Pepperoni Pasta Salad...The Best!

I'm sure everyone is like me, I'm always looking for a salad that is good and easy for a compliment to a summer supper. This recipe is a tried and true favorite. I've been making this pasta salad for many years. The cheese, pasta, pepperoni, summer sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms and dressing make this salad the one to go to.  Pair it with BBQ chicken, homemade oatmeal bread or cheesy Italian bread and a beverage of your choice, and you've got a delicious supper that's easy to make and everyone enjoys...even those hard to please skeptics. 

Sometimes I top the salad with large pieces of pepperoni. It definitely identifies it as an Italian salad...and who doesn't love Italian!

This post contains the following recipes:
Pepperoni Salad
Oatmeal Bread
French/Italian Bread

Let's Make "Summer Pepperoni Pasta Salad...
You will need the following ingredients for this pasta salad:
  • cooked spaghetti, 
  • Zesty Italian dressing, 
  • Salad Supreme 
  • small onion (or I use green onions), 
  • green bell pepper, 
  • red bell pepper, 
  • ripe olives, 
  • pepperoni, 
  • tomatoes, 
  • mozzarella cheese 
  • mushrooms.
As you can see there's lots of goodness in this salad. I add summer sausage to it also, but this is definitely optional.
First step is to cut all the ingredients into bite size pieces. You will need a large bowl, as this makes a big amount of salad. It's great if you are having guests. This salad will stay in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. The longer it sits, the better the taste.
I forgot one ingredient. I use Salad Supreme as the seasoning. This gives the salad a great flavor. You can purchase it either in the seasoning isle or the salad dressing isle.

Once you have mixed all the ingredients, shake about 1/4-1/2 of the Salad Supreme on it and mix to coat everything. Then add your Zesty Italian dressing. Place in refrigerator for a few hours so all the flavors can come together.
I serve it with either oatmeal bread or cheesy Italian bread. I'm including both of these recipes in this post for your convenience.  Both breads work well with this salad. I have to say, this is not a low carb meal...LOL!...but every once in while, we can splurge, right?

Summer Pepperoni Pasta Salad...
  • 1 box spaghetti (break in 1/3's)
  • 1 8 oz. bottle Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/4-1/2 jar Salad Supreme (you can find it in the seasoning isle of your grocery store)
  • 1 small chopped onion (sweet vidalia) or scallions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can ripe olives (cut in half)
  • 1 pkg. mushrooms
  • 1 pkg. pepperoni (sliced & quartered)
  • 1 pkg. summer sausage (optional) sliced thick and quartered
  • 3-4 tomatoes - halved, scoop out seeds and then cut into chunks
  • 5 or 6 pieces of string cheese or a brick of mozzarella cheese (cut into bite size pieces)
  1. Cook the spaghetti el dente. Rinse with cold water and then store in refrigerator until needed.  
  2. Chop the green and red pepper into chunks, and halve the ripe olives.  Slice the mushrooms. (Tip... I use an egg slicer to make them pretty uniform) then slice in half. Quarter the pepperoni and slice the summer sausage in thick slices and then quarter).
  3. Place all ingredients into a bowl including spaghetti and season with the Salad Supreme.
  4. Pour the Zesty Italian dressing over everything.  Mix well.  Store in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can mix.
  5. Add that BBQ chicken, or steak and cheesy bread or oatmeal bread and you have a wonderful summery treat.
Oatmeal Bread...
This bread is so good. It's easy to make and stays fresh longer. I'm sure that's because of the oatmeal. It's a great addition to add to the Pepperoni Pasta salad. Once you make a loaf, it will be your go to for a quick, delicious loaf of bread.

*This recipe makes 2 loaves of Oatmeal bread
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 3 T. margarine
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 C. warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/3 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups bread flour
  1. Cook the oats, 2 cups water, and margarine for 1 minute.  Cool to lukewarm.  
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and honey. (The honey helps the yeast to bloom).
  3. Add cooled oat meal mixture to yeast mixture. Then add  sugar, salt and 4 cups of bread flour (1 cup at a time).  
  4. Knead in the rest of flour to form a stiff dough. 
  5. Oil a large bowl and turn bread dough in bowl to coat.   Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.  (Tip: I cover the large bowl with plastic wrap and place in an oven that I heated to 250 degrees, turned off, and then waited for about 15 minutes before I placed the bowl in the oven). 
  6. Punch down, cut in half for 2 loaves of  bread or cut into 18 rolls. 
  7. Place in greased bread pan for bread or greased cookie sheet for rolls.  Cover and let rise on counter for about 30-45 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 
French (or Italian) Bread...Another great option...
This recipe for French/Italian bread is my favorite bread to make. The recipe makes two loaves and turns out beautiful every time. This is my family's favorite. It's so easy. I know people are afraid of making bread from scratch, but you truly can't make a mistake. Bread is very forgiving...
2 1/4 C. warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 T. sugar
1 Pkg. Instant or Active Dry Yeast (1 packet = 1 T. yeast)
3/4 T. - 1 T. salt
2 T. olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil
5 1/2-6 C. all-purpose flour or bread flour (I use bread flour. I believe the texture is better)


1.   In the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water sugar and yeast. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture bubble and foam before proceeding (this can take 3-5 minutes). If using instant yeast, proceed with the recipe (no need to let the yeast activate).

2.  Add the salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and mix. Add in 2 1/2 to 3 more cups of flour gradually. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and form a soft ball that doesn't leave a lot of dough residue on your fingers. Knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough is smooth. If the dough starts to cling to the sides of the bowl (or the center column if using a Bosch or other mixer with a center), add 1/4 cup of flour at a time until a sturdy but soft ball of dough forms.

3.  Rising Method 1: Leave the dough in the mixer, cover with a lid or towel, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Stir it down by turning on the mixer for 10 seconds or so. Repeat the "rest and stir down" cycle five more times.

4.  Rising Method 2: Instead of letting the dough rest for 10 minute spurts and then stirring it down, transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel or greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour or so, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

5.   Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide in half. Pat each section into a thick rectangle, 9X13-inches or thereabouts (doesn't have to be exact). Roll the dough up starting from the long edge, pressing out any air bubbles or seams with the heel of your hand, and pinch the edge to seal. Arrange seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I use separate baking sheets for each loaf). You can slash several gashes in the top of the bread now or wait until after it has risen (to avoid the risk of the bread deflating, especially if you don't have a very sharp razor or knife, slash now - see pictures above in the post for a visual).

6.  Cover with greased plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let the loaves rise until noticeably puffy and nearly doubled in size, about an hour.

7.   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and make sure an oven rack is in the center position. If you haven't already, with a very sharp knife or baker's lame cut several gashes at an angle on the top of each loaf (see pictures above in the post for a visual).

8.  Optional: Place the baking sheet in the hot oven and immediately toss 3-4 ice cubes on the bottom of the oven (this gives a delicious, classic, French bread crispness to the crust). Close the oven door quickly.

9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and baked through. Remove from the oven and slather with melted butter (optional, but delicious). Repeat with the 2nd loaf (or if you have convection setting, the loaves can bake at the same time, just rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking).

One Final Thought...
Well, that's it for today. If you are interested in summer salads, this one will be your go to for summer BBQ's. I've made it oh so many times and always get lots of "that salad is great" words from people tasting it and wanting the recipe. I do hope you enjoyed this post and have a great summer!

Always remember..."Life's dessert first!"...words to live by!