Make an Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad that everyone will enjoy! with plenty of flavors and textures in every bite, it’s a potluck favorite!
I love to find new ways to make pasta salad even better because I make it so often in the summer. Seriously, it’s on the table for just about every get-together. It’s great as a side dish to serve with delicious grilled chicken wings, ribs, or all by itself. There are so many tasty ingredients it’s practically a meal in itself!
If you catch me in my kitchen in the summer don’t be surprised if I am eating this antipasto pasta salad by the spoonful straight out of the bowl in front of the fridge. That’s how good it is!
Why We Love Antipasto Pasta Salad
Making this easy antipasto salad takes no time at all and has a delicious dressing recipe. The dressing is so good, you’ll want to use it as a chicken marinade too!
This pasta salad brings together classic Italian antipasto flavors in one bowl so you get a little of each with every forkful.
Pasta Salad Ingredients
Pasta: Rotini pasta is my favorite for a pasta salad because it holds the dressing really well. You can use any short pasta you have on hand though.
Vegetables: Green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers, and scallions give this pasta salad lots of great colors!
Meat: Summer sausage or salami go best with the flavors in this salad. You want a bold sausage to pair with all the other ingredients
Mozzarella: I prefer mozzarella balls for this pasta salad. If you can’t find any, you can totally cut a log or ball of mozzarella into small bite-sized pieces.
Oil and Vinegar: The perfect pairing for any vinaigrette dressing base.
Honey: This is a great way to add a little sweetness to the dressing without having to worry about it dissolving like you would with sugar.
Garlic: An Italian staple and a must-have for this dressing!
How to Make Antipasto Pasta Salad
COOK the pasta until it’s al dente. Then drain the water and rinse the pasta under cold water.
PREP all the vegetables and dressing ingredients while the pasta is cooking.
ADD the cooked pasta and veggies to a serving bowl and give them a stir.
POUR the antipasto pasta salad dressing over the pasta and veggies.
STIR in the mozzarella balls, basil, parsley, and green onions until everything is coated in the dressing.
Tips & Tricks
- Running the cooked pasta under cold water helps stop it from cookies and cools it down so you’re not eating warm pasta salad.
- This pasta salad is best served chilled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, and then stir once more before serving. If you’re in a time pinch, you can absolutely serve this pasta salad 10 minutes after it’s been prepared.
- If it looks like there is a lot of dressing, don’t worry. It will soak into the pasta and veggies boosting the flavor!
Can you freeze Antipasto Pasta Salad?
Yes, you can freeze your leftover pasta salad in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months. To serve, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
What is Italian Antipasto Salad?
Antipasto refers to an appetizer served before the main meal in Italian cuisine. Think of a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses and vegetables that you could eat with your hands as a precursor to your main meal.
This salad has a lot of the typical antipasto foods in it – olives, cheese, vegetables, and meats – hence the name!
More delicious salad recipes
- BLT Salad
- Chipotle Chicken Pasta Salad
- Loaded Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad
Antipasto Pasta Salad
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 12 ounces summer sausage or salami cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces sliced black olives drained (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup mozzarella balls drained
- 3 tablespoons banana peppers thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a bowl and season generously with salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and run it under cold water to stop the cooking and cool it down.
- Add the cooked pasta and veggies to a serving bowl. Stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour them over the pasta.
- Add the mozzarella, basil, parsley, and green onions to the bowl. Gently stir until everything is coated in the dressing.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or more before serving. (see note) Stir once more just before serving.