This easy Italian pasta salad is filled with antipasto favourites like salami, bocconcini, roasted red pepper and artichokes and then dressed with a homemade lemon basil dressing. Perfect for potlucks or meal prep!
For snacking, there's not much better than a plate of antipasto. If left to my own devices I could probably throw some cheese and meat and marinated veggies on a plate and call it dinner.
And that's why I'm so excited this pasta salad with you today! It's like a plate of antipasto heaven turned into a salad that's perfect for sharing at a gathering, or simply just to have a big container of yummy pasta salad for meals for the week.
It's simple, flexible, and guaranteed to please.
What goes in it?
- Pasta - I used rotini in this one, but penne would also be a great choice.
- Salami - buy the kind that you slice yourself. You nice bite-able chunks in there.
- Bocconcini - pearls or minis if you can find them, or you could cut bigger ones into bite sized pieces.
- Roasted red peppers - adds a nice sweetness to all the flavours going on here
- Artichoke hearts - the marinated kind. I just love them and this salad was the perfect place for them.
- Black olives - buy some good ones, not the kind that comes in a can
- Tomato - I used heirloom cherry tomatoes because I loved their colours, but any small tomato will do
- Green pepper - to add a little crunch and texture. Any coloured pepper will do.
- Onion - red onion is mild and perfect for salads
- Pepperoncini - totally optional, but I LOVE the spicy brininess these bring to the dish.
There is a LOT of stuff going on in this salad, but I really wanted it to be as full of yummy flavours as possible.
You could easily pick and choose the ingredients that suit you best, not one thing (except the pasta) is a critical ingredient but the number of interesting flavours in this salad is a big part of why I think it's so great.
How to make it
Gather up your ingredients and give everything a good chop while your pasta cooks.
I just love what a rainbow of colours this salad is!
Next, throw the dressing ingredients into a mason jar and give it a good shake.
Cool the pasta in a colander under cold running water then place it in a big bowl.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl and pour the dressing on.
Give it all a really good toss to mix all the ingredients through the salad nicely.
Tips and tricks
This salad is designed to make ahead and keep in the fridge for a few days. If you are planning on eating it straight away, tossing in some arugula or spinach would be an amazing addition.
I used rotini here, but small pasta such as farfalle or penne would also work great here.
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Italian Pasta Salad
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- 1 pound rotini (or other short pasta)
- 4 oz mini bocconcini balls (halved)
- 4 oz salami (sliced and halved)
- 12 oz marinated artichoke hearts
- 1⁄4 red onion (quartered and sliced)
- ½ cup black olives ( halved)
- 1 large roasted red pepper (diced)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 5-6 pepperoncini (sliced)
- 1 green pepper (quartered and sliced)
- 8 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic crushed
- handful basil leaves (thinly sliced)
- 2 Tablespoons minced parsley
- sea salt and black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- while the pasta cooks, chop the salami, bocconcini, artichoke, red onion, tomatoes, green pepper, olives and pepperoncini into bite sized pieces.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper to a mason jar. Close and shake well to mix
- Strain the cooked pasta in a colander and run under cool running water to chill the pasta.
- Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl then add in the chopped ingredients. Pour the dressing in and toss well to mix it all together.