Italian Pasta Salad

I am usually not a huge fan of typical pasta salads that grace picnic tables – most of them include lots of vegetables, which we all know aren’t high on my list of favs. But a pasta salad with lots of cheese and Italian meat? Now that’s something I can definitely get behind. This recipe is sort of a cross between a classic pasta salad with rotini pasta and a red wine vinaigrette and a classic antipasto salad with cubed pepperoni or salami, cheese, olives and tomatoes. It’s such a delicious and fresh option for all those spring and summer get-togethers. Being ridiculously quick and easy to throw together is always a fabulous bonus as well!

One year ago: Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich
Two years ago: Banana Cream Pie

Italian Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups cubed pepperoni or salami
2 cups cubed provolone or mozzarella cheese
2 cups black olives
2 cups garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved if large
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil

For the Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup olive oil

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, pepperoni, cheese, olives, beans, tomatoes, parsley and basil.

2. To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey and salt (or blend in a blender). While whisking vigorously (or while the blender is still running), slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once combined, pour over pasta mixture to coat and toss. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Note #1: You can make this ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day before serving.

Note #2: You can use fresh herbs in place of the dried parsley and basil.

(Recipe for the dressing adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

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48 Responses to “Italian Pasta Salad”

  1. Diana Nguyen on April 7, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Thank you! I normally detest pasta salads, but this is so mouthwatering!

    Reply

  2. Paula on April 7, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Love the fact that there is meat in this and I think a bit of pancetta would be great in it too. Such a nice change-up from regular picnic table salad fare.

    Reply

  3. amanda @ fake ginger on April 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

    That looks like my kind of pasta salad! YUM!

    Reply

  4. Celeste on April 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Love the addition of garbanzo beans! I’m totally serving this up at our next picnic! YUM! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  5. Barb on April 7, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Meh, and it is definitely not Italian.

    Reply

  6. jen @ the baked life on April 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

    this looks yummy! Add some grilled salmon and it’s a meal!

    Reply

  7. Jen of My Tiny Oven on April 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I love Pasta Salad and this one looks amazing! I think I am going to have to make this for supper tonight!

    Reply

  8. Katrina on April 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    This salad looks so tasty! I love the bean addition. Yum!

    Reply

  9. Anzelle @ Scrambledpancakes on April 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Ooh, this looks lovely. I’m far too fond of pasta salads, and always looking for new ways of making them. I think this is going on next week’s menu.

    Reply

  10. Erika on April 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Looks good–is that parsley in the picture as well? What are the tiny green bits?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 8th, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Hi Erika, Oops! Thank you for that catch! I added dried parsley and basil, I will add that in to the recipe above now.

      Reply

      • Erika on April 8th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

        Thanks! :)

        Reply

  11. The Farmers Wife on April 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Yummy, yummy! I love this kind of pasta salad, it goes great with just about any type of barbecue!

    Reply

  12. Mary on April 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, I’m also curious about what green herb that is. Please share. :)

    Reply

    • Erika on April 8th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Mary, in case you didn’t see already, Michelle edited the recipe to include the greenies. :) 1 tsp (each) dried parsley and basil.

      Thanks Michelle!

      Reply

  13. penandra on April 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m doing a potluck for a 60th birthday celebration in a couple of weeks and am gathering together recipes of things that can go on the table . . . this is definitely on the list! Thank you.

    Reply

  14. Conna on April 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Looks delicious … bookmarked !!

    Reply

  15. Italian Pasta Recipes on April 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    First Id like to say I made this for dinner and all i can saw is it was delicious.

    Reply

  16. A Bowl Of Mush on April 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    This would be a lovely pasta salad for a picnic! Delicious!

    Reply

  17. TAMMY on April 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I love a good pasta salad! I’ll definitely be trying this soon.

    Reply

  18. Aleida on April 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    That looks yummy!

    Quick question: Would green olives work just as well? We’re not really fans of the black ones in my household.

    Reply

    • Kim on April 8th, 2011 at 10:48 am

      I don’t see why the green olives wouldn’t work. Even a mixture of kinds of olives. I think that is a great idea.

