This pasta salad is so delicious, you’re gonna want to make it every, single week! We have, anyway:) I have to admit, we were getting really tired of turkey and cheese tortilla wraps for our hiking lunches this past summer! So, my brain began churning for fun lunch ideas to take on the go! It had to fit in a day pack and it had to be leak-free and it had to be easy to eat with a plastic fork! Most importantly, it had to be delicious and nutritious! This recipe came together beautifully and it’s so exciting to pull this pasta salad out of the lunch pail for school, work or even long road trips!🚗
After much thought, I came up with three ideas: sesame, chicken & wild rice salad; a fun little snack pack full of goodies like dried fruit, nuts, cubed cheddar and turkey pepperoni; and finally this Italian Deli Pasta Salad, which was definitely my favorite one! We’ve made several times now. It’s just that good and so simple to put together — just a little bit of chopping, cook the pasta and toss toss! 🥗🧀🫒🧂
Of course you can add other ingredients that you love like tomatoes or a different kind of cheeses or olives, and you can make your own Italian dressing, use your favorite bottled dressing or simply dress with good olive oil and vinegar. We used oil and vinegar and then drizzled just a little bit of Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing.
Italian Deli Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. rotini pasta, cooked to al dente and drained
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half or quarters
- 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup pimento olives, cut in half or quarters
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 cup roasted red peppers (in a jar)
- 1 cup pepperoncini or banana peppers
- 1 cup cubed cheese Any combination of: Pecorino Romano, Parrano, and sharp white cheddar
- 1 cup cubed salami or summer sausage
- 1 cup chopped pepperoni we love turkey pepperoni whenever we can find it
- 1 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. bottled Italian dressing optional
- Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and toss in a large salad bowl with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
- Chop all of the veggies, cheeses and meats. Toss into the bowl with the pasta and season with lemon pepper, salt and pepper.
- Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar over all and toss well. Add additional Italian dressing if you want to. Refrigerate until ready to serve.