Since summer is right around the corner, I felt like it was time to update my pasta salad collection.
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.
1 lb. orecchiette pasta (or other small pasta shape)
8 ounces provolone cubes (can sub mozzerella balls or Monterey jack cubes or omit for vegan version)
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup hot pickled peppers (I used the Hot & Sweet peppadew peppers from Trader Joe’s, but you can sub another pepper or pepperoncini)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain and rinse, this removes the starches so the noodles don’t stick to each other.
- While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Place the cooked noodles and rest of ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the dressing and toss to combine. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, then season to taste as needed. Enjoy!