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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
If you like this recipe, try these other fine salads.
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Antipasto Pasta Salad
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For the Salad
- 1 lb fusilli pasta tricolor or plain; or other textured or twisty pasta
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- ½ green bell pepper and/or English cucumber chopped
- ¼ lb genoa salami diced (good quality)
- ¼ lb pepperoni sausage diced (good quality)
- 14 oz brined or marinated artichoke hearts 1 can, quartered
- 6 oz can sliced black olives drained
- ¼ lb asiago cheese diced
- ¼ lb smoked mozzarella diced (try different cheeses, smoke or regular provolone)
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh parsley or a tablespoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cool water.
- Dice peppers, salami, pepperoni and cheeses and toss in large mixing bowl. Add olives and artichokes. Add cooked pasta and toss to mix.
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a jar with a covered lid, shake vigorously to emulsify.Pour over pasta salad (to taste, might use entire jar, might not). Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Doubles or triples easily for a crowd, your dressing may not need to be doubled though.