Where did last week go? I didn’t get to cook much as I’d have liked last week, so I found myself with a refrigerator full of miscellaneous ingredients that I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with. What do you do with a half bag of leftover spinach, some pepperoni you got on sale, a can of beans, and a half block of mozzarella cheese? Toss them into a bowl and call it a salad! After this mish-mash of ingredients that I’ve decided to call Pepperoni Pasta Salad, I’m pretty sure I’m going to put pepperoni on every salad. It’s rich, salty, and peppery bite was so amazing against the background of mild spinach and pasta. Absolutely perfect!
Pepperoni Pasta Salad
What Type of Dressing is Best for Pepperoni Pasta Salad?
Although I usually make my own dressings, I do buy them on occasion. I used a bottled dressing for this salad because it’s a lazy Saturday and I have some in my fridge that needs to be used up. Any sort of Italian or Caesar dressing will go really well with this salad, so feel free to use your favorite, whether store bought or homemade. Here are some other ingredients that would also go really well in this salad, if you happen to have them on hand: thinly sliced red onion, black olives, rotisserie chicken, mushrooms, banana pepper rings, roasted red peppers.
How to Serve Pepperoni Pasta Salad
This is a pretty filling salad that I think could be counted as a main dish, especially if served with some amazing Homemade Garlic Bread, or perhaps a cup of hot Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.
P.S. A few of these ingredients were on sale, which really helped bring my cost down. The tomatoes were on sale for $0.99 😱, the Boar’s Head pepperoni were only $2.50 for a 6oz. package, and I got the spinach at Aldi, which is always super inexpensive. Keeping your eyes peeled for sales pays off!
Pepperoni Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. bowtie pasta ($0.66)
- 1/2 Tbsp salt (for pasta water) ($0.02)
- 4 oz. fresh baby spinach ($0.65)
- 15 oz. can kidney beans ($0.69)
- 3 oz. pepperoni ($1.25)
- 4 oz. mozzarella, cubed ($0.94)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($0.99)
- 6 oz. Italian or Caesar dressing ($2.00)
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan (optional) ($0.10)
- Freshly cracked pepper (optional) ($0.02)
- Fill a medium sauce pot with water and add 1/2 Tbsp salt. Bring the pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add the pasta, and cook until tender. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water to bring the temperature down. Let the pasta drain well.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Roughly chop the spinach leaves and place them in a large bowl. Rinse and drain the kidney beans, and slice the grape tomatoes in half. Add the beans, tomatoes, pepperoni, and cubed mozzarella to the bowl with the spinach.
- When the pasta is cooked, cooled, and drained, add it to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. Toss the ingredients until everything is combined. Add the salad dressing and then toss again until everything is coated. Serve the salad with a little Parmesan and some freshly cracked pepper sprinkled over top of each bowl
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Step by Step Photos
Begin by filling a medium sauce pot with water and adding 1/2 Tbsp salt. Bring it to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until the pasta is tender. Drain the pasta and briefly rinse with cool water to bring the temperature down. Let the pasta drain while you prepare the rest of the salad. Roughly chop 4 oz. fresh baby spinach, then place it in a bowl.
Also add one 15oz. can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained), 1 pint grape tomatoes (cut in half), 4 oz. mozzarella (cubed) and 3 oz. pepperoni to the bowl.
Once the pasta has cooked, cooled, and drained, add it to the bowl with the other ingredients and toss until everything is combined. If you only plan on eating one portion at a time, you can store it like this and just add dressing prior to serving each portion.
When you’re ready to eat, add about 2 Tbsp of your favorite Italian or Caesar dressing to each serving and toss until everything is coated. Top with a little Parmesan cheese (just a tad) and a light sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!
For a SAHM that often forgets to feed herself. This dish is literally a life saver. It doesn’t require much effort which is usually the biggest killer for me eating, “I have to MAKE FOOD FOR MYSELF after I made like 12 different things for my increasingly picky kiddos🤮.” This dish has made it easier to take care of myself. I’ll keep the ingredients in my fridge regularly as a fail safe for myself. Eating over a span of 2-3 days. So thank you for this recipe cause it has helped me be a better mom and not a hangry momma😂
Oh man, this is so good. I used Caeser for my dressing and it’s hard not to eat ALL this salad in one sitting!
Has anyone tried this with mixed spring greens instead of spinach? I’ll have leftover mixed greens from another meal next week, and I’m trying to cut down on waste. Thanks!
That should work great! :)
This is an amazing and quick combination! I added a little oil/balsamic vinegar as the dressing.
Made this today with mini bowtie pasta, less spinach because a lot of what I had was wilted, I also cut he pepperoni into strips and added sliced red onion, with Olive Garden salad dressing I had in the fridge. I loved the salad as well as 2 of my kids who love mostly everything. Pasta salads are awesome because they are fresh yet filling and are easy because they dont need heating when eaten the next day. Thanks for this one!
Oh, I love pepperoni pasta salad. Thanks this recipe!
Oh, my gosh. My sister LOVES pepperoni. Looks like I’m going to have to make this recipe soon!!
I’m not a pepperoni fan, but my husband is, big time! I fixed this last night with bottled Caesar dressing, added some olives and strips of roasted red pepper. DH also loves kidney beans, but I think any plain canned beans would work–cannellini, garbanzos, even pintos. I didn’t have spinach so used romaine. My tip for garlic toast–throw french bread (or any good bakery style bread) in the toaster. When it pops up, rub a clove of raw garlic over the surface–the rough toasted edges will grate the garlic–and then butter as usual. Yummy garlic taste, and not much work