Pizza Pasta Salad
This Pizza Pasta Salad is a jazzed up version of the classic Italian pasta salad. It’s jam packed with delicious pizza toppings. A really flavorful dish to bring to a backyard bbq.
What’s in it?
Any short-cut pasta will work great in this salad. I used a whole wheat radiatori pasta. You could try shells, penne, spirals, cavatappi, macaroni, whatever looks good to you! I love trying new shapes of pasta! The salad includes banana peppers, peppadew peppers, tomatoes, mini pepperoni, mini mozzarella balls, green bell pepper, fresh basil, parmesan, and its all tossed in a jazzed up Italian dressing.
The dressing uses bottled Italian dressing, roasted garlic, Italian seasoning, tomato paste, and Calabrian chili paste for a little kick!
I finish it off with a dusting of Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper. It’s tangy, salty, full of texture, creamy, with a little kick! A great salad to bring to an outdoor BBQ. It also feeds a crowd.
If you love the flavors in this salad, you would love my Italian Chopped Salad Flatbread, so so good!
This Pizza Pasta Salad is party perfect! Let me know what you think with a rating and comment below!
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Pizza Pasta Salad
All the flavors of pizza, but in a pasta salad! A perfect pot luck or picnic dish!
For the Dressing
- 1 bulb garlic
- olive oil drizzle
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup Zesty Italian vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tbsp Calabrian chili paste
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
For the Salad
- 1 lb short cut pasta
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 cup banana peppers
- 1 cup peppadew peppers
- 8 oz mini mozzarella balls
- 4 oz mini pepperonis
- 1/4 cup fresh basil sliced into ribbons
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove as much of the outer paper skins from the bulb of garlic. Slice the tops off, not the bottom where it's holding all the cloves together. Place bulb on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Wrap in foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft and golden brown. It should be like a soft paste consistency. Allow to cool slightly, and squeeze garlic cloves out of skins.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together, including the roasted garlic. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente, or just under. You want there to still be a chewy bite to the pasta, or it will become mush, and break apart. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large mixing bowl combine all salad ingredients, and almost all dressing. Stir until well combined. Reserve a bit of dressing to use just before serving as the pasta will absorb as it sits. Allow to chill for at least an hour. Add additional dressing before serving.
It’s important to not overcook the pasta or it will become mushy. Any short cut pasta shape will work. Best served the day you make it once chilled, but will keep a couple days in the fridge.
If you want to make it the day before, just don’t add the dressing until about an hour before serving.
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