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

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Italian Pasta Salad


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



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.

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(Recipe for the dressing adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

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