Some might say that you haven’t lived until you’ve had a muffuletta sandwich at its birthplace: Central Grocery in New Orleans.
For those of you who have yet to live (dramatic,right?), a Muffuletta is a sandwich made when a soft loaf of Italian bread is topped with olive spread, a pickled Italian vegetable medley called giardiniera, salami, mortadella, ham, and provolone. The sandwich is also often has parsley, vinegar, and olive oil, and is pressed together to marry the flavors. It’s a dang good sandwich. There’s no denying it. The muffuletta was made popular back when New Orleans was just a youngin’ by the lunch habits of Italian immigrants, and ooooh how thankful we are for (among other things) their sandwich sensibilities.
Before I dive into full-blown muffuletta-land, I’m doing to tinker around with a pasta salad version. There’s lots of chopping and cubing. It’s meditative, don’t fight it. I cubed salami, ham, roasted chicken, and provolone. Crisp celery and raw onions and garlic for kick. Olives.. a lot, and sliced. Parsley and dried spices. Dignified and delicious, all of it!
Pasta talk. It’s like pillow talk but with more carbs.
I used a medium-size shell pasta. A spiral would be nice. Use whatever makes you feel right on the inside.
I found the largest mixing bowl I have. It’s a step down from the punch bowl I inherited from my parents’ wedding. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but that’s alright.
Sharp parsley, salty olives, lots of meat and cheese, and yessss to pasta too! It’s all very good news.
Before I toss the salad, I shake up a spicy vinaigrette in a mason jar. My vinaigrette has apple cider vinegar and sriracha. Lots of tang and spice.
This pasta salad is all of the things! Salty, spicy, crunchy, filling, and just dang delicious. It’s a nice end-of-summer pot luck situation. Also bring doughnuts and you’ll be the most popular person in the world… after me. I’m pretty popular (because of the doughnuts). Kidding. Seriously.
Adapted just so from Emeril’s recipe.
You might also consider adding finely chopped carrots and capers.Print
Muffuletta Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Total Time: 40 minutes
New Orleans and Emeril inspired Muffuletta Pasta Salad is satisfying and feeds a small army! Great to take to a potluck!
- Muffuletta Pasta Salad
- For the Salad:
- 1 pound pasta shells, cooked until soft and drained
- 1 small onion, chopped finely (a heaping 1/2 cup)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 4 – 1/4-inch slices dry salami, cut into small cubes
- 3 – 1/4-inch thick slices boiled ham, cut into small cubes
- 3 – 1/4-inch thick slices roasted chicken, cut into small cubes
- 3 – 1/4-inch thick slices provolone cheese, cut into small cubes
- pitted black olives, sliced
- pitted green olives, sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 6 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- hot sauce or sriracha, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- shredded Parmesan to top
- Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley and dried herbs. Toss to combine.
- Add cubed meats and cheese, sliced olives, and a bit of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Taste and add more salt and pepper as necessary. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the pasta salad and toss. Cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Toss and serve chilled!
- Serving Size: 6 servings
I have made this before and loved it! I plan to make this for 4th of July festivities as is, but also wanted to make a veggie version for the non-meat eaters. Any suggestions for replacments? I was thinking carrot (would that be TOO much crunch) and broccoli. But not sure if that is enough to make it substantial. Help to anyone with more foodie skills than I have! Thanks.
I think cauliflower might be a good addition, as well as cubed golden beets.
The Queen of Dreaming
I use to eat this kind of salad (without pasta) when I’m in the northest part of Italy, a few km away from Austria. Definetely I’m gonna try the pasta-version!
I checked out the Emeril version just to see the differences. In doing so, ran across another muffaletta salad but without the pasta. I think the same could be done here and would still be good. Yours sounds better. Not that I am against carbs! But I have been told to limit them :-( I hope to make your version over the Labor Day holiday. Thanks.
i think this would be great with less pasta and more raw spinach and iceberg lettuce! have a wonderful holiday!
This salad was a hit! My brother, who never likes anything I make, said I should make it again. Even cutting the receipe in half, it made alot! Thanks Joy.
Mondo | I bake he shoots
oh my goodness , this looks so good. double up on the salami for me, please!
This looks soooo good!
Callie / Flour and Fancy
“Pasta talk. It’s like pillow talk but with more carbs.” Greatest line ever!
Tamsin | A Certain Adventure
I love how these flavours came together from an Italian invention born outside of Italy – and how you’ve taken them one step further by turning them into a pasta! Looks so delicious and perfect for a warm late summer evening dinner. x
Looks fantastic! Your tales of New Orleans food have me wanting to visit!
This. sounds. amazing! I’ve heard about and seen photographs of the sandwich, but this pasta salad is more appealing to me. As for all the chopping, put on some music and do a little dancing and singing (or at least sway and hum) for a really great time.