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Lunch/ Pasta/ Summer Lovin'

Italian Sub Pasta Salad

June 16, 2023 by Chris Collins

Now THIS is the kind of pasta salad you’ll be making all Summer long!

This pasta salad is such a crowd-pleaser, even the fussiest of eaters can’t resist it. Plus, as pasta salads go, it couldn’t be easier to make! Follow me…

close up shot of Italian sub pasta salad in salad bowl with wooden salad tossers

Italian Sub Pasta Salad

My aim with this pasta salad was to take all the glory of a delicious Italian deli-style sandwich and transform it into a pasta salad. Think Italian BMT from Subway!

Italian Sub Pasta Salad Dressing

This dressing is pretty punchy, but it mellows out nicely as it distributes through the pasta salad. It’s got a base of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, with garlic and oregano to add heaps of flavour. I also like whisking in some Dijon mustard. Not only does this add flavour and give a nod to the sandwich theme, but it also acts as an emulsifier to bind the dressing together.

Italian Sub Pasta Salad Fillings

Here’s how I categorise the fillings:

  • Meats – Pepperoni, Salami and Turkey.
  • Salad – Olives, Guindilla Chillies, Red Onion, Fresh Basil
  • Cheese – Mozzarella Balls

Process shots: add dressing ingredients to bowl (photo 1), whisk (photo 2), and pasta and fillings to bowl (photo 3), toss in dressing (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make Italian sub pasta salad

Italian Sub Pasta Salad FAQ

Where can I find Guindilla Chillies?

Typically in the pickle/antipasto section at the supermarket. If you can’t find them, just sub any type of brined/jarred chilli from that section.

Do I have to add turkey?

I know some people don’t like turkey, but it really works here! If you don’t want to use it just sub deli-style chicken or ham.

What kind of pasta should I use?

Any small short-cut pasta will do the trick. Here I use Gemelli.

Can I make this ahead of time?

I recommend serving this fairly soon after it’s made, just because it dries out as it rests. Having said that it will last around 3 days tightly stored in the fridge and still taste delicious!

close up overhead shot of Italian sub pasta salad

Serving Italian Sub Pasta Salad

I usually let it rest for 10 mins or so before serving, just to allow the flavours to marry. If you’ve got any leftover basil lurking around you can sprinkle that over before serving! I typically serve this as a main for Lunch, but you could serve it as a Side if you’d prefer.

For more pasta salad recipes check out my Incredible Pasta Salads!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this Italian sub pasta salad shall we?!

close up shot of Italian sub pasta salad in small white bowl

How to make Italian Sub Pasta Salad (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of Italian sub pasta salad in salad bowl with wooden salad tossers

Italian Sub Pasta Salad

Now THIS is the kind of pasta salad you'll be making all Summer long!
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 5
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 697kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3


  • Small Mixing Bowl & Whisk (for dressing)
  • Large Mixing/Salad Bowl (for salad)
  • Large Pot & Colander (for pasta)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):


  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 small clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 350g / 12.3oz Short-Cut Pasta (here I use Gemelli)
  • 125g / 4.4oz EACH: Baby Plum Tomatoes, Mozzarella Balls (tomatoes quartered, mozzarella balls halved)
  • 75g / 2.6oz EACH: Pepperoni, Salami, Deli-Style Turkey (all sliced into small pieces)
  • 50g / 1.7oz Black Olives, thinly sliced
  • 6 Guindilla Chillies thinly sliced (or other deli/antipasto style brined chillies)
  • 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 small Red Onion, finely sliced


  • Add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until completely cool. Shake well to drain off excess water, then place in a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl whisk together all the 'dressing' ingredients until well combined.
  • Add all of the fillings to the bowl of pasta, then give the dressing another quick whisk and pour it over.
  • Toss until everything is well combined. I like to let it rest for 10 mins or so, just to allow the flavours to marry and for the pasta to soak in some of the dressing.

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Turkey - By 'Deli-Style' I mean the thin slices you'd add to sandwiches. I find turkey works really well here, but you could sub chicken or ham if you'd prefer.
b) Guindilla Chillies - The ones that are stored in a brine are relatively mild, so I just keep the seeds in. If you can't find them just look for jars of chillies around the pickle/jarred antipasto ingredients (near the sun-dried tomatoes, olives etc). If you're concerned about heat just try one beforehand and use your best judgement on increasing/decreasing.
c) Make Ahead -  This will last around 3 days tightly stored in the fridge. Although I recommend eating it fairly soon after making it, just because the longer it rests the drier it gets.
d) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 5.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Italian Sub Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 697 Calories from Fat 373
% Daily Value*
Fat 41.42g64%
Saturated Fat 10.615g53%
Trans Fat 0.336g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.589g
Monounsaturated Fat 23.45g
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 1042mg43%
Potassium 559mg16%
Carbohydrates 62.31g21%
Fiber 9g36%
Sugar 3.6g4%
Protein 20.89g42%
Vitamin A 876IU18%
Vitamin C 69.9mg85%
Calcium 163mg16%
Iron 2.31mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'





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