Giada De Laurentiis’ Antipasto Salad Is an Easy Summer Appetizer

Leave it to Giada De Laurentiis to make a five-star pasta salad recipe. The longtime Food Network star’s Antipasto Salad is a quick and easy dish that lends itself to the summer months. 

Giada De Laurentiis’ Antipasto Salad is ready in 35 minutes

Giada De Laurentiis smiles while holding a dish of food at the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival
Giada De Laurentiis | Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for NYCWFF

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This is one of those recipes for when food needs to be on the table in a hurry. According to Food Network, De Laurentiis’ Antipasto Salad is ready in 35 minutes. It’s broken down into 10 minutes of cooking time and 25 minutes of prep time. 

Pro tip: Contrary to what the recipe instructions say, put a pot of water on the stove first. It’s what De Laurentiis did when she prepared the dish on her Food Network show, Everyday Italian. That way the water has time to boil while the vinaigrette is being made. Plus, the pasta will have a few minutes to cool before it gets tossed with the vinaigrette and the mix-ins.

Make the cooking process even faster by prepping all of the ingredients beforehand. Chop up the herbs and meat and store them in the fridge until it’s time to assemble the salad. Take it another step and make the vinaigrette in advance. All that’s left to do will be to cook the pasta and combine everything in a bowl. 

Antipasto Salad is De Laurentiis’ ‘version of a light Italian appetizer’

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Pasta salad may not be considered an appetizer to some but for De Laurentiis, that’s exactly what Antipasto Salad is. 

“The idea of an antipasto platter is that it comes before the meal for an Italian family and I’m turning it into my favorite pasta salad,” she explained on her cooking show. She also described her recipe as a “version of a light Italian appetizer.” 

The cookbook author used a blender to make a “very light” dressing with red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and a big handful of fresh basil. Along the way De Laurentiis demonstrated just how easy it is to make. 

“Just toss it all together and this Antipasto Salad is ready to eat,” she said.

Make it as De Laurentiis intended — a light appetizer — or serve it as a side dish or main course.

Food Network television personality Giada De Laurentiis appears on 'Today' in 2014
Giada De Laurentiis | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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It may not have made the cut as one of De Laurentiis’ most popular recipes on Food Network’s website but the celebrity chef’s Antipasto Salad has gotten lots of positive feedback from people who have made it at home. At the time of publication the recipe’s been reviewed 174 times on Food Network’s website and it averages five stars. 

“I LOVE this,” one reviewer wrote. “It makes me hungry just thinking about it. I LOVE the dressing and all the little things that go inside. The salami. The turkey. The provolone.”

“I’ve made this salad so many times and everyone always loves it (including the little ones at the table),” another person said in a review. “I’ve served it alongside homemade pizzas, sandwiches, or even by itself as a meal and someone always asks for the recipe. It’s simple yet impressive. If you haven’t tried it, you should – it’s delicious!!”

Others called it the best pasta salad they’ve “ever had” or “ever made.”