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Antipasti Pasta Salad

Antipasti Pasta Salad

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This fabulous salad is filled with the wonderful elements of antipasti. If desired, toss in some chunks of fresh mozzarella and some cubed salami as well.MORE+LESS-


(12 oz.) jar artichoke hearts, drained


(12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained


(3.8 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained


(8 oz.) bottle Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar

Hide Images

  • 1

    Cook the pasta according to package directions. You want to cook it about a minute past al dente for a softer texture, since it will firm when cooled. Drain well and add to a large bowl.

  • 2

    Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Add to the pasta. Add the olives as well. Stir well.

  • 3

    Pour the dressing in and stir to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes -- until ready to serve.

  • 4

    Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

    • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lb rotini (corkscrew pasta), freshly cooked to tender, rinsed under cold water, and drained
    • 1 (12-oz) jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
    • 1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
    • 1/2 lb mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    • 1/2 lb thinly sliced sweet soppressata or salami, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1/4 lb Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped (1/2 cup)
    • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
    1. Whisk together red-wine vinegar and olive oil in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.


    I like using tricolor rotini to make the dish more colorful for presentation. But if tricolor is not available, or if you are partial to another type of noodle, then feel free to substitute.

    If you look closely at the picture, you will notice I skipped the artichoke hearts. I personally consider that as an optional ingredient since I am not a fan of artichoke, but I think most people would say Antipasto pasta salad without artichoke is not authentic.

    I prefer to make my own dressing for this salad, but it does taste just as delicious with a 16 oz bottle of Zesty Italian dressing.

    This recipe is even more flavorful with pepper-crusted salami, but have not seen it in the store on my last few trips. If you can find it, I encourage you to try it.

    This recipe was created by my dad, who loves to window shop the deli section of the local Italian grocery, then try to recreate what he sees. Like most of my favorite recipes, they are scribbled on pieces of paper like the one above.

    I have been using this “grocery list” to make the salad for over 10 years. (Don’t mind the spelling error on my list.) I must have asked my dad for his coleslaw recipe on the same phone call. The very bottom is where I jotted down the brand of salami that I first bought.

    Lidey Heuck’s Antipasto Pasta Salad

    Pour both jars of Rao’s Homemade roasted peppers (including the pine nuts, raisins, and oil) into a large bowl. Use a spoon to break any large peppers into 1-inch pieces.

    Place the olives on a cutting board and gently smash them with the side of a chef’s knife. Add the olives, along with any juices that have accumulated on the board, to the bowl with the peppers. Julienne about half the basil leaves and add them to the bowl, along with the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and toss well. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, tossing occasionally

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and immediately add to the bowl with the vegetables, along with 1½ teaspoons salt. Toss well, then set aside to cool completely.

    Julienne the remaining basil leaves and add them to the pasta, along with the mozzarella and salami or prosciutto, if using. Toss well and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

    Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring the pasta salad room temperature before serving.

    1. Cook Pasta: Cook your pasta according to the package directions drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
    2. Combine Seasonings: In a large salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic salt and pepper.
    3. Add Pasta: Add the cooked pasta to your salad bowl stir to coat.
    4. Chill: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
    5. Add Remaining Ingredients: Remove your pasta from the fridge and add prepared peppers, tomatoes, salami, cheese, olives, onions and basil. Then, add the Italian dressing and toss to coat.
    6. Refrigerate: Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 to 24 hours.

    Italian takeout is our second favorite go-to when we don’t want to cook (our first is Chinese food which is why you guys find SO MANY Chinese food copy cat recipes on this site). One of our favorite places in Los Angeles to order from has an Antipasto Salad we order in multiples because everyone fights over it instead of the pastas and garlic bread.

    Looking for more summery side dishes?

    Yes, you’re serving this as a cold Antipasto Pasta Salad, it doesn’t work as well warm since it’s a mix of salad flavors and pasta. Its totally easy to make and it is perfect for a crowd!

    If you wanted you could even make this into an Antipasto Salad Platter:

    • Mix the pasta with the dressing and add it to a long rectangular platter.
    • Add the additional ingredients in little groups around the edges of the platter.
    • Drizzle extra dressing over the rest of the ingredients.

    Today is also a HUGE day for the blog. Please refer to Dinner, then Dessert is Adulting! What do I mean by that? Well if you are reading this post then you’ve probably noticed the blog looks a whoooole lot different, more polished and downright grown up. This has been in the works for a very long time and I’m just so thrilled with how it turned out. The link I posted just above this sentence (right up there ^) will walk you through some of the changes and ways to navigate the site.

    You may also catch me being all emotional because this little blog means so much to me that I’m thrilled to give you guys an upgrade to the aesthetics as well as your user experience. So much love for you all.

    Tools Used in the making of this Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad:
    Tricolor Rotini: This isn’t necessary but adds a fun addition of flavor and color, you can of course use plain rotini or my favorite corkscrew pasta, Cellentani.
    AllSpice Spice Rack: I use this spice rack and fill up the bottles with freshly purchased spices. It’s basically one of the most beautiful things in my kitchen and when you’re working with a large quantity of spices, not having to hunt and peck through your cupboards makes everything go at warp speed.
    White Wine Vinegar: Anytime I use white vinegar or white wine vinegar in a recipe I get questions about this so I wanted to point out that there is a significant difference between the two vinegars. White wine vinegar is MUCH milder and sweeter than plain white vinegar. If you swap them thinking there isn’t much of a difference you’ll absolutely have a different flavor than expected.

