Sunday, May 28, 2017

Muffaletta Pasta Salad & Grilled Chicken

Remembering Those Who Have Made The Ultimate Sacrifice To Provide Our Freedom

I can’t remember the last time we had it and I have been craving grilled chicken with BBQ sauce (not to be confused with BBQ chicken which I slow cook in a smoker).  We had this regularly as a kid and I don’t know why it’s been so long since we’ve cooked it, so it was on tap for tonight. 

Following a trip to NOLA, I found that I really liked a muffaletta sandwich in large part due to the olive salad on it.  Since I had also been wanting to make muffaletta pasta salad, we decided it would side well with the chicken.

I  found this good sounding recipe  for both the olive and pasta salads from the Slow Roasted Italian and decided to give it a try.  I made the olive salad about an hour before the pasta salad.

Olive Salad

¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) jar Italian mix giardiniera, chopped
½ cup chopped roasted red peppers
½ cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
½ cup sliced kalamata olives, halved
½ cup sliced black olives, sliced
2 tablespoons capers, drained

Note:  The Hot Joey’s Mild Giardiniera was picked up during our Chicago trip.

Prepare the olive salad: In a medium bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley and black pepper.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside.  Cut up remaining ingredients according to ingredient list.  Add remaining ingredients to bowl.  Toss well until combined and coated.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes (up to overnight).

I thought the olive salad was outstanding.

Muffaletta Pasta Salad

2 tablespoons EVOO
4 ounces Genoa salami, cut into bite size pieces
4 ounces mortadella, cut into bite size pieces – note 1
4 ounces capicola, cut into bite size pieces (or ham) – note 1
4 ounces provolone cheese, cut into bite size pieces
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into bite size pieces
2 (16 ounce) packages frozen tortellini – Note 2

Note 1:  Without going to a speciality store in Knoxville, the chances of finding mortadella or capicola around here are pretty low, so I used a good ham and some Lay’s bologna.
Note 2:  I used the pastas we had on hand.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Remove from heat and drain.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare deli meats and cheeses:  cut meats and cheese into various bite size pieces.  I don’t like to make them too small as they have a tendency to work their way to the bottom of the dish.
3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons olive oil over drained tortellini.  Stir to combine.  
4. Add olive salad to drained tortellini and gently stir until well combined.  
5. When cooled, toss in chopped meats and cheeses.  (I didn’t let it get cool enough so the cheese melted and while not visible, the flavor is still present).

The chicken was seasoned with Tiger Seasoning and brushed with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce during the grilling process.

It was a really delicious meal especially with the caramelized sauce on the chicken – the way I like it - and the pasta salad was just what I was looking for and will be made again - the olive salad would be perfect on a muffaletta sandwich.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


5/19/17 First Meal Date


  1. Laurie here Larry....This all looks delicious! You know I love olives & pasta & I love Muffaletta sandwiches!
    This whole meal is right up my alley! Yummy!

  2. That pasta salad is calling my name and now I guess I'll have to make it! :) Cheers!

  3. Larry, Well Laurie covered it... I think that the chicken looks great! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. Looks like a great twist on a classic side; I like your idea of cutting the additions up to the same bite size as the tortellini. Hope you're having a great weekend, Larry!

  5. Not sure which to dig into first - the pasta salad or the grilled chicken! Delish!

  6. It's been so long since I had a good Muffaletta sandwich - so I may just have to make this pasta salad. It looks terrific Larry. And I'm always game for finger licking good grilled chicken. Thanks!

  7. My kind of meal right there. Love the muffaletta pasta salad - what a great idea!! The barbecue chicken looks perfect and now has me craving it.

  8. I can't remember the last time I ate a muffaletta sandwich. I have no doubt the olive salad was outstanding.

    Hope all is well.


  9. This sounds let a great meal when entertaining a crowd…everyone would like it.

  10. Loved the salad recipe! I could eat it every day!

  11. Great pasta salad, Larry! I have oliveholics here who would love for me to make it!!!

  12. That salad sounds like a great side dish for anything cooked on the grill this Summer.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments