Italian Chopped Pasta Salad (and a video!)
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerTastes #CollectiveBias
Italian Chopped Pasta Salad is everything you love about chopped salad in pasta form, complete with grilled zucchini and bell peppers. This is the perfect summer side dish that definitely pleases the crowd!
We’ve passed the 4th of July, so you know what that means…summer is in a downward spiral. Do you feel like the bottom falls out after the 4th and summer flies after that? I do. It goes faster every year, too, so I intend to enjoy what’s left of summer to the fullest. That includes indulging in plenty of summery food and beverage, and this Italian Chopped Pasta Salad is something that falls into that category perfectly.
Italian chopped salad has always been a favorite of mine, which is why I decided to do a pasta salad spin here. I love this version because it’s full of fresh ingredients like grilled zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, and fresh basil, but it’s still plenty hearty with salami, fresh mozzarella, chickpeas, and olives. Toss it all up in a tangy red wine vinaigrette, and it’s the complete summer side that will be perfect with whatever you’re grilling up outside.
This pasta salad would be nothing without the pasta (obviously!), and I used Barilla pasta for my dish because it’s my go-to. Barilla happens to be Italy’s #1 brand of pasta, probably because it cooks up perfectly al dente every time. It always makes dinner quick and easy, and if you’d like more recipe ideas, you can visit barilla.com.
No summer meal would be complete without a refreshing beverage, and that’s where Gold Peak Tea comes in. There were so many varieties to choose from, but I selected the green tea because I’m pretty much obsessed with it at the moment. The Gold Peak Tea tastes so great on it’s own that I drank it as-is with a simple sprig of mint from my garden to go with the whole summery fresh theme. It was the perfect drink for my summery meal.
SO refreshing. 🙂
I found my Barilla pasta and Gold Peak Tea while browsing through my local Walmart store, along with some other ingredients I needed for my pasta salad. I got home and got busy boiling my pasta, grilling my veggies, and got my other ingredients ready.
If you’re grilling chicken, steak, or some other protein, grill them right along side the veggies, let the meat rest for 10 minutes, and your dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes. This meal is about being as effortless as possible with maximum flavor. It is summer after all, so we need time to relax and enjoy!
This pasta salad is totally customizable, which is one of the best parts. If you don’t have zucchini or bell peppers, you can grill up whatever veggies you have on hand. Have some cherry tomatoes lying around? Add those too! No fresh mozzarella? Use parmesan cheese instead. You can truly make this pasta salad your own by customizing it to your liking with ingredients you love.
A big bowl of this Italian Chopped Pasta Salad and a big glass of icy cold tea were just what I needed to enjoy my summer evening. Barilla pasta and Gold Peak Tea were the perfect additions to my meal, and are the best grilling solutions for your outdoor barbecues and summer parties. If you want access to even more delicious summer recipes, click here.
You can also get $1 off when you buy (2) 64 fluid ounce bottles of Gold Peak Tea on Coupons.com. If you buy (3) boxes of Barilla blue box products or Barilla pesto sauce, you may also get $1 back. Click here for more details.
Click here for a video tutorial on this recipe!
- ½ lb. Barilla farfalle pasta
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ¼" thickness
- 1 red bell pepper, cored (cut from top to bottom on each side of the pepper)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, (cut from top to bottom on each side of the pepper)
- (1) 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed (or mozzarella balls halved)
- (1) 3.3 ounce can black olives
- 4 ounces salami, cut into 1" pieces
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion, cut into ½" pieces
- ½ cup basil, sliced into chiffonade*
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (may substitute with sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, and cook according to package instructions. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain.
- While the pasta water is coming to a boil, preheat the grill to medium high. Toss the zucchini with the ½ tablespoon olive oil and place on the grill. Grill 2-3 minutes per side until charred and softened and remove from heat. Cut into 1" pieces.
- Place the red bell peppers cut side UP and cook until the outer skin is almost completely blackened, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat, place in a bowl, and cover with foil. After 5 minutes, remove from the bowl and peel off the blackened skin and chop into 1" pieces.
- Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add the grilled zucchini, peppers, chickpeas, cheese, olives, salami, red onion, and basil.
- Whisk the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice, and oregano in a small bowl until combined. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the desired amount of vinaigrette to the pasta salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or make in advance and serve chilled. Enjoy!
This salad may be made in advance and stored covered in the fridge. Use just enough vinaigrette to coat, then add a bit more before serving if it seems a bit dry.
This salad is very customizable and perfect to make with whatever you have on hand!
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.