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Cooking with Kids: Antipasti Pasta Salad

If I had a dime for every time that someone in my house requested pasta, I would be a very rich woman. Heck, I would be a woman on a whirlwind trip to Europe … for the rest of the year.

Growing up, pasta salad was one of my very favorite summer dishes. I could eat it and eat it and eat it … but as an adult, I just haven’t made it as often. As a result, my kids haven’t had it too much either … but after tonight, that has to change. I knew they would love the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and olives in this. But when Will dove in for seconds, it was clear that this was a slam dunk

Pasta salad travels well — so it’s perfect for picnics, barbecues, school lunch, dinners, whatever.

This particular version brings in elements of Antipasti – artichoke hearts (marinated are best!), roasted red peppers, olives. You can also toss in some cubed fresh mozzarella and/or cubed salami, but it’s up to you. Choose an Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar that you love — the flavor of the dressing is an important influencer here. I used one from Trader Joe’s that I adore.

And this is also a fab recipe to make with kids. Simple, tasty, kid-friendly. Perfect!

Looking for more fun pasta salad ideas? Check out my latest post on Tablespoon, Fresh Takes on Pasta Salads.

Antipasti Pasta Salad

Antipasti Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 lb. rotini pasta
  • 1 12 oz. jar artichoke hearts, , drained
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, , drained
  • 1 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives, , drained
  • 1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. You want to cook it about a minute past al dente for a softer texture, since it will firm when cooled. Drain well and add to a large bowl.
  2. Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.
  3. KID STEP: Add the artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives to the pasta and mix well.
  4. KID STEP: Pour the dressing in and stir to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes -- until ready to serve.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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