Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Summer picnics aren’t complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!

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Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!Isn’t it funny how we always wanted to be older back when we were kids?  Older meant driver’s licenses.  Older meant high school and then college.  Older meant being able to buy beer.  Older meant being able to rent a car.  Then all of a sudden, time froze.  Suddenly there were no more “older milestones” to look forward to.  As a result, I swear I’m still 25.  I just stopping getting older once I hit my mid-20’s.

A couple of months back, one of my buddies forwarded me a Facebook flashback to a post from 10 years ago.  We were all dressed in green for the annual Baton Rouge St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  We had gathered at his house at around 6am to start the festivities.  Around 9:30am, we loaded the keg of green beer into a wheelbarrow and rolled it up to the parade route.  We were crazy back then.

Flash forward 10 years, and we all have kids now.  The keg of green beer in a wheelbarrow has been replaced with munchkins instead.  The adults dressed as leprechauns are now kids dressed as leprechauns.  Oh, and now we go to bed at 8pm.  (When did we get so old?)

Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!Speaking of old, I have become the most stereotypical old person ever.  Nope, it’s not the going to bed at 8pm part.  It’s the fact that I now watch PBS.  On a regular basis.

Back over the winter when Robbie was just several weeks old, we discovered that our local PBS station played concerts almost every night.  We listened to everything from the classic Simon & Garfinkle in Central Park concert to a Phish concert to Peter, Paul and Mary’s Christmas concert.  It didn’t matter what was on, we listened to it.  The music helped Robbie fall asleep.  Then the strangest thing happened.  Dad started loving watching those PBS concerts.  (When did we get so old?)

Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!One night we caught part of a Josh Grobin concert where he sang various songs from Broadway musicals.  I’ve always appreciated Josh Grobin, but I’m not sure I’d call myself a fan.  But after sitting and listening to him that night, I was hooked.  (Laura has always loved his music, so she was obviously on board.)  We ended up getting tickets to see Josh Grobin this summer up at Saratoga, and that concert will be one of the highlights of our summer.

Speaking of summer highlights, you’ve gotta include pasta salads in there.  Summer picnics just aren’t complete without 4-5 different pasta salads.  The other day, I took my mother-in-law’s Antipasti Salad and made a few tweaks to it.  That salad is hands-down one of my favorite summer dishes, so I was hesitant to play around with the recipe.  But I did.  And this Pepperoni Pasta Salad was the result.

Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!This epic Pepperoni Pasta Salad is loaded with everyone’s favorite Italian meat: pepperoni.  Toss in some green peppers for crunch along with some mozzarella cubes + cherry tomatoes for flavor, and you’ve got summer in a bowl.  Oh, and did I mention I used tortellini as the pasta of choice this time?  Like all pasta salads (and soups, for that matter), this one tastes better on Day 2.  That works out well since it means you can not only make this one in advance, but it will taste better, too.  Score!

Speaking of foodie inspiration, where do you get new recipe ideas?  RecipeLion is one of my favorite sites to wander around when I need to break out of the routine…or if I’m hungry.  (And I’m pretty much always hungry.)  Check it out!

Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Are you still 25 in your mind, too?  (Or maybe you’re actually still 25…lucky!)

Summer picnics aren't complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Summer picnics aren’t complete without pasta salad, and this Pepperoni Pasta Salad is an epic addition to the picnic table!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 506kcal


For the Pasta Salad

For the Dressing


For the Salad

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse and drain the pasta in cold water.
  • Transfer pasta to a very large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.

For the Dressing

  • In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Pour dressing over salad and toss until salad is well coated. Keep salad refrigerated; serve cold.