    Antipasto Pasta Salad | Recipe

    A vibrant make-ahead pasta salad featuring fresh Mozzarella, Sopressata, artichokes and roasted red peppers.

    Party or no party, I adore a good ol’ antipasto platter any day of the week. Italian ingredients like marinated fresh Mozzarella and salty, piquant Sopressata have my heart. Not only are they full of tasty little bites, but they’re also beyond easy to make as the ingredients are typically store-bought items arranged on a single platter to come together in one big explosion of flavor.

    As far as I’m concerned there’s only one thing missing from an antipasto platter, and with zero regards of stating the obvious, I’m going to go ahead and say it: Pasta. Okay, okay…I know that’s kind of the point of the whole antipasto thing, but I just couldn’t help myself. And, if you don’t mind me saying so, the pasta kind of brought the whole thing together. Add a little Italian dressing to the mix and I’d say we’ve got ourselves a zinger.

    This pasta salad is beyond easy to make, just like the aforementioned platter. Since the majority of the ingredients are ready-made, the only work we are truly left with is a tidbit of chopping and the boiling some pasta water. Want to hear about another bonus? In keeping with the original intent of the antipasto platter, it’s divine for entertaining as it can be made in advance and only gets better overnight. I’d say it’s party time. Enjoy.

    Common Questions

    Here are the most common questions we get about our Italian Antipasto Salad Recipe!

    Can I make this with pasta and make it an antipasto pasta recipe?

    Yes! For sure. I recommend that you add about 2 to 3 cups of al dente cook spiral pasta, tortellini, or other favorite pasta. Make sure to cool before adding.

    Also, you make need to make extra dressing or adjust your seasonings. Add enough dressing to coat, even if you don't use all the dressing (you can save some for a green salad later)

    What does antipasto salad mean?

    Antipasto is a traditional first course meal in Italy, which usually includes marinated vegetables, salami, cheese, olives, etc.

    This salad version is made using similar ingredients to the platter, but the ingredients are chopped, mixed with lettuce, and tossed with dressing.

    How can I lower the fat in this recipe?

    You can substitute more of the marinated vegetables and reduce the amount of cheese and salami in this recipe. Besides, using leaner meat instead of salami will lower the fat in this recipe too.

    Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried Italian seasoning?

    Yes! For every teaspoon of dried herbs the rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. While the recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of dried, so use approximately 3 tablespoons of fresh.

    Italian seasoning typically consists of rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, basil, marjoram, and savory. To make it easy, I use 1 tablespoon each of 3 of those herbs (usually basil, thyme, oregano, or rosemary - cause I grow them in my garden).


    From America's Test Kitchen Why it recipe works:

    We love traditional antipasto platter served at Italian restaurants, full of cured meats, cheese, and pickled vegetables. It’s a full-flavored and satisfying dish—and something that we thought would translate well to a hearty pasta salad.

    We quickly decided that short, curly pasta was the best shape to use, as its curves held on to the salad’s other components, making for a more cohesive dish. Quickly rendering the meats in the microwave helped to keep this salad from becoming greasy. We used an increased ratio of vinegar-oil in the dressing—the sharp, acidic flavor cut the richness of meats and cheese for a brighter-­tasting salad. For well-seasoned pasta, we tossed hot pasta with dressing—hot pasta absorbs dressing better than cold pasta. Slicing meat into thick strips meant that its hearty flavor wasn’t lost among other ingredients. Grating cheese, not cubing it, made for evenly distributed sharp flavor thruout salad.


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    Antipasto Salad (with Red Wine Vinaigrette)

    Antipasto Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette! The perfect side dish to go along with your Italian meals, loaded with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olives, pepperoni, and fresh mozzarella! Not to mention drizzled with an easy to make vinaigrette made with pantry items!

    Antipasto Salad. Maybe my new favorite. It’s loaded up with veggies, meat, cheese, peppers and all topped with an easy to make vinaigrette. What’s not to love? Plus did I mention that this salad is the perfect side dish to go along with all your Italian meals?

    Anyone else obsessed with pasta and lasagna?

    It’s a running joke in our house, whenever I ask my husband a question his answer is always.. Lasagna!

    Not even joking. That’s his answer. To everything I ask him, not even food related questions, things like “What time is it?” “Lasagna!!”

    Why? Well, he loves lasagna.

    Do I make lasagna? No. I don’t have time for all of that (unless it’s this 30 Minute Skillet Lasagna!). Which is why he always brings it up.

    I used a ton of chopped romaine, topped with some pepperoncini, marinated artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers. All things that you can just open from a can or jar. Just make sure you pat them dry before putting in your salad. Plus I used a variety of olives. I had green olives and jumbo black olives. You can also add some kalamata olives, or really whatever kind you prefer.

    I added some chopped cherry tomatoes, red onion, pepperoni, and fresh mozzarella. A sprinkling of some fresh parsley added a lovely fresh flavor to the salad as well.

    The vinaigrette is simple to put together, some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper. That’s it. Seriously. It’s the easiest salad to put together.