Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Chopped Italian Pasta Salad! The perfect pasta salad for summer, picnics and cookouts. Loaded with vegetables and beans. Vegetarian, easily vegan.
Since summer is right around the corner, I felt like it was time to update my pasta salad collection. Enter this recipe for a chopped Italian pasta salad!
Typically, I go for the mayo-based versions, which is funny because I’m not a huge mayo fan. I like just enough creaminess to hold everything together but will turn my nose up at any blobs. Why is it that I dislike mayo on most sandwiches but love the flavor in pasta and potato salads?
Anyways, this salad has none of that. It’s bright, loaded with vegetables and tastes just like my favorite Italian deli salads. Tangy, pickled and chewy, it’s the perfect salad to take with you to any casual gathering.
Like most my recipes, this one is easily customizable to whatever ingredients you want to throw in. I prefer this balance of briny, sweet and salty, but it’s up to you. If you like the ingredient, chances are you’ll like it in the salad.
I’ve been on a major peppadew salad kick for months now, topping them on everything from charred broccoli sandwiches to pizza. I buy 4-5 jars at a time from Trader Joe’s and have found that they go well with just about anything savory. You’ve been warned. Once you start, it’s really, really hard to stop. If you can’t find peppadew peppers, I think sliced pepperoncini would be a great choice instead.
Everything gets tossed together in a tangy Italian dressing, packed with lots of herbs and a little bit of sugar to offset the vinegar and lemon juice. This salad dressing is one of my favorites, a step up from basic oil and vinegar. In fact, if you save this recipe and throw in a little grated parmesan cheese, you’ll have a version similar to Olive Garden’s dressing.
Growing up in my house, summers were filled with antipasta platters. My mom would make them all the time when we had guests over, a simple dinner of cheese, meats, pickled vegetables and wine for the grown-ups. While I’m sans-meat these days, I love the effortless vibe that antipasta platters create and wanted a similar feel to this salad.
It’s hearty enough to be eaten on it’s own for a meal, perhaps paired with a simple green salad or grilled vegetables. It’s also the perfect crowd-pleasing dish to take to potlucks and cookouts this summer. Everyone likes Italian salad, right?
For my dairy-free friends, feel free to sub out the provolone cheese. Personally, I like the hunk of mild creaminess, but it will work without it. If you can’t find provolone, you can sub in halved mozzerella balls instead.
And, while this recipe is pretty straight forward, I made you a video showing how it all comes together! Check it out below the recipe.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Chopped Italian Pasta Salad! The perfect pasta salad for summer, picnics and cookouts. Vegetarian, easily vegan.