The perfect summer side dish, this antipasto pasta salad is loaded with cheesy tortellini, ripe grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, salami, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, smoked Gouda, green olives, black olives and a tangy Italian vinaigrette.
Forget the boring, mayo-laden pasta salad and bring this fresh, hearty tortellini pasta salad to your next backyard barbecue!
Can I use a different kind of pasta instead of tortellini?
Of course! In a pinch I’ve used the following for this antipasto pasta salad:
Pretty much any short cut of pasta would work well in this pasta salad! Just make sure the pasta isn’t too small or it will get lost in the mix!
How to make antipasto salad:
Start by cooking your tortellini according to package directions, until just al dente. You want to err on the side of underdone here as the tortellini will soak up the dressing a bit. There’s nothing worse than mushy pasta in a pasta salad!
Then add artichoke hearts, olives, mini pepperoni, salami, smoked Gouda, mozzarella pearls and grape tomatoes.
In a small mason jar combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, thyme and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until emulsified.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Garnish the antipasto pasta salad with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!
Why I love this pasta salad recipe:
- It’s SO easy! If you’re scrambling to throw together a side dish for your friend’s party, this antipasto pasta salad is perfect for you! It’s simple, delicious and can totally be customized according to what you have in your fridge!
- It’s a bit of a twist on the traditional summer pasta salads that you’ll often see at backyard barbecues. We’ve all had the boring, mayo-laden macaroni salad or the mushy Italian pasta salad. But I’d be willing to bet your friends have never tried a pasta salad like this!
- It’s got a little something for everyone! Your picky eaters are going to love this salad because there’s such a wide variety of ingredients, there is sure to be something that everyone will enjoy!
Tips for making the best pasta salad:
- Don’t overcook the pasta! The pasta will continue to soak up the dressing as the antipasto pasta salad sits, so especially if you’ll be enjoying this salad a few hours or a day after you make it, just cook the pasta until al dente.
- Feel free to switch up the ingredients based on your personal preferences! You could nix the olives and add more artichoke hearts or salami. You could add sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh. You could even add sopressata instead of regular salami. Customize this salad based on the flavors your family enjoys most!
- If you’re making this salad ahead of time, (which I totally recomend by the way) just add half of the dressing initially. Then add the remaining dressing just before serving and toss to coat. This will ensure that your tortellini doesn’t get soggy but still has tons of flavor!
Other pasta salad favorites you’ll love:
- The 16 Best Pasta Salad Recipes for Hosting
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
- Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- Vegan Asian Noodle Salad
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? LEAVE A REVIEW!
If you made this recipe I’d love to hear how it turned out! Feel free to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you guys and respond to each and every comment that I receive! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for the all latest recipes and a sneak peek at the behind the scenes adventures on Midwest Foodie!
This post was originally published in August of 2018. It was updated in April of 2019 to include helpful tips and process shots showing you exactly how to make the best Antipasto Pasta Salad every single time!Print
A hearty pasta salad that could double as a main course served with a sliced baguette and a glass of red wine. This salad is loaded with veggies and meat and tossed in a simple red wine vinaigrette.
- 20 oz. cheese tortellini, cooked al dente according to package directions
- 1 (15 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 cup green olives
- 1 cup black olives
- 1 cup mini pepperoni
- 1 cup salami slices, quartered
- 8 oz. smoked Gouda, cubed
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Pour remaining dressing over the salad just before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Don’t overcook the pasta! The pasta will continue to soak up the dressing as the salad sits, so especially if you’ll be enjoying this salad a few hours or a day after you make it, just cook the pasta until al dente.
Feel free to switch up the ingredients based on your personal preferences! You could nix the olives and add more artichoke hearts or salami. You could add sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh. You could even add sopressata instead of regular salami. Customize this salad based on the flavors your family enjoys most!
If you’re making this salad ahead of time, (which I totally recomend by the way) just add half of the dressing initially. Then add the remaining dressing just before serving and toss to coat. This will ensure that your tortellini doesn’t get soggy but still has tons of flavor!
Keywords: tortellini pasta salad, Italian pasta salad, classic pasta salad