pasta salad

Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad and the Big Game!

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It is that time of year again, time for the Big Game! Are you ready? We are getting ready here. For the first time ever football has been really big in our house. Up until a couple weeks ago my husband had been rooting for his grandpa’s favorite team. We’ve been married nearly seventeen years and my husband has never shown so much interest in football outside of the Big Game (and then we watched for the commercials and snacks). I had to ask him, “Who are you?” and “What did you do with my husband?” Seriously, I had no clue what is going on. Heck today my sixth grader came home asking me who I was rooting for in the Big Game. Ok, so we live in North Carolina, that may have something to do with it but all of this is rather surprising. Even when my oldest was playing football we didn’t have this much excitement. All I know is right now I have some family members that are excited for the Big Game and that means I need to make them some Big Game Day food. After all you can’t watch the Big Game without something to munch on.This year i’m thinking quick and easy is the way to go. My families favorite Red Baron Pizza, my  super Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad and for dessert a Key Lime Pie from Edwards Pies.

Easy Antipasto Pasta Salad | Country Girl Gourmet


Country Girl Gourmet’s Top 10 recipes of 2013

Cranberry Almond Pasta Salad

This is a sweet and tangy pasta salad filled with dried cranberries and almonds.

Cranberry Almond Pasta Salad

1 12oz box of bow tie pasta
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisens)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
8oz diced turkey or ham
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Cook pasta per box instructions(9-12 minutes) when done drain and rinse with cold water.  While pasta is cooking combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar in a bowl.  Once cooled pasta has been drained add to large bowl with diced turkey or ham,celery, dried cranberries,almonds and dressing.  Mix well until everything is well coated.  Serve as is or refrigerate.

Cranberry Almond Pasta Salad |Country Girl Gourmet

Super Easy Pasta Salad

It is summertime and one thing that means is simple meals and there is nothing better than salad. I try to keep either salad ingredients if not some sort of salad in my fridge at all times. Pasta salads are a quick go to and are great for light filling meals. My Super Easy Pasta Salad definitely fits the bill. It has a great balance of pasta, meat, veggies and cheese. How can you go wrong when there is cheese involved?

My Super Easy Pasta Salad is an extremely easy to make pasta salad. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have made it over the years. It is always a huge hit at potlucks and i’m always asked for the recipe.  When I tell people the recipe they are always shocked at how easy and good this recipe is. Sure, you could make your own dressing but this recipe uses store bought for the easy factor.

Make it for yourself and see how good it is!

Super Easy Pasta Salad


  • 2 13oz bags frozen tortelenni (cooked per package directions)
  • 16oz diced ham
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomatoes (diced roma’s or halved grape tomatoes)
  • 6oz baby spinach
  • 16oz whole milk mozzarella, diced
  • 2.25oz can sliced black olives
  • 14oz bottle Zesty Italian salad dressing (I typically use Kraft)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese to garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except salad dressing.
  2. Add enough dressing to coat. Somedays I use the whole bottle, others almost the whole bottle.
  3. Garnish with shredded Parmesan.


Super easy pasta salad | Country Girl Gourmet