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Antipasto Pasta Salad is like a combination of antipasto (think about…cured meats, cubed cheese, marinated vegetables, etc) and pasta. It’s a stand-alone meal and can be enjoyed at lunches or potlucks, or it can be served up as an appetizer or side dish for dinner. It contains super easy ingredients and is very customizable.
Antipasto Pasta Salad – Easy Lunch or a Potluck Option
This Antipasto Pasta Salad is such an amazing recipe. It combines an antipasto salad with pasta. It’s a full meal on its own (it has carbs, meats, and veggies). What’s not to love about that?
It’s also very easy and super customizable….even more, reasons to love it.
But I especially love the fact that it can be prepared ahead of time and served as a perfect go-to-lunch. After you make it you can easily portion it out into individual containers, store it in the fridge, grab it in the morning and then have a wonderful, satisfying meal for lunch.
And because it can be done ahead of time it’s also a great option for potlucks. Make a huge batch of it and bring it to your next party; everyone will love it.
Ingredients Needed to Make Antipasto Pasta Salad
The best part about this recipe for Antipasto Pasta Salad is that it’s super versatile and you can choose the ingredients that your family likes best. Below I’ll show you what I used and then I’ll give you some substitute options:
For this recipe I used:
- Genoa Salami;
- Bologna. I have a special relationship with bologna – I feel like every great love story starts that way. When I was growing up in Poland we didn’t have a lot of meats to choose from for dinners. My mom would often buy our bologna rations in 1/2 inch thick slices. She would then breaded them, and then fry them up like chicken cutlets. This is a familiar taste from my childhood & that’s why I wanted to use it in this recipe. Please let me know if any of you enjoyed bologna fried cutlets growing up?
- Pasta: Colorful Rotini Pasta – doesn’t this just look amazing?
- Cheese: Mozzarella Cheese, you can use pasteurized or fresh;
- Cherry Tomatoes – they are the sweetest of all;
- Roasted Red Peppers – these just scream ‘Italian’;
- Green Olives – my personal favorite olive (I know kids who pop these olives like candy! Wish mine did);
- Marinated Artichoke Hearts – I’ll take artichokes in any form;
- Basil – so fresh & fragrant; add them right before serving;
- Dressing: Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple Syrup and Extra Virgin Olive Oil – super delicious vinaigrette.
Substitutions for Antipasto Pasta Salad
As I mentioned above, this Antipasto Pasta Salad can be altered to your liking. Here are a few options:
- Ham or other cured meats, instead of salami or bologna;
- Farfalle Pasta, Penne Pasta or Tortellini, instead of Rotini;
- Provolone or Cheddar Cheese, instead of Mozzarella;
- Little colorful heirloom tomatoes, instead of cherry tomatoes;
- Fresh bell peppers (maybe orange one), instead of roasted tomatoes;
- Kalamata or black olives, instead of green olives;
- Pickles, instead of artichokes;
- Balsamic vinegar, instead of Apple Cider vinegar.
How to Make Antipasto Pasta Salad ( Step-By-Step)
As I mentioned above this salad is super easy to make. You can make a huge batch on a Sunday evening, have it ready in a separate container for each family member, so than in the morning they can just grab and go. No stress whatsoever!
One more important note about this recipe: I didn’t use any vegetables that would wilt while in the fridge. Whole cherry tomatoes are perfect because they won’t change their texture when dressed. If you want you can add some other vegetables right before eating. I sprinkled it with basil because I love its fragrance. This can be added in the morning or right before eating.
- Boil the pasta according to instructions;
- Rinse the pasta with cold water (this step is important because you don’t want to have extra starch on the pasta);
- Cut up salami and bologna into small cubes (you can ask deli counter worker to cut the meat however you want. I really wanted to have cubed pieces of salami and bologna for this recipe, so I ask the deli counter worker to cut 1/2 inch thick slices for me. I also ask him to thin slice both types of meat for me as well. I did so because I really wanted to add a variety of textures to this salad);
- Cut up mozzarella cheese, and if your peppers aren’t pre-cut, then cut them into thin slices;
- Mix up the dressing ingredients & season with salt and pepper;
- Add everything into a bowl;
- Mix salad ingredients, and add dressing;
- And just like that, you’re ready to serve; or to put into the individual containers for easy lunches;
- Add basil right before serving & consume with pleasure!
How to Serve Antipasto Pasta Salad
As mentioned above you can serve it as an easy to-go-lunch or take it to a potluck as it can be enjoyed as a meal on its own, but it can also be served as an appetizer or side dish for dinner.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, here are a couple to consider:
- Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs
- BBQ Pork Souflaki
- Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
- Slow Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- Brown Sugar Pork Chops
Some other Pasta and Salads Recipes to Try:
- Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola
- Pasta with Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce
- Horiatiki Salad
- Tomato Feta Salad
- Summer Panzanella Salad
Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 12 oz Pasta Rotini
- 0.25 lbs Genoa Salami cubed
- 0.25 lbs Bologna cubed
- 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese cubed
- 1/2 cup Green olives
- 1 cup Roasted peppers cut in slices
- 1/2 cup Artichoke hearts marinated
- 1 tbsp Basil chopped
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup Olive oil Extra Virgin
- 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to instructions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water;
- Cut up salami and bologna into small cubes;
- Cut up the mozzarella into small cubes;
- If your roasted pepper isn't pre-cut, cut in into small strips;
- Add pasta, salami, bologna, mozzarella, roasted peppers, artichokes, and olives into the bowl;
- Place all dressing ingredients into the mason jar and shake well. Pour it over the pasta bowl;
- Mix everything well together. Check for seasoning & sprinkle with basil right before serving.
- You can use any pasta shape you like;
- You may use Ham or other meats instead of Salami and Bologna;
- You can skip the olives or substitute a different kind;
- You can skip the artichokes and add pickles instead;
- You can top with green veggies right before serving;
This post was originally published on July 25, 2017, and since then it was updated to provide additional information.