An easy yet hearty pasta salad for Summer. This antipasto pasta salad recipe is filled with salami, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, red peppers and cucumbers.
Once the weather hits seventy degrees it’s pasta salad season. I’ve made antipasto pasta salad almost every week the last couple Summers. When it’s warm I no longer want to eat sandwiches for lunch or to reheat leftovers.
A cold pasta salad is the perfect meal prep for lunch or as aside dish for BBQs and potlucks. This Italian pasta salad recipe can be a main dish or the perfect side dish. The Italian meats make this pasta salad hearty with protein which makes it a good option to meal prep for lunch.
Now I know antipasto is not supposed to have pasta. It’s actually marinated meat, veggies and cheeses that is served before a pasta course. But imagine your favorite antipasto platter tossed in pasta, yum! In fact do you have leftover antipasto? The next day you make this pasta salad.
Antipasto pasta salad ingredients
There always seems to be multiple people present at parties with an aversion to mayo. This is a non mayonnaise pasta salad option. Here are the ingredients I use to make this easy side dish.
- Baby Spinach
- Fresh Red Bell Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes or Grape Tomatoes
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Italian Dressing
- Salt and Pepper
This pasta salad can truly be made with any ingredients you want. Want to go with more of a traditional antipasto feel free to add black olives, green olives, red onion and artichoke hearts.
How to make antipasto pasta salad
Cook pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Pasta should feel like its at room temperature. In a large bowl toss tortellini and baby spinach together.
Combine peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, Mozzarella, salami and pepperoni. Stir in Italian dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and it’s ready to serve. Have left overs or meal prepping? Don’t worry it’s even better the next day. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
Feeling a little extra? Garnish with some herbs like fresh parsley or fresh basil.
- 1 lb of Pasta
- 3 oz of Baby Spinach
- 1 Cucumber, cubed
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 8-10 Slices of Salami, diced
- 8-10 Slices of Pepperoni, diced
- 8 oz of Mozzarella Pearls
- 1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup of Italian Dressing
- Salt and Pepper
- Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- In a large bowl toss tortellini and baby spinach together.
- Combine peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, Mozzarella, salami and pepperoni.
- Stir in Italian dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and it's ready to serve.
Types of pasta for a pasta salad
The best types of pasta for pasta salad are dried pasta and not fresh. Dried pasta cooked to all dente will hold its shape the best when tossed in dressing. It’s also cheaper to use in a pasta salad.
As for the shape of the pasta a shorter and smaller pasta is best.
- Bowtie or Farfalle
- Tri-Color Rotini
Homemade dressing is always great. I usually make a homemade Italian dressing with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and Italian seasonings. Don’t want to make your own? Store bought Italian dressing works too!