As I was attending a farewell barbecue for some lovely family friends of ours that were moving away, I happened upon this totally amazing pasta salad someone had brought to share. It wasn’t the most colorful salad, but I noticed it was going fast and seemed to be a hit. Sure enough, once I tasted it, I had to have the recipe; it was fabulous! Great flavor combinations were happening in my mouth. I tracked down the creator of said salad, got the recipe, and now I get to share Olive-Artichoke Pasta Salad smothered in Olive Garden Italian Dressing with you!
Olive-Artichoke Pasta Salad plus Olive Garden Light Italian Dressing
Alright, I feel silly admitting this, but I didn’t know until I came across this recipe that you can purchase Olive Garden dressing in the Grocery store! I had seen a few copy-cat recipes on pinterest for the famous salad dressing used in their restaurant salads, and I assumed that the dressing wasn’t being marketed to the public. Now I know! And I’m so excited that I still have half a bottle in my fridge I can use for another salad!
There is a little fun trick to creating this pasta salad that makes it different than most~ blanching the broccoli with the pasta as it cooks. You’ll add the florets to the boiling water a couple minutes before the pasta is done. Boil the broccoli and pasta for two more minutes (or until the pasta is fully cooked) then drain. Now your broccoli has just the right amount of tender-crispness that is perfect for pasta salad!
And another thing I like about this recipe is the marinated artichoke hearts and the mozzarella cheese. Ohhh so good together. And the ham and the olives…they’re all really great flavors that work together to make a fabulous pasta salad quick and easy to whip up for a crowd! Enjoy!Print
A lovely summer pasta salad made with sliced olives, marinated artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, smoked ham and broccoli florets all topped off with Olive Garden Italian dressing.
- 1 box small pasta shells
- Broccoli florets trimmed from one head of broccoli
- 2 (6.5oz) jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can of sliced black olives
- 6 oz of your choice of fully cooked ham, diced into small cubes
- 2 (8oz) packages of Mozzarella cheese balls
- 1 cup of Olive Garden Light Italian Dressing (more or less to taste)
- Cook Pasta according to directions in a large pot of boiling water. When the pasta has about two minutes left to cook, Add in the broccoli florets to the boiling water and continue to cook until pasta is done. Drain.
- Combine the pasta and broccoli with all other remaining ingredients including the dressing, and toss to evenly to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Salad will keep for 3 days in the fridge, but the longer you keep it the more dressing the pasta shells will absorb. You may need to add a tablespoon or two more dressing if the salad becomes too dry.
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Italian
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