This quick and easy 20-minute Antipasto Salad is amazing! The recipe is everything that makes antipasto so popular with delicious Italian cheeses, meaty salami, fresh tomatoes, artichokes, salty Kalamata olives, and more! It’s then tossed with perfectly cooked pasta and a delicious homemade Italian herby balsamic dressing.
Prep Time10 minutesmins
Cook Time12 minutesmins
Total Time22 minutesmins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: antipasto pasta salad, antipasto salad, antipasto salad recipe
1pounddry pastasuch as penne, rotini, farfale, etc.
Boil the pasta. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. You will need about 2 gallons of water for one pound of pasta and about 2 tablespoons of salt to season the water well. Then drain the pasta and toss with some olive oil to keep it from sticking together, but do not rinse the pasta.
Make the antipasto salad. Add the drained pasta and all the other salad ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Make the salad dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well. You can also put all the ingredients into a small jar and then shake well to combine. Whichever way you choose, just make sure to fully combine as you want the dressing to emulsify a bit, which will help the pasta to absorb the dressing.
Toss and serve. Pour the prepared salad dressing over the antipasto salad and toss well. Then chill for at least one hour to let the flavors meld before serving.
Use quality ingredients. Italian antipasto salad recipes are all about very simple, but high-quality ingredients. It's the refined flavor of better olive oil, cheeses, and meats that make a noticeable difference.
Salt your pasta water. And use a lot of it! Think salty like the sea. You want the pasta to absorb some of the salt as it cooks for added flavor.
Do not rinse the cooked pasta. Once it’s done cooking, only drain the pasta. You do not want to rinse away the starch that will help the dressing adhere to the pasta.
Chill for at least an hour. This pasta needs to chill for at least one hour before serving. Ideally, a little longer as it gives the flavors time to meld together more.
Antipasto pasta salad will keep in the fridge for up to 6 days in an airtight container. In fact, this pasta salad is often even better the next day! Which makes leftovers perfect for lunch!