I don’t know about you, but whenever I create an antipasto platter for a gathering, I tend to get a weeee bit overzealous with my spread of ingredients. I want to include so many cheeses! So many olives! So many peppers! So many meats!
Which always means that afterwards, I’m left with…
…so many leftovers.
(Please tell me I’m not the only one with this delicious problem…!)
Well, for any of you other antipasto-lovers who might be looking for a way to make good use of leftover ingredients, today I have the perfect recipe to share with you. It’s this colorful antipasto pasta salad Or as a clever reader on Facebook suggested I call it, antipasta salad. (<– So punny!)
It’s incredibly quick and easy to make, since I’m guessing most of those antipasto ingredients you have are already in bite-sized pieces. It’s incredibly flavorful, with the perfect mixture of sweet and savory and spicy ingredients added to the pasta, plus a simple Italian herb vinaigrette. It’s incredibly customizable, so feel free to substitute in any of your favorite antipasto ingredients that you have on hand. And I must say that I’m especially excited about the fact that it’s incredibly colorful, and will definitely steal the show if you bring it along to a potluck, or just pop it right in the middle of your dinner table at home.
So grab your rainbow of ingredients, and let’s make some.
Simply cook up a batch of your favorite pasta (I went with some tri-color rotini), then rinse it quickly in some cold water to stop the cooking process.
Then while the pasta is cooking, go ahead and chop up whatever antipasto ingredients that you might have on hand. (I used salami, diced cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, then I also added some leftover kale and red onion to the mix.)
Add everything together in a bowl with your cooked pasta.
And then drizzle on a simple Italian herb red wine vinaigrette. I made mine with this adorable new little Italian Blend Herb Grinder from McCormick, which I’m obsessed with because you all know how often I use Italian seasoning and this makes it all the more fun getting to grind it myself. (They also have Basil, Oregano, and Parsley herb grinders available now — check ’em out!) Then I mixed the Italian seasoning with some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic powder to make a quick vinaigrette, and then drizzled it all over the pasta salad.
(Actually — pro tip here — to soften the kale, I actually added the kale and a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the kale first. Then I massaged it with my hands for a minute, which makes the kale nice and dark green and soft and delish. Then I added the other ingredients.)
Then I gave everything a good toss.
And voila! This beautiful rainbow of deliciousness was ready to serve.
I absolutely loved it. And all of the antipasto flavors naturally tied together perfectly, especially when tied together with that simple vinaigrette. All the more incentive to make more antipasto platters when they can be followed up by an equally delicious antipasto pasta salad like this one.
This Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad is the perfect way to use up leftover antipasto ingredients! Plus, it’s easy to make, tossed with a zesty Italian herb vinaigrette, and absolutely delicious!
Rainbow Antipasto Salad Ingredients:
- 1 pound dry pasta (I used tri-color rotini)
- 4–6 cups chopped antipasto ingredients (I used diced salami, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers. See below for more ideas.*)
- 1 cup chopped fresh kale, massaged**
- quarter of a small red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
- 1 batch Italian Herb Vinaigrette (see below)
Italian Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Italian Blend Herb Grinder Italian seasoning, or homemade
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
To Make The Antipasto Pasta Salad:
- Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, antipasto ingredients, kale, and onion. Drizzle the Italian Herb Vinaigrette on top, then toss to combine. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To Make The Italian Herb Vinaigrette:
- Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
*To soften the kale, I placed it in the mixing bowl first, along with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, and then used my hands to massage the vinaigrette into the kale for about 1 minute. This makes it considerably softer, and will turn the kale a nice dark green color.
**The sky’s the limit for other antipasto ideas, but in general, I recommend using any combination of:
- diced cheeses
- Italian meats
- grilled, roasted, or marinated veggies
- toasted nuts
- diced cantaloupe, grapes, or figs (only if you like fruit mixed in)
This post is sponsored by McCormick. I love featuring products that I already use in my kitchen, and all opinions are my own as always. Thanks for continuing to support the brands who help make this site possible!