Looking for great summer pasta salad recipes? Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli hits all the right notes! No mayonnaise in the easy pasta salad dressing makes this a no-brainer for outdoor summer entertaining!
The pool has hit 80 degrees! I know, I know. Most of you are just happy that the snow has finally receded enough to allow a few green shoots to nose their way out of the dirt. Still, no matter what the temperature this Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli is a winner on every table and as the days warm up, you’ll be looking for summer pasta salad recipes like this one.
Here in South Florida, we are in full-on summer mode. The humidity is back and the sun is brutal. Which means that when we have a barbecue any time between May and October, the only dress code includes a hat, sunscreen and a bathing suit.
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Why Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli?
When we are entertaining outdoors, a quickly assembled pasta salad (no mayo) is always welcome. I like this one because the only cooking involved is farfalle itself. Everything else is just chopping.
Giving this farfalle pasta salad an interesting twist, is spicy, meaty pepperoni, cut into bite-sized chunks. Don’t forget to peel the papery thin casing from the sausage (I may have made that mistake once).
Another showstopper in this summer pasta salad recipes is the mozzarella cheese. I mean, it is called Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli, right? You can use a large ball of fresh mozzarella diced into cubes or those cute little bocconcini or “pearls” of mozzarella.
Farfalle, also known as bowtie pasta, is the ideal pasta for this salad. It’s big enough to be seen and is roughly in the size range of the other ingredients. That’s important because, as in a chopped salad, you want everything to be about the same size.
Aside from the bowtie pasta, which everyone loves, it’s also got crisp broccoli florets, crunchy bell peppers and red onions. But the kalamata olives and sliced pepperoncini peppers add a briny zing to the dish and balance the richness of the mozzarella and pepperoni. Winner! To tie the salad together, go with an easy pasta salad dressing that skips the mayonnaise. I’ve used a simple, vibrant lemon vinaigrette with plenty of garlic and a bit of dijon mustard to emulsify the dressing and add a piquant tangy quality.
This dish travels well! So if you’re looking for a great potluck salad recipe, farfalle with pepperoni, mozzarella and broccoli is it. Bring a large batch to your next picnic or cookout to go with the burgers, chicken or ribs and watch everyone devour it.
Farfalle with Pepperoni, Mozzarella and Broccoli
- ½ red onion large, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cups broccoli floretsbite-size, separated into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives halved
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup pepperoncini peppers sliced into rings
- 12 oz package of farfalle pasta cooked
- 7 oz pepperoni paper skin removed, diced
- 1 cup mozzarella large fresh mozzarella, diced
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons juice from pepperoncini pepper jar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 cup basil leaves fresh, torn or roughly chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally about 9-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain water from pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the red onion, broccoli florets, bell pepper, olives, tomato, pepperoncini peppers, mozzarella and pepperoni.
- Toss to combine.
- Make dressing: In a small bowl combine lemon zest and juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, pepperoncini juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add pasta to vegetables. Toss to combine.
- Add dressing to salad. Toss to combine.
- Refrigerate salad for several hours for flavors to marry and broccoli to absorb some dressing and soften slightly.
- Just before serving the pasta salad, toss with fresh basil.
More Side Salads For BBQ’s, Cookouts and Picnics:
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This looks so tasty and colourful – the perfect summer pasta dish. I love how many olives I can see in there too.
Brian Jones says
I adore the colours and flavours you have got going on here (with exception of the olives, I can’t do olives #shudder) but it is glorious… Pasta salads are my typical got to picnic dishes, quick and easy to throw together, great for transportation and everyone loves them.
I’m surprised with all the creative dishes you make that you don’t like olives. That’s too funny! That’s ok, skip ’em!
Shashi at Savory Spin says
Being in Atlanta, am kinda your neighbor and am feeling the heat myself so this GORGEOUS and colorful salad would be perfect to enjoy especially at get-togethers!
Hi neighbor! This is a great pasta salad for all your summertime cookouts! Everyone loves it!
KC @ G-Free Foodie says
I’ll have to try this with GF pasta. Your photos are gorg!
What’s your favorite GF pasta?
What a delightful pasta salad you created! Perfect for the summer with the colours!
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
This pasta salad looks scrumptious!! Now, if only the weather here in New England would cooperate and get to 80 ;). But, I won’t wait for it to get warm enough to eat it. I’ll be making this soon.
Let me know how you like it, Elaine!
The weather sounds wonderful! We did have an 85 degree day yesterday in New England. A walk completely tuckered out my sweet dog.
I can’t wait for grilling weather and salads like this one will be in great demand. 🙂
85° in New England? In April? That’s incredible. Who are these climate change naysayers?
Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction says
Weather sounds glorious in South Florida, wish you could pass some over to the UK! 🙂 I absolutely love the sound of this salad with a few pizza topping ingredients thrown in – yum!
I’d never thought of it like that, but you’re so right! It’s a simple dish, but trust me, everyone loves it!
Edyta @ Innocent Delight says
Love the idea of this side dish salad. I do too love pepperoncini. Great idea of adding a juice to the dressing!
Thank you! I’m so glad you like it!
This is so fresh and springy! It’s perfect for picnics and cookouts, but I think you’d definitely bring home an empty bowl afterwards. 😉
I always do!
I made this dish for a luncheon and it was a huge hit! I had as much fun making it as I did eating it. Ok, not quite. I was lucky enough to only serve some (totally unintentional) so I had a nice bit for us to enjoy at home. Soo glad to have this recipe, I will make it for many years to come! Thank you!!
Glad it worked so well for you! How could you not like “pizza ingredients” in a pasta salad! Thanks for your feedback!