A really different way to present pasta salad OR your favorite recipe for tuna and chicken salad! A really creative finger food that will impress your guests at picnics, BBQs, and showers! I served this on a bed of lettuce garnished with green and black olives.

Micki

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
9
Yield:
9 servings
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Ingredients

9
Original recipe yields 9 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta shells in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.

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  • Combine salami, romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion in a large bowl; pour balsamic vinaigrette dressing over salad and toss to coat. Stuff pasta shells with lettuce mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes:

I do not recommend making this the day before as the lettuce will wilt. But you can chop everything up the night before, keeping the lettuce separate. I also found that the shells were easier to stuff when they were cold.

Nutrition Facts

312 calories; protein 14.3g 29% DV; carbohydrates 30.7g 10% DV; fat 14.7g 23% DV; cholesterol 31.6mg 11% DV; sodium 819mg 33% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (27)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2015
Five stars for this being a FANTASTIC presentation idea!!! But for the actual stuffing recipe..... blah. Made it but didn't care for it so made my own pasta salad my way. Chunks (not slices) of salami ham & pepperoni chunks of swiss & a yellow cheddar cheese diced roma tomatoes (pat dry with paper towels) diced English cucumbers (keep skin on) black olives and diced red onion. Marinate it all in Zesty Italian dressing overnight. Stuff shells before serving. As for the romaine lettuce; garnish the platter with it..... that way guests can grab a piece themselves IF they want it! Sliced pepperoncini's are a nice addition too for some zing using some of the juice added to marinade! Ultimately... I would suggest using "YOUR" favorite salad recipe whether it be egg salad ham salad tangy broccoli cheese salad chicken salad tuna salad crab or seafood salad antipasto etc. Just remember to add some "crunchies" in the stuffing such as the cukes and onion; or try celery diced carrots water chestnuts radishes or red and/or green peppers broccoli and/or cauliflower. Kidney beans or black beans sound like a great addition too! Next time for a pot luck I am doing a combination of a few different varieties for guests to choose from!:) Thank You Micki you are so creative!!! Tip: Cook shells al dente and rinse in cold water then leave out to fully dry before stuffing. Makes it a easy & clean job!!! Read More
(27)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/13/2015
Love the concept. And love all the suggestions for different fillings. But after chilling the pasta shells and filling them they were dry. Trying to figure out how to resolve they needed salad dressing or something on the outside but that would make them greasy and