Hearty Italian Pasta Salad | Gina Chong

These past couple weeks I have not been great to my body. First came girls week, when my sister and mom flew into San Jose. My sis was volunteering with her company at the March Madness sweet 16 and elite 8 games, so we decided to make a trip out of it. I swear San Jose has like a 99% Asian population, so we were in Asian food heaven and stuffed ourselves to the brim under the excuse that we were celebrating my birthday early. Except that my birthday was over a week later and my hubby who felt bad he was going to miss it also decided to stuff me full of delicious food and cake. So now that my birthday celebrations are officially over, I am ready for some more wholesome eating, and today I'm sharing a favorite. (Keep reading for a coupon~!)

My last couple years of college were a fun time because although my family all grew up on the east coast, at that point each of us had migrated to the west and every Sunday we would get together for a family potluck. We each had our specialties. Back then I was only good at making kimbap (Korean "sushi" rolls), one of my brothers made amazing chicken riggies, which is a spicy, cheesy pasta dish famous in our hometown, and my little brother put together a mean Italian pasta salad that we dubbed only: "Antipasta." I don't remember exactly everything he threw into that delicious mix, but today I'm sharing my adaptation. I love this salad because it's hearty enough to satisfy me as a full meal, but with all the veggies and protein still makes me feel great about what is going into my body.

You may be surprised to know that a lot of the protein in this comes from the pasta! I was excited to use Barilla's Protein Plus Farfalle because I knew it would satisfy my gym rat hubby. I swear that boy's most-used phrase is probably something along the lines of "gotta get those gains." Whereas I adore all pasta, he normally eats it in moderation opting for foods more protein-dense, so the Barilla Protein Plus is an awesome compromise for the two of us with it's mix of egg whites, grains, lentils and chickpeas for lean protein. I love that they have all sorts of options for any occasion. Did you know that their Gluten Free pasta were chosen as one of Parents Magazine's "Top 25 Allergy Free Foods"? Check out all kinds of other pasta inspo on their Pinterest and website, AND find an Ibotta coupon HERE. You're welcome :)

Thanks to Barilla for sponsoring this post!

Hearty Italian Pasta Salad
Serves 5-6
  • 5 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 7 oz. Barilla Protein Plus Farfalle, cooked al dente
  • 3 oz. salame, sliced
  • 8 oz. mozarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently. Enjoy!
*If preparing for the next day, add the lettuce at the last minute to prevent wilting.

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