft’s Italian Pasta Salad was one of my favorite go-to’s for work potlucks and summer BBQs with friends.
It’s the perfect side dish for Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Heck, I have also made it for dinner once in a while for us. (I’m a carb lover!)
Once I started seeing these boxes disappear from the shelves I tried to stock up, but it was already too late.
Other boxed brands sold in groceries never tasted the same and often called for oil to be mixed with the pasta. I already have my carbs, don’t add the oil too!
What makes this recipe different than other Italian pasta salad recipes?
In my search for a copycat recipe I never saw one that included the seasoning packets that Kraft included with their box mix.
Other recipes simply had the Italian dressing, but no seasoning or spices were added. Kraft’s version packed a punch of flavor and I sought out to recreate it.
This recipe is a very basic version of Kraft’s Italian Pasta Salad, but the small pieces of dried olives, red bell peppers, and zucchini can be added.
One of the things about pasta salad I love is that it is so versatile. You can add veggies, cheeses, meats, or change up the dressing altogether.
Some of my other favorite pasta salads are very different from this recipe. Like Mediterranean tortellini pasta salad, chicken caesar pasta salad, deviled egg pasta salad, and dill pickle pasta salad.
Try them, you won’t be disappointed!
Ingredients for Kraft’s Italian Pasta Salad Copycat Recipe
- Tri-Color Rotini
- Kraft’s Zesty Italian Dressing
- Italian Seasoning
- Sweet Basil
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
No Tri-Color Rotini available?
That’s okay! Try regular rotini, penne, or even spaghetti noodles.
- Green Bell Peppers
- Red Peppers
- Mini Pepperonis
- Pepperidge Farm’s Mini Parmesan Croutons (personal favorite)
- Sliced Onion
- Sliced Carrots
- Mozzarella Cubes
- Colby Jack Cubes
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Green or Black Olives
Can you make pasta salad the night before?
Yes, it can be made the day or night before. Keep the noodles refrigerated, but I recommend not adding the Zesty Italian dressing until you are ready to serve.
I have found that as the noodles sit in the fridge with dressing it tends to dry out and needs more added to it the next time you eat it anyway.
Try these other great meals!
- Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken Marsala
- Chicken Salad
- Crispy Homemade Pizza
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Juicy Air Fryer Steak
- Lobster Roll
- Maid-Rite Copycat Recipe
- Meatloaf Marsala
- Old Chicago’s Italian Nachos (Copycat Recipe)
- One-Pan Baked Chicken Parmesan & Penne
- Spicy Honey Prosciutto Flatbread