Mary Anne's Summertime Picnic Salad For A Crowd

Summertime is the season for picnics and your family will love this tempting blend of meats, veggies and pasta. It goes together in no time, serves a crowd and tastes as delicious at room temperature as it does cold. Plus, you don't have to worry about it spoiling before the picnic is over because there is no mayonnaise.

1 package (16 ounces) medium pasta shells, conchiglie, radiatore, fusilli, or farfalle pasta

2 jars (16 ounces each) giardiniera, drained reserving 3/4 cup liquid


1 jar (32 ounces) giardiniera drained reserving 3/4 cup liquid

1 pound fresh broccoli florets, rinsed and ends trimmed

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed


8 ounces small mozzarella balls

8 ounces dry salami, sliced and halved

6-8 ounces cubed ham

2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) sliced pepperoni, halved

1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced

8 ounces pitted kalamata or black olives, halved or sliced


1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water Place in large serving bowl. Stir into meat mixture. Add the giardiniera, broccoli, mozzarella, salami, ham, pepperoni, bell pepper and olives.
  • For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt and reserved giardiniera liquid. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Can be served cold or at room temperature. Makes 25 servings of 1 cup each. This recipe does feed a crowd; however, you can easily half the recipe for a smaller gathering.

Note: I like to use the bite-size dry salami nuggets so I don't have to cut them in half.

Note: Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mixture, is available in mild and hot varieties and can usually be found in pickle section of your grocery store. If you cannot find it, you can omit it.