      Reply

    • Michelle on April 8th, 2011 at 11:11 am

      I agree – whatever your favorite olive is could be used. I just really don’t like green ;-)

      Reply

  19. tom(Watkins products assoc) on April 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    You are right about the meat and cheese taking it up a notch1

    Reply

  20. Happy When Not Hungry on April 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This looks beautiful and perfect for spring. Yum!

    Reply

  21. egb on April 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Yum. It looks so good!

    Reply

  22. Amy's Cooking Adventures on April 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Oh, this makes me eager for grilling season! Yum!

    Reply

  23. Jen on April 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    This looks great! I make a similar pasta salad here: http://www.jenyceats.com/2011/04/02/work-social/

    Reply

  24. Baking Serendipity on April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Perfect summer picnic recipe :) I’m ready for the sunshine and warmth now!

    Reply

  25. Lori @ RecipeGirl on April 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Perfectly simple- love these ideas for quick bring-a-dish kind of parties :)

    Reply

  26. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on April 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I saw a similar recipe in one of my cooking mags a few months ago. I ripped it out intending to make it when it warmed up and then forgot about it. Your yummy pictures reminded me that I need to try this!

    Reply

  27. Kate H on April 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Omg, I love pasta salad. This sounds like a delish recipe. Thanks for sharing (:

    Reply

  28. Sierra on April 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I make a pasta salad that my grandma has made for as long as I can remember, and it’s so simple – rotini, frozen peas, cubed ham, and italian dressing. Boil the pasta, pour over the frozen peas (through a strainer), mix that with ham, and pour on as much italian dressing as you like. It’s good warm OR cold, and I can never seem to get enough of it!

    Reply

  29. Hanaa on April 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you, thank you. I have a potluck next week and need a quick but tasty recipe. I think this is it (will play with the recipe a bit to keep it vegetarian).

    Reply

  30. Kita on April 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I never liked pasta salads until a year or so ago (before then cold noodles were weird to me!). This looks amazing, loving the chunks of pepperoni.

    Reply

  31. Courtney on April 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Carb happy!! I can’t wait to make this :)

    Reply

  32. Barb on April 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I had the only response that wasn’t gushing and now it is gone! I said, “Meh, pasta salad, and it isn’t Italian”. It would Never be served in Italy!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 10th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Barb, Your comment isn’t gone – it’s still above.

      Reply

    • Rachel on April 9th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Sorry, just had to say this–Barb, apparently you were really concerned about your mean comment being seen by everyone? Save it for YouTube. Also, Italian dressing + Italian ingredients = Italian-inspired. Please move along if you have nothing nice to say.

      Reply

    • Mimi on September 1st, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      And she went back three day later to look for the comment….lol.
      hey’re italian-american dishes… like many “italian” dishes over here. Americanized versions of recipes brought over by the older generations. Relax barb.

      Reply

  33. Katie @ This Chick Cooks on April 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing your delicious pasta recipe. I’m featuring it on today in my “These Chicks Cooked” spotlight!

    Reply

  34. Italian Pasta Recipes on April 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Hey i am not big on salt so instead of using the coarse salt would it be ok with sea salt?

    Reply

  35. RisaG on May 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    My mom used to make a pasta salad from Marcella Hazan that had no mayonnaise in it and it was wonderful. This is reminiscent of it. Sounds good to me. I love a good pasta salad.

    Reply

  36. Patrick Ballard on November 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    My hubby made this with some grilled salmon and lemon zest, boy can i tell you it was an experience for my taste buds, so delicious (:

    Reply

  37. Dallas Deb on February 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Best pasta salad ever. Used bottle of Kraft Tuscan Italian instead of making the dressing cause I was lazy. This makes a huge amount so next time I will decrease the pasta to half and leave eveything else the same. A keeper for sure.

    Reply

  38. Terracook on February 21, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Loved this – added artichoke hearts… good stuff!

    Reply

  39. Nancy Long on April 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    sounds wonderful and similar to one I used to make all the time, except for the garbanzos. Not a fan, except in hummus.

    Reply

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