Antipasto Pasta Salad

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Blend all your favorite antipasto flavors into a convenient pasta salad. This recipe blends spicy salami, tangy parmesan, hearty garbanzo beans, and the crunch of fresh vegetables.

Antipasta Pasta Salad

One of my favorite childhood meals was to have pizza and salad at the local Italian restaurant. ChiChi’s Antipasto Salad is still one of my favorite treats when I go home. Nowadays, I’ve figured how to recreate ChiChi’s magical salad, but when I was growing up it was a mystery.

So, when I saw a recipe for Antipasto Pasta Salad in one of my mom’s magazines, I grabbed it. I no longer have that magazine clipping, circa 1980, but the idea still translates well to the plate.

Pasta salads are perfect for summer months. They’re hearty, yet cool and refreshing. They can be made in advance so you can avoid the afternoon heat of the kitchen. Pasta salads pack easily for picnics and road trips. Pack them with veggies and protein, and you’ve got the ideal summer meal.

Antipasto Pasta Salad Bowl

Most of the ingredients in this dish are budget-friendly. Pasta shouldn’t run more than a dollar for the pound. Peppers and onions go on sale regularly throughout the summer. Fresh parsley, well, you can grow that in your backyard! Canned olives and garbanzo beans run in the 75 cents a can range. Homemade Italian dressing costs just pennies.

Your bigger ticket items in this recipe are the fresh parmesan and the salami. I buy my parmesan in huge block at Costco. I cut the wedge into smaller chunks and wrap them in plastic wrap. A large wedge typically lasts us several months. A few years ago, I did a price comparison and found that the upgrade to fresh parmesan was not that much more than the cheese in the can.

This dish is best when you make it with the salami that comes whole. In my day, sliced salami was unheard of! We always sliced our own. This is cheaper per pound and allows you to slice the salami strips a little thicker so that you get a great bite of peppery meat. I buy a half-pound log for a few dollars, and it makes for two batches of pasta salad. You could stretch it farther if you like.

Make this Antipasto Pasta Salad the day before or the morning of your serving time. It is delicious as a one-dish dinner or as a side dish with sandwiches or grilled meats.

What’s YOUR favorite style of pasta salad?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    I like to make Pizza Pasta Salad. This is a recipe I got out of a book a long time ago but I love to make it especially in the summer when I’m having a BBQ because it makes so much.

    2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
    1/2 medium red onion, chopped
    8 – 10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
    1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 stick of pepperoni, cut into small dice
    1 lb. mozzarella cheese, diced
    Fresh Basil leaves, sliced thin
    1 lb. pasta


    2 tsps. garlic salt
    2 tsps. dried oregano
    2 rounded TBS. tomato paste
    3/4 cup olive oil

    Cook pasta and set aside in a large bowl.

    Combine. tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil, and pasta. Whisk garlic salt, oregano, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stir in olive oil. Pour dressing over pasta pasta salad and mix.

    This is best served after sitting for several hours or overnight.

  2. MH in OH says

    Yum! Thanks for the inspiration. I need to make pasta salad soon.

  3. karen J says

    We are so in a salad mood. Last night chicken caesar. Tonight steak salad with leftover steak, red onion, and blue cheese. Now I want that antipasto salad! And I have everything for it so tomorrow’s dinner is now planned!

  4. Pasta and salad? Well, this is just great. All the flavors I love are here. I will definitely make this Antipasto Pasta Salad. Love it!

  5. Habel from Illinois says

    Made this the night before last for dinner. IT WAS FANTASTIC! I’m pretty sure I used the wrong kind of salami, but it was filling and yummy! Great job!

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