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  1. Haha! I don’t know where the time goes, but they say you’re only as old as you feel. They also say age is just a number. I do know that I certainly can’t stay up as late as I used to. I’d much rather get my sleep, that’s for sure. As for PBS….they have had some great shows on there…Cook’s Country, Lidia’s Italy. Great station. I even get hooked into watching the most random stuff sometimes. Love this pepperoni pasta salad, David! Great spin and perfect side for those upcoming Summer bbqs. What I’m looking forward this Summer is all the good food that goes along with the season and the warmer weather. I don’t mind if it’s not super warm, as long as the sun is shining. Have a great week, David!

    1. Hah! If I’m as old as a feel, then I’m at least 95. Just kidding…that’s only at about 7:00pm when Robbie finally goes to bed. I get a little burst of energy after that usually. Cheers to summer picnics and awesome food + cold beers with friends, right, Dawn? 🙂

  2. It’s amazing how much our lives change from our old partying ways isn’t it. Thankfully, or not, we have that Facebook memories thing to keep reminding us.
    I would happily just eat a big bowl of this at a BBQ and picnic. Pasta salad is my favourite.

    1. It really is! You’re just beginning the journey, but it’s such an incredible trip. Savor it…at least when you’re not dying for a nap! 🙂

  3. It’s not that we are old…we’ve just learned how to finally live! We were at a birthday party this weekend for someone turning 50! Fun party and fun celebrating. Someone brought a salad similar to this. I thought it was great. Now I have a recipe to make it myself!

    1. Hey! I like that statement. Although if watching PBS at night is learning how to live, then I dunno. Haha! But yes, I agree…get out there and make the most of it. Age is just a number! And bring on the summer picnic season please. Thanks, Kathy!

  4. Hahaha! Ok, so I admit to watching and enjoying PBS too – but, that’s because Lil Shashi loved Arthur and Curious George and PBS Kids was the place to get our…err…HER fix met! And you are not kidding – those concerts worked their magic on Lil Shashi too! You know what would work it’s magic on her now – this pasta salad! Loving the pepperoni and basil in this one!
    I hadn’t heard of RecipeLion before – I gotta heard there pronto and check ’em out!
    As for what I’m looking forward to this summer – dude – meeting the Spiced clan! Yay!!!

    1. Haha…I suspect that I’ll be watching cartoons along with Robbie as soon as he’s old enough to know what’s going on. I can’t wait! I also can’t wait for our summer day of fun in a few weeks…ok, maybe like 6. But if I say a few, it makes it sound closer. 🙂

  5. Hi David! The last time I made a pasta salad of yours we ate it for a week straight! It made a party sized bowl! Not long ago I looked in the mirror and thought “who is that old person looking at me”…funny thing is I don’t “think” old! 🙂

    1. Haha…yes, I do have that little problem of making pasta salads way too big! But it’s just because I love them so much. And they seem to get better every day, too! Here’s the thing about age: you’re only as old as you think you are. So that means we’re both like 18, right? 🙂

  6. Agreed – pasta salads are a great addition to any picnic! Funny, I stopped getting older at 25 too 😉 There must be some scientific explanation to this phenomenon 🙂 Great that you got tickets to Josh Groban in Saratosa – sure it will be amazing!

    1. Yeah, it’s strange how that works, Miriam. Birthdays just keep coming, but my age just keeps staying the same. It’s kinda cool! 🙂 And yes, we’re really looking forward to that concert later this summer. If we can stay awake…haha. I’m kidding (sorta).

  7. haha that’s life isn’t it? when we are kids, we want to grow up fast and once we are in 20s, we want the time to stop! Yep I stopped growing after my mid 20s too! lol This pasta salad looks great, perfect for summer potlucks and parties!

    1. Age is so strange like that, Manali! It’s like older, older, older…wait, STOP…younger, younger, younger. 🙂 But let’s just forget about age and get out there and enjoy a good old summer BBQ, ok?

  8. This looks really delicious! I love pepperoni, but usually only ever have it on pizza. I am looking forward to warm nights under the stars. It’s something that we don’t get to celebrate unless it’s Summer time. I love the later sunsets fading into a night sky full of glowing stars!

