Meat Lovers Pasta Salad ~ yes, real men DO eat pasta, and it’s this hearty pasta salad! Real women love it too 😉 This meaty pasta salad will be the hit of your next barbecue, potluck, or backyard shindig.
Pasta salads are kind of a late summer staple for me, I like to have them chilling in the fridge so that I don’t have to lift a finger at the end of a long hot day. But I know I’m not alone in having a certain member of the family who does not consider a meal to be a meal without meat. So when I want to make a quick and easy pasta salad for dinner, I have to get creative. I decided to go all out with FOUR different kinds of meat in this one…nobody complained!
Any meat that can be cubed is fair game, I like salami, ham, sopressata, and, of course, bacon. Just visit your deli counter and pick out your favorites, Ask them to cut you a 1/2 inch chunk, rather than slices, so you can dice it later.
I add half the dressing to the steaming hot, just drained pasta, it will absorb the flavors as it cools.
Meat Lovers Pasta Salad
- 3/4 lb pasta, I used fusilli cooked according to the package directions
- 1/2 inch slice of salami, cut in cubes (approximately 1/4 lb)
- 1/2 inch slice of sopressata, cut in cubes (approximately 1/4 lb)
- 1/2 inch slice of ham, cut in cubes (approximately 1/4 lb)
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 small Persian cucumber, or 1/3 of an English cucumber, diced
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup black olives, sliced
- a few radishes, if you have them, quartered
- 1 cup feta cheese, cut in small cubes
- handful fresh thyme and oregano, leaves
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- 6 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb blend
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- While the pasta is still hot, toss it with about half of the dressing, to coat all surfaces. Cover and refrigerate.
- When the pasta has cooled, add in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the bacon, and toss. Add more dressing to moisten the salad and put back in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Just before serving toss in the bacon and taste the salad. Adjust the seasoning and add more dressing if necessary.
Thanks for pinning!
more summer salads…
New Potato Salad with Eggs and Mustard Seeds
Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit Mayo
Questions and Reviews
This looks amazing! Love all of the colors!
Love this salad and particularly how hearty it is. It’s hard to find lighter, summery dishes that are still filling enough for my husband’s appetite 😉
This pasta salad looks filling and delicious . The perfect meal for a hot day.
We’re heading into a big heatwave this week, I’m glad i have it in the fridge 😉
This looks so exciting Sue and sounds delicious! I love that it’s refrigerated; can’t imaging eating anything warm at the moment!
I hear you, stay cool Toni!
My family would gobble this up in a heartbeat. It looks fabulous and you’re so right Sue, such a wonderful option for these steamy late summer days.
It was inspired by my husband, but I ended up loving it too!
I bet this would be the first thing to go at a picnic! Every bite must be amazing!
The leftovers packed perfectly for lunch the next day, thanks Angie 🙂
What a satisfying and delicious pasta recipe! Great for a picnic or lunch box!
Have a great weekend, Sue!