Hero Pasta Salad Recipe
Hero Pasta Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Hero Pasta Salad Recipe

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Hide this salad until serving time, or you might be surprised to find it gone! Try adding kalamata olives, peppers or yellow tomatoes. Be creative. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min.
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • SALAD:
  • 2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 4 ounces cubed provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced deli ham, cut into strips (2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced hard salami, cut into strips (2/3 cup)
  • 5 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Nutritional Facts

2-1/2 cups: 313 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 553mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 14g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the first five ingredients until blended. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine onion, pepperoncini, cheese, meats and pasta. Just before serving, add lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Hero Pasta Salad in Taste of Home June/July 2013

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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amsm User ID: 8302234 249575
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2016

"I made this salad for a group I served lunch to the other day. The only change I made was omitting the lettuce. They all enjoyed the salad! The meats were their favorite part of the salad!"

Lynsue User ID: 4504275 198487
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2014

"Sounds good, can't wait to try. But I agree about the dressing, how could 6T. of liquid be enough for 2c. of cooked pasta. Everyone has there own likes ."

bevieg User ID: 4140112 119776
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"I made this recipe as written but made a few changes due to my sodium sensitivity. I used Gemeli pasta (I had on hand), omitted salt and used Swiss Cheese (less sodium), also used Grapeseed Oil, can use less than Olive and get same results. I brought this salad to a Pot Luck and it went quite quickly and everyone asked for the recipe."

garcyb User ID: 3382037 139674
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"I made this salad as written and it was fantastic. If you follow the recipe as written it is not dry. I mixed everything with the dressing except the lettuce and cherry tomatoes. When I serve it tonight I will place the salad on the lettuce and top with the cherry tomatoes. I did make a double batch of the dressing just to keep on hand for salads but only used half. I can sprinkle a bit on the lettuce if I feel it needs it but the salad itself is so flavorful it won't need it. My husband doesn't eat cold pasta salad. I talked him into a tablespoon and he couldn't believe it. He said, well I like it with meat and cheese in it! Thank you - this is a keeper/repeater. Gracia in Omaha ne"

ruthrod User ID: 7651457 190122
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"I also agree with Muckel and Smittyisme. How can you rate it if you have not tried it. Make the recipe as written. Then when you make it again do your thing to it. What gets me is when someone switches this and adds that then switches for something else. Well it is no longer the recipie. It is like going to a resturant ordering the special, then subsatuting each item for another, now it is no longer the special for the day, oh and then expect the special price. Just once I would like to see a review of the original recipie WITHOUT all of the changes, then rate it. Good greif."

jsj1359 User ID: 7289065 200020
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"excellant salad"

smittyisme User ID: 6341516 200016
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"I completely agree with Muckle.

I didn't care for the salad because it was sooo dry. I can't in all honesty give it a 5 because I had to make more dressing,.I can all of you give it a 5 star when you didn't follow the recipe as it was written?IIf you have to add something or delete something or double something then what's the point of rating it?
I gave it a 1."

silverfox2951 User ID: 6536833 119773
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"I made this salad early in the morning sans lettuce & tomatoes. When I served it as a side for dinner I couldn't even get a spoon through it cause it was so dry. I had to whip up another double batch of dressing to add to it. Next time I know to make extra. It was very good! Thank you Taste of Home for another great recipe!!"

muckle User ID: 7726946 198827
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"July 27 2014.....Don't can some one rate a recipe when they totally change the original one. To me, you should make the recipe as it stands, and rate it as it stands. Then after, if you want or need.... change it to suit yourself.

Just saying............
I added one star, as you can not make a comment if you do not add something. I will try the recipe, and rate it according then."

SimpleFoods User ID: 7160373 123843
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2014

"This sounds great, but for the first time around with this recipe, I'm going to forget the pasta and get crusty rolls to stuff with all the other good stuff in the recipe! pasta next time. That dressing sounds wonderful for any green salad as well. Thanks! Can't wait to go for the ingredients - and I will add Kalamata olives because they can't help but improve ANYthing you'd put them in! If somebody said to put them on ice cream, I probably would! Thanks for sharing your recipe, Angela from Mechanicsburg - from Audrey from Harrisonburg."

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