Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

The Italians know what's up when it comes to combining ingredients. Every single Italian recipe I've ever eaten has been a delicious explosion in my mouth. Which is why I need to go to Italy pronto. Ha! This Italian Pasta Salad is no exception and I love that it is hearty, versatile, zesty and totally packed with flavor.

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Muffaletta Dip

Olive-y, gooey, fabulously delicious!

I was unfamiliar with the word "muffaletta" a mere five months ago. I was sitting at a table in Jason's Deli, probably munching on a spinach veggie wrap (my favorite!), when I spotted a photo of a scrumptious-looking sandwich. Layered in between the bread were olives, cheese and layers of sliced meat. Yum! 

The next time I was there, I ordered one of those delicious sandwiches all for myself. Actually, I ordered a quarter of one because the whole sandwiches are enormous. It was olive-y and gooey and fabulous!

Since then, I have been extra aware of my newly-learned word, muffaletta. I saw a recipe for muffaletta dip as I flipped through a magazine a few weeks ago and knew that it had to be made soon. Like the sandwich, it was olive-y and gooey and fabulous!

Serve over salami, atop a square of toasted Focaccia bread.

Muffaletta Dip

Olive-y, gooey, fabulously delicious!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Jan 14, 2011

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Serves: 20

Total time: 2 hr 45 min



  • One 16-oz. jar pickled mixed vegetables (giardiniera)
  • One 8-oz. package cream cheese, cubed
  • 4 oz. provolone cheese slices, cubed
  • 2 oz. cooked ham, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Milk
  • Thinly sliced salami
  • Focaccia squares, toasted
  1. Rinse and drain pickled vegetables. Remove stems from peppers; chop vegetables. In a slow cooker, combine pickled vegetables, cream cheese, provolone cheese, ham, olives, garlic, Italian seasoning, and, if desired, crushed red pepper.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours. Stir until cream cheese is smooth. Stir in enough milk (2 to 3 tablespoons) to reach dipping consistency.
  3. Serve immediately or keep warm, covered, on warm setting or low-heat setting for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding milk as necessary. Serve with salami on toasted bread.