    1. I agree, Amanda. We always put pepperoni on our pizzas (usually turkey pepperoni, to be honest) but it’s a fun meat to use in other ways, too. I once made pepperoni bread after my mother-in-law gave us this huge 16oz stick of pepperoni one Christmas. I’m with ya on the summer evenings…I just gotta figure out how to stay awake past 9:00 now. Haha! (To be fair, Robbie starts stirring around 4:45/5:00, so that means we better be in bed early or we’re gonna pay for it the next morning.)

    1. Yes! I totally agree, Rahul. Let’s have a gigantic picnic…loaded with all sorts of pasta salads and summer side dishes. I can get behind that idea for sure! 🙂

  9. Right?!?!? I swear I’m still like I was in my 20’s except the babysitter who is 22 suddenly looks and seems really young. I noticed my love of PBS growing too, we have an HD antenna which means we get 4 different PBS stations. No cable and all the PBS mwahahah.
    I think tortellini should be the mandatory pasta for all pasta salad. That really seals the deal 😉

    1. Haha! That’s a scary thought, Lauren…but so true. I feel like I’m in my early 20’s still, but then I talk to the neighbors kids (who are just out of college) and I’m like, wow, I am so old! I have no clue what tv shows, games, music they’re talking about. When did I become my Dad?? Also, I’d just like to point out how awesome it is that you got 4 different PBS stations and no actual cable stations. Bring on the Big Bird! 🙂

  10. I love the way you write David, I´m always hooked on your stories.. Yes, the famous question, when did we get so old. I know exactly what you mean. I was 20 just yesterday! I would have loved to see Josh Grobin, that´s going to be one magical show!! Then, this salad, it looks seriously so good, especially those chunks of pepperoni in there 🙂 🙂

    1. Aww, thanks, Johlene. You are too kind! Seriously. 🙂 My wife always tells me that I just talk about nothing…so the blog is now my outlet to just talk/write about nothing. Hah! Hey, the Josh Grobin concert is still a few weeks away…and you were talking about visiting the States…I mean, it could happen! I’ll even make a huge bowl of this pasta salad for a pre-concert snack!

  11. While I can’t relate to the kids part, I can totally relate to pretty much everything else. I saw a meme which was along the lines of ‘growing up, our punishment was being sent to our rooms/staying in for the entire weekend which as adults, is considered the best thing ever.’

    Pasta salad totally screams Summer and love the pepperoni addition!

    1. That is too funny, Arman. But so totally true! As kids, being sent to our room where it was quiet was the worst thing ever. Now I just dream for a few minutes of peace and quiet each day. Go figure. But for now, just bring on the summer picnics…if I can stay awake long enough!

    1. I know, right?? It feels like it was just yesterday that I was turning 25. And now I’m watching PBS at night. When did I turn into my Dad…or better yet, my granddad? 🙂 Pepperoni wins at everything, so let’s make a bunch of pasta salad and hang out in the summer sun, mmmkay? Thanks, Ashley!

  12. I was just saying to my best friend how we can’t wait to grow up and now most of us wish we could walk in after a long day of school and sit down to dinner with the parents. I remember all the adults telling me to slow down and enjoy my childhood but I just couldn’t wait to graduate, go off to college and start my life. If only I would have listened. This Pepperoni pasta salad looks delectable, I love pasta salads in the summer, especially after a day or two in the fridge.

    1. Geez…you’re right, Mary. I remember doing homework every afternoon and then having to go down to eat dinner with the family. I remember people telling me to enjoy high school and college, too…but it all just went by so fast. What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days! Well, we can still relive those good memories, right…and they’re even better when munching on delicious pasta salad. 🙂 Thank you for being you!

    1. Heck yeah! Just take that pasta + pepperoni and turn it into a cold summer picnic salad. Hope your summer is going well so far, Tamara! 🙂

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