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Delicious Antipasto Pasta Salad

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An Antipasto Pasta Salad loaded with hunks of cheese, pepperoni, salami, black olives, peppers, artichoke hearts and more. Dressed in a nutty and tangy simple, balsamic vinaigrette.

I’m always in search of great salads that I can bring to teacher luncheons, potlucks or barbecues, or honestly, make on Sunday meal prepping for the week, tastes delicious all week long

If you like simple, vibrant salads you might try these; Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad, Harvest Wild Rice Salad and Maple Pecan Apple Salad.

Large white bowl with tricolor pasta, cheese, salami and pepperoni with a garnish of basil.

Start with a good quality pasta, you can do tricolor or plain, though tricolor sure is pretty. You can use any type of pasta, just make sure it has some ridges or twists in it to help hold the dressing.

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, you don’t want it to fall apart in your salad.

white bowl of tri-color twisty pasta salad with hunks of cheese, meatt, oliaves, artichoke hearts and basil.

While the pasta cooks, grab a nice big mixing bowl and begin by chopping the bell peppers. Any color peppers you like really, I like red, orange and yellow, plus add chopped English cucumbers for the green! YUMMY!

Process Shots for Antipasto salad. 1. chopped bell peppers (orange, red and yellow) chopped cucumber. 2. chopped olives, chopped artichoke hearts. 3. chopped cheeses, pepperoni and salami. 4. rinsing tricolor pasta.

Chop the salami and pepperoni. Ideally it would be great to get the actual “sausage” and just dice, but I couldn’t find the ones I wanted, so used pre-sliced and chopped those up well.

Slice cheeses into cubes; try different cheeses, you can use just one, here I used both Asiago and Smoked Mozzarella, Provolone or regular mozzarella would have been delicious too.

Process shots for balsamic vinaigrette 5. pouring balsamic vinegar into jar. 6. adding fresh chopped basil. 7. blending with immersion blender. 8. pouring over pasta salad.

HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

In a hurry? Buy a good quality bottle of balsamic dressing. But this dressing is super easy to make!

In a jar or container with lid; place olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and onion powder. Shake vigorously to emulsify, or use an immersion blender.

What does emulsify mean?

What in the world is emulsify or an emulsion? Webster defines it as:

A suspension of tiny droplets of one liquid in a second liquid. By making an emulsion, one can mix two liquids that ordinarily do not mix well, such as oil and water.” 

Webster Dictionary

Pour dressing over pasta, tossing occasionally, making sure the entire salad is coated in dressing. Add more or less dressing to taste, refrigerate any leftover dressing (if you have any) and use on any salad.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat, or may be served immediately, but EVEN BETTER the next day! Mangia!

pasta salad in large white bowl with wooden spoon

If you like this recipe, try these other fine salads.

Don’t forget to PIN to your favorite Salad board.

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8 Comments

  1. This pasta salad was the bomb! My teen boys loved it and my father-in-law raved (and he never raves). It’s versatile too. I left out the olives & artichoke and added tomato & cucumber. This recipe is going into the regular rotation. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Why in the heck haven’t I been using my immersion blender with my dressing? This salad is just gorgeous and we loved every single bite. Even the leftovers (few) were great the next day at lunch.