I've been making Antipasto Pasta Salad for almost my entire adult life. It's one of those things that is readily asked for in the Spring and Summer in my house and everyone can find something about it at that they love!
Yes, even my finicky 4 year old. Hehe.
The original idea for this pasta salad came some years ago back when I was in high school. There was a great italian restaurant that we used to go to on occasion that served something similar as an appetizer and we were all hooked on it!
I've lightened this recipe up by adding a lot more vegetables than the original had. I also like to use whole wheat tortellini and olives and artichoke hearts that have not been packed in oil. Generally, fat free mozzarella is not one of my favorite things in existence... but, I really enjoy it in this pasta salad. Especially after it's been marinating with the dressing and vegetables.
I really thought long and hard about making a homemade italian dressing to go over this, but part of the beauty of this salad is it's simplicity and ease of tossing it together. That being said, if you have a favorite homemade dressing that you enjoy, this would be a great place to use it if you have the time!
What can I say? I have a hugely busy week since my daughter's 4th birthday party is Saturday, so... I'm cutting corners and taking the easy route wherever I can. Survival is the name of the game!
Yum! This stuff is so amazingly delicious. I wish I had some leftover still. (Sigh.)
Speaking of leftovers, this pasta salad is even BETTER after being left to sit overnight in the fridge. The noodles and vegetables soak up the dressing and it all just comes together so well. This is truly one of my most favorite recipes in the world currently.
As a side note, I got two slices of pepperoni and two slices of hard salami cut from my deli on a #10 (the thickest.) This gave me about 1/4 lb. of each meat to cut into 'cubes' as I wanted. But, you could just as easily use the small thin sliced pepperoni or salami.
Skinny Antipasto Pasta Salad
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 Cup • Calories: 265.8 • Fat: 12.9 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Protein: 13.9 g • Sugar: 2.9 g • Sodium: 1188.9 mg
9 Oz. Tortellini (I used half Spinach and half Whole Wheat.), Cooked & Drained
1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
2 C. Fresh Cauliflower Florets
1/2 C. Pepperoncinis (Whole or Sliced)
1 C. Black Olives (Whole or Sliced), Drained
1/2 C. Artichoke Hearts (In Water), Drained & Sliced
4 Oz. Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese, Cubed
1/4 Lb. Turkey Pepperoni (or Half Package/35 Slices)
1/4 Lb. Hard Salami (or Half Package/2 Oz. Slices)
1/2-1 C. Light Italian Salad Dressing (I used Ken's.)
Toss everything in a large bowl together.
Stir carefully to combine.
Cover and set in the fridge for at least an hour to cool, but overnight is preferred!
Serve chilled and enjoy!