Guys, I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with you all for weeks!
Somehow it got buried in my camera’s memory card, and I totally forgot about it until I was craving pizza again the other day. (Well, let’s be honest, when am I not craving pizza.) And I suddenly remembered everything about this delicious pasta salad that my friend, Rachel, and I whipped up last month.
It came about when I was cleaning out the fridge and trying to decide how to use the leftover ingredients from those Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats I shared with you. I was fresh out of spaghetti squash. But goodness knows I’m a pasta hoarder, and always seem to have at least ten pounds of various pastas on hand. So Rachel and I decided to cook up some bow-ties and toss together this pizza-inspired pasta salad.
This one is made with all of my favorite classic pizza toppings (including double-pepperoni, holla!), but of course, it’s totally easy to customize with all of your favorite toppings. And it’s perfect for those end-of-summer picnics or back-to-school potlucks this time of year. And, since it’s still blazing hot, it’s another great meal you can make without turning on that oven.
Let’s make some!
As I said, the ingredients in this one are really up to you.
Start with a base of some freshly-cooked pasta (which you just rinse immediately afterwards with cold water to cool it down), lots of mozzarella cheese (the fresher, the better), and a good helping of diced tomatoes (you can use canned organic fire-roasted tomatoes, if you’d like to save some chopping). Then add in your favorite pizza toppings! I used lots of pepperoni, green peppers, red onions, and a few olives.
Whip up a simple Italian vinaigrette and drizzle it on.
Give everything a good toss.
And then this gorgeous salad will be yours to enjoy. It’s the perfect way to satisfy that pizza craving, and I can also vouch that it’ll be a hit if you bring it along to a potluck. Because let’s be real, who can resist pepperoni?! Not I, said the Hen. ;)
If you need more pasta salad inspiration, be sure to check out these other recipes too:
This Pizza Pasta Salad recipe is quick and easy to make, it’s tossed with a simple Italian vinaigrette, and you can customize it with all of your favorite pizza toppings!
Pizza Pasta Salad Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked pasta (I used farfalle)
8 ounces mozzarella, diced
1 cup diced roma tomatoes
4–6 cups chopped pizza toppings (I used pepperoni, black olives, and sliced red onions)
1 batch Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette (see below)
optional toppings: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed (or minced)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
To Make The Pizza Pasta Salad:
Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot. Drain completely.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, and pizza toppings. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top, then toss to combine. Garnish with your desired toppings.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.