Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad) is a delicious twist on a classic antipasto board. This pasta salad combines all the great flavors of antipasto and pasta salad!
Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad) Recipe
This Italian Pasta Salad is loaded with all the classic components of an antipasto board/platter. From roasted red peppers to mini bocconcini, salami and olives, all the way to pepperoncini and cherry tomatoes! Each bite is packed with flavor.
This pasta salad is a step up from your average pasta salad! Instead of using regular pasta such as penne or bow ties, it uses cheese filled tortellini for an extra pop of flavor. The dressing is a homemade or store bought Italian dressing.
Italian Pasta Salad is amazing because instead of having to worry about plating a large antipasto board/platter for your get together or Holiday gathering you can simply toss this salad together.
What is Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)?
Italian Pasta Salad takes all the components of an antipasto platter and turns it into a salad! Everyone loves a classic antipasto platter as there are so many delicious components and you can mix and match flavor combinations for each bite.
The fun part about turning an antipasto board into a pasta salad is that each and every bite has a different component making it a unique and fun salad. I also love the fact that this salad is perfect for make ahead and meal prep.
Instead of packing a regular deli sandwich for your work or school lunch, try this antipasto salad. It has the same flavor profile as a deli sandwich but with a lot more fun flavors and ingredients!
What to Serve with Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)
This salad is a great side dish paired with an Italian chicken cutlet for a restaurant quality meal at home. Try this salad with my family favorite recipes:
What is in Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)?
- Tortellini – since this is a cold pasta salad I recommend using cheese filled tortellini. Using store bought fresh or frozen tortellini is how I like to make this salad but you could also use homemade.
- Italian Salad Dressing – store bought or homemade dressing works great for this salad. If you can find zesty Italian dressing it is even better!
- Antipasto Inspired Ingredients (Can be customized to your liking)
- Black Olives
- Red Onion
- Roasted Red Pepper
- Cherry Tomatoes
How to Make Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
1 If using homemade Italian dressing prepare the dressing and set aside in the fridge.
2 Cook tortellini in salted water according to package directions. Rinse with cool water, drain and add to a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the warm pasta and toss to combine. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl.
3 Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss until evenly combined. You can serve the salad right away but it is best if chilled for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and the tortellini to fully cool.
4 Optional, garnish with additional grated parmesan, basil and parsley.
Serve and enjoy!
Meal Prep Italian Pasta Salad
This Italian Pasta Salad is perfect for meal prep as a main course or side dish. Instead of a regular deli sandwich try making this pasta salad instead. You can use a combination of your favorite deli meats and veggies. The salad can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in containers for up to 3-4 days.
FAQs Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)
Store the salad in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 – 4 days. The flavors will develop as the salad is stored in the fridge. Please note, after 2 days the pasta and vegetables will absorb most of the dressing. Before serving leftovers feel free to add an additional 2-3 teaspoons of Italian dressing over top of the salad, stir and enjoy!
Yes! This pasta salad can be made in advance and is even more flavorful the next day. Prep 1 day in advance and then serve. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 – 4 days.
For a vegetarian or vegan Italian pasta salad, swap the pasta and cheeses for vegetarian or vegan options. For the salad dressing use a homemade Italian dressing or store-bought version.
For a gluten free Italian pasta salad use gluten free tortellini or gluten free pasta of choice.
Tips for the Best Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)
- Pasta – I recommend using cheese filled tortellini for this recipe but you can also use any pasta you have on hand, for example penne, bow ties, rotini or wagon wheels. As the pasta will absorb the dressing and soften be sure to not over cook the pasta. Cook your pasta 1 minute shy of package directions to ensure the pasta is al dente (with a bit of bite to it). The pasta will soften when the dressing is added in.
- Dressing – using store bought Italian dressing is a great way to keep this recipe low prep and perfect for last minute entertaining. However, if you have more time I recommend trying to make your own Italian dressing as you can control what goes in it and adjust the seasoning to your personal liking.
- Antipasto Ingredients – this recipe is completely customizable and you can use your favorite antipasto ingredients. Below are some more antipasto ingredient ideas:
- Marinated Artichokes
- Pickled Onions
- Marinated Mushrooms
- Instead of just salami try a mix of pepperoni, prosciutto, soppressata
- Instead of just bocconcini cheese add in some feta, parmesan or asiago cheese
- For a spicy antipasto salad use a spicy salami, hot soppressata, spicy Havarti cheese and extra pepperoncini peppers
Looking for More Easy Salad Recipes?
- Avocado Corn Tomato Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Strawberry Panzanella Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Seafood Pasta Salad
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Italian Pasta Salad (Antipasto Salad)
- 1 cup Italian Dressing, or 1 Recipe Homemade Italian Dressing
- 20 oz. cheese tortellini, bag refrigerated, 1 bag store-bought
- 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered, seeded if desired
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 can black olives, 6 oz., drained and halved
- 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 pepperoncini, chopped
- 1 cup mini bocconcini
- 1 cup deli salami , chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- If using homemade Italian dressing prepare the dressing and set aside in the fridge.
- Cook tortellini in salted water according to package directions. Rinse with cool water, drain and add to a large bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the warm pasta and toss to combine. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the bowl.
- Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss until evenly combined. You can serve the salad right away but it is best if chilled for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and the tortellini to fully cool.
- Optional, garnish with additional grated parmesan, basil and parsley. Serve and enjoy!