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This Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad is like an Italian Deli in a bowl! Packed full of flavor, and with no mayo, this is great to bring to parties and gatherings!
Step by step photos and instructions below!
My family loves this Italian Pasta Salad recipe and I love how how easy it is to make ahead and stash in the fridge for later. This is going to be your new favorite pasta salad!
The best thing about it is that you can really make it exactly how you like. It has all my favorite antipasto ingredients, and I usually have most of the ingredients hanging out in jars in the fridge, and on the shelf in the pantry. Feel free to make this really easy on yourself and use a premade dressing, zero judgement from me!
If you’re into these flavors, try my Italian Deli Flatbread Pizza recipe
I make this on a Friday afternoon, and we munch on it all weekend. It’s actually better the next day after making it, because the flavors have time to blend.
It’s also the perfect recipe to bring to a large gathering since it makes quite a lot, and can feed lots of people. It has no mayo, the homemade dressing is a red wine vinaigrette), so has less chance of going bad, too. It can actually be eaten chilled or at room temperature.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Make ahead. Make this the night before or earlier in the day you want to eat it. Letting it set several hours or overnight is great. Don’t do it too much longer though, or you’ll have a soggy mess.
- Customize it. Add some grape or cherry tomatoes, or some red onion. Marinated mushrooms, too!
- Easy to make. Just boil some pasta and whisk up an easy dressing. And add the contents of your refrigerator door!
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Pasta. I use tri color rotini, but any short pasta will work
- Salami. This is the hard salami slices that are found in packages in the deli meat section of the grocery store. Mix it up with various deli meats, spicy salami or prosciutto are awesome in this.
- Mozzarella cheese. If you can find the little pearl sized balls, those are awesome. Otherwise, grab a ball of fresh mozzarella and chop it.
- Black olives. I buy these pre sliced and pitted. If you wish, use green olives.
- Artichoke Hearts. I buy the ones that are marinated.
- Sundried tomatoes. Again, these are in a jar, not the dried ones in packages.
- Roasted red peppers. I use marinated strips, but fresh red bell peppers are good too.
- Parsley. Fresh herbs are awesome in this. I like parsley or fresh basil.
- The homemade Italian dressing is olive oil, red wine vinegar (you can use balsamic vinegar), garlic, mustard, Italian herbs and salt and pepper. Feel free to use a premade dressing that you love.
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until JUST past al dente. Add a minute or two to the recommended time on the box. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside to cool.
Chop the salami into slices, and halve the mozzarella balls (optional).
Make the Italian dressing
Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Alternatively, add it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well combined.
Add the cooled pasta, salami (or pepperoni), fresh mozzarella, black olives, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers and fresh parsley to a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat all the ingredients with dressing.
Refrigerate salad until needed. Stir thoroughly before serving.
I usually overcook the pasta a little so it’s nice and soft.
To really get the flavors into your pasta salad, toss about half the dressing into the drained pasta while it’s still hot. Then add the rest right before serving.
What to do with leftovers
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Give it a really good mix before serving.
If making ahead, save a little of the dressing to pour on right before serving.
Add thinly sliced red onions, grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, or marinated mushrooms to your salad.
Sliced pepperoni instead of or in place of salami works too.
Change up the pasta shape and style. Bow tie pasta (farfalle), penne, and fusilli (different to rotini – rotini is extruded into the corkscrew shape whereas fusilli is strands of pasta twisted into the spiral shape).
Some of our favorite salad recipes:
- Easy Southwest Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. Black beans, corn, red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and red onions feature in this easy to make pasta salad. With the addition of the lime vinaigrette… oh, myyyyyyy.
- Caprese Orzo Salad (Basil Tomato Mozzarella). An easy side, this salad combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a yummy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Make ahead!
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Tarragon Dressing. A spectacular, smoky charcoal-grilled vegetable salad, bursting with flavor, this is an easy side that you can make ahead or make with the family!
- Roasted Beet Salad with Feta & Walnuts. Made with feta and roasted walnuts, drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette. The beets are the star of the show!
- Easy Italian Salad (from Spend with Pennies)
- Macaroni Salad (from Will Cook for Smiles)
Antipasto Pasta Salad (Italian Deli Pasta Salad)
For the salad
- 12 oz tri colored rotini pasta
- 4 oz hard salami
- 8 oz mozzarella balls
- 2.25 oz black olives
- 5 oz marinated artichokes (1 cup)
- 2 oz sundried tomatoes
- 2 oz roasted red peppers
- ½ cup parsley (roughly chopped)
- Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water. Drain, and set aside to cool (run it under cold water to help that along.
- Chop the salami into slices, and halve the mozzarella balls (optional)
Make the dressing
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Alternatively, add it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well combined.
- Add the cooled pasta, salami, mozzarella, olives, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers and parsley to a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate salad until needed. Stir thoroughly before serving.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.