Antipasto Pasta Salad is an easy game day food idea to serve at your next football party. This antipasto pasta salad recipe will have your family and friends cheering for more than just the game!
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Football season is in full swing and I’m doing my best to make the experience memorable for our family despite the craziness happening in the world right now. If you’ve followed along with me for a while, you know football season is HUGH for us. We are season ticket holders for the Miami Dolphins and travel from Orlando to Miami for every home game.
This year, however, we made the hard decision to defer our 2020 Miami Dolphins season tickets until next year. Although the stadium is open for a smaller number of fans, there is no tailgating allowed, we wouldn’t have our normal seats, and we’d have to wear face masks in the South Florida heat for the entire game…No thank you!
Although it’s disappointing to not be able to watch the games in person this year, I’ve made it my mission to create some epic Game Day foods to help keep us in the football spirit. Even though it’s nowhere near the same experience we’re used to, it’s been fun trying out new recipes and enjoying the games from inside our air-conditioned home. I think I already mentioned that South Florida temps are brutal…even in December!
This Sunday Patrick was off so we invited some of our friends over for Game Day. These particular friends have traveled with us multiple times from Orlando to Miami throughout the years and I think they’re missing our normal football experience just as much as we are.
Our friend, Walter, is the “King of Grilling” so they brought over the meats to grill and I was in charge of the snacks and side dishes. In terms of the snacks, I went super easy with some cheese and crackers as well as some store-bought onion dip and chips.
For the sides, I made a nice salad, corn casserole (one of my all-time crowd-pleasers), and a delicious antipasto pasta salad. After sharing our Game Day experience in my Instagram stories, I received a ton of requests for the antipasto pasta salad recipe so I decided to put it together in a post to share with everyone. You’re welcome!
The inspiration for this game day pasta salad recipe came from this adorable sport-shaped pasta I found at one of my many visits to Home Goods. I was able to find a link for you on Amazon to the sport-shaped pasta and while I was there I noticed that there were a couple of popular colleges with pasta shapes available as well if you wanted to take a look around.
For the record, I have a thing for fun shaped pasta. I’ve actually made this exact recipe for Valentine’s Day using heart-shaped pasta. For Halloween, I made a Halloween chicken noodle soup using fun pasta shapes. And for the 4th of July, I made stars and stripes macaroni salad recipe. Told you I was a little obsessed!
Antipasto Pasta Salad
16 oz. sport-shaped pasta, 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1-pint grape tomatoes (halved), 2.25 oz. sliced black olives (drained), 8 oz. salami (cubed), 8 oz. mozzarella cheese balls, 7 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese (cubed), 1 – 1 ¼ cup Italian salad dressing
Begin by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the package. This is a very important step. If you overcook your pasta it will fall apart leaving you with mush and unrecognizable pasta shapes.
Once you’re done draining the pasta, I like to run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. With the pasta now cool, transfer it to a large plastic container or bowl.
Dice up your red bell pepper.
Do the same with your salami.
Cube up your pecorino romano cheese too.
Drain the water from your mozzarella cheese balls. And while you’re at it, drain the juice from your olives too.
You can add all of that inside your plastic container with the sport-shaped pasta.
Grab your cherry tomatoes and halve them before adding them into the container with everything else.
Add 1 cup of Italian dressing to the rest of the ingredients.
Stir everything together and that’s it! I like to leave the antipasto salad in the fridge for about two hours for the flavors to marry together. You can even make it the day before an event if you know in advance you’ll be making it. Feel free to add more dressing if you think the antipasto salad is too dry when you pull it out to serve.
To serve it all nice and pretty for Game Day, I used one of my new Happy Everything! bases and attachments. Please tell me you’ve heard of Happy Everything! before. The company has quickly become a new obsession for me. I wrote about some other items I was gifted from them in this post here.
The bases and attachments are really one of my favorite concepts created by Happy Everything! You simply start by choosing a Happy Everything! base and then picking your favorite attachments to go with it. It’s super easy to secure any attachment to the base with their hook and loop backing (basically heavy-duty velcro!).
When I was gifted this incredible “Stone Small Dot Big Happy Everything! Bowl” and “Football Big Attachment” this time around, you can only imagine how excited I was. I instantly knew it would get great use during football season. The best part, though, is that I can always purchase different attachments and use the same bowl for other holidays and celebrations!
The bowl is really large so I chose to put a smaller bowl inside of it to take up some space.
I added ice inside as well so that I could keep the pasta salad chilled.
I then added my antipasto pasta salad into a larger bowl that fits nicely inside my larger Happy Everything! base like so. It was the perfect fit!
Come on, you can’t tell me this isn’t the cutest bowl set you’ve ever seen!? Head over to the Happy Everything! website and check out the hundreds of other amazing pieces they have to offer.
**And as a special bonus for being one of my subscribers, you’ll receive a FREE GIFT with purchase too. Add the Code “LAKELIFEFALL” at checkout to receive a free Gold Weave Happy Everything! Medium Spiral Notebook. The code is valid through 10/31/2020.**
There you have it! The best antipasto pasta salad being showcased in the prettiest game day bowl set around. Here’s to making your next game day a little extra special, my friend!
- 16 oz. sport-shaped pasta, 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1-pint grape tomatoes (halved), 2.25 oz. sliced black olives (drained), 8 oz. salami (cubed), 8 oz. mozzarella cheese balls, 7 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese (cubed), 1 – 1 ¼ cup Italian salad dressing
- Begin by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the package. This step is extremely important because if you overcook the pasta the shapes will turn into complete mush and be unrecognizable.
- As soon as the pasta is finished, strain it and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Dice up your red bell pepper.
- Halve your pint of grape tomatoes too.
- Drain your black olives.
- Cube your salami and Pecorino Romano cheese and unwrap your mozzarella pearls.
- Add all the ingredients to a large container.
- Carefully add the sport-shaped pasta to the container with the other ingredients.
- Measure out a cup of Italian dressing and pour it over all the ingredients.
- Gently stir all the ingredients together and allow the flavors to marry together for at least two hours in the refrigerator.
- Right before serving, give the pasta salad another good mix. If it seems a little on the dry side, add the additional ¼ cup of Italian dressing to the pasta.
- All that’s left to do now is enjoy it!
Please feel free to use this recipe as a guideline for your own pasta salad creation. Substitute whatever ingredients you see fit for others that you know your family will enjoy more.
I only caution you to try and stick with the same measurements when it comes to substituting ingredients if at all possible. The recipe will still be amazing regardless, but you might have to adjust the amount of Italian dressing you use based on the number of ingredients in your bowl. With not enough ingredients you’ll use less dressing and with extra ingredients, you'll use a little more! I hope that makes sense…
Want to remember this? Post this recipe for Antipasto Pasta Salad to your favorite Pinterest board!