S’mores Chocolate Mousse Bars.
Antipasto Pasta Salad with Herby Parmesan Vinaigrette. If you’re searching for a delicious pasta salad, look no further. This is the perfect quick fix salad that’s mayo-free, almost no-cook, comes together in minutes, and is great for warm weather picnics and BBQ’s. Grab your favorite pasta, whisk up an herby parmesan vinaigrette, toss with hot pasta, roasted peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, spicy salami, fresh mozzarella…and done. So full of flavor and color. This could not be easier to pull off. Trust me, this will be everyone’s new favorite pasta salad…a serious upgrade from the classic.
There’s salad and then there’s pasta salad. To be honest I’m not sure I get why it’s called pasta salad. But since it’s a salad, then it must be health food, and that for sure works in my book.
In all seriousness, ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved a good bowl of pasta salad. My dad would make the simplest pasta salad with raw broccoli, fresh basil, olive oil, and cubed cheddar cheese. His secret was in tossing the hot pasta with the broccoli, basil, and cheese. This causes the cheese to slightly melt and softens the broccoli and basil. It really infuses the flavor. Oh, and the melty cheese is everything. I loved every single bite of my dad’s 5 ingredient pasta salad. I was also that weird kid that would help him chop the broccoli up. For every broccoli floret that went into the bowl, one went into my mouth…I’ve always loved my vegetables.
I guess the kitchen’s kind of been my place for most of my life. I didn’t even realize it until writing this, but I would help my dad cook when I was way little. He’d have me pick fresh basil and tomatoes from his garden, cube the cheddar, and chop veggies. Wow, I really did start young!
Anyway, I’ve always loved pasta salad. And with Mother’s Day this coming weekend, and Memorial day soon to follow, that means pasta salad season is here, and I’m all for it. What’s awesome about pasta salad is that it can be made completely in advance. It’s even delicious when served warm or cold, making it perfect for picnics and BBQ’s.
I’ve shared a couple of pasta salads in the past, but today’s is extra special, and a little different from my previous versions.
Say hello to the antipasto pasta salad. Think of your favorite antipasto platter, add pasta, plus an herby parmesan vinaigrette that’s sweet, tangy, and so good. In my opinion, this is a step up from the platter version, because let’s be honest, everything is made better with pasta and cheese.
Here are the details.
Step one is to cook your pasta. I like to use a fun short cut pasta. Something like a penne or fusilli, but any short cut pasta works really well.
Step two is to make the vinaigrette. It’s a sweet and tangy mix of olive oil, champagne vinegar (one of my favorite ingredients right now), shallots, fresh thyme, lemon, and parmesan.
I like to whisk up the vinaigrette in the bowl I plan to serve the salad in. This will save you a dish to clean, and honestly, it just makes sense to do it this way.
Step three is tossing the HOT pasta with the vinaigrette. Using hot pasta breaks down the raw shallot and infuses the vinaigrette with a tangy, herby flavor. Go with me on this, use hot pasta. It’s the key to a really good, mayo-free, pasta salad.
Step four, adding in all the classic antipasto ingredients: roasted peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, spicy salami, fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella, and plenty of fresh basil.
And that’s it. Crazy simple, but crazy good, and filled with so much color too!
Personally, I love enjoying this salad warm. But of course, it’s delicious served both right out of the fridge or at room temperature. I will say that if you let the salad sit for a day, it develops a more intense “marinated” flavor, which is particularly delicious.
Either way, it’s going to be good and loved by all. I’m already excited to serve this all summer long. I might even make it again for Sunday’s Mother’s Day dinner. Bonus? Any leftovers will make a killer Monday lunch…very into that.
PS. If you’re looking for a pasta salad option with beans, try this sun-dried, white bean, and goat cheese pasta salad.
Lastly, if you make this Antipasto Pasta Salad with Herby Parmesan Vinaigrette, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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Rice vinegar may be a better sub for champagne vinegar but this is a great recipe.
Added some quartered cherry tomatoes on top
Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) Happy Thanksgiving! 🍽
The best pasta salad! So many delicious flavors that go wonderfully together. It was a hit at our family dinner tonight! Babies love it too!
Happy Sunday!! I appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT
Thanks for the amazing recipe as always! Just a quick question, I am serving this the next day but I don’t want to mix everything from the night before so can I mix the pasta with Vinaigrette only and then mix the rest of the salad ingredients before serving? I hope my question make sense. I just don’t want the Vinaigrette taste to be over night strong.
Totally, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT
Made this with Trader Joe’s gluten free fusilli, added a little lemon juice and a little extra parm once cool. I was told we have to “add this to the list” of reoccurring menu items!
Happy Sunday!! Thanks for sharing your feedback and making this recipe, I am so glad it was a hit! Happy 4th of July!??
Just made this recipe at the lake for a large group. Went the vegan route and eliminated Parmesan, Mozzarella and Salami…used Bonza chick pea noodles, doubled the pine nuts…insanely good. HBH always delivers!
Wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing your review and making this recipe. Love to hear that it was a winner! xxT
This is a wonderful recipe!!! I have had many requests from friends to make this for future events, it seems to be such a hit!
I did make a few adjustments, but still found the end result to be delicious!
-No pine nuts
Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go:) xTieghan
This was delicious, filling, and so very easy! I made it for dinner tonight with very little modification and both my picky husband and easy to please 10 month old devoured it. The only changes I made were to blend the vinaigrette ingredients so the shallot pieces were smaller and to add some mortadella with the salami since I had some leftover. Will definitely make this again! Perfect for a hot summer night where you really don’t want to heat up the kitchen.
Awesome! Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback. I’m glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan
Made this recipe last weekend. Thought the flavors were really good and I loved that it came together so quickly. We had to double the dressing recipe as the pasta absorbed a ton of it and it dried out quicker than I expected. But that was an easy fix! Will definitely make again.
I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! xTieghan
This is such a delicious easy recipe and perfect for summer! Great for a family dinner at home or to take to potluck.
Wonderful! That’s so great to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great Friday:) xTieghan
Love this recipe! Question though, I want to make it on our vacation next week. Can I make the dress i ahead of time and how long would you say it would be good for?
I am so glad you have enjoyed this recipe! The dressing is good for a few weeks so you can absolutely make this ahead of time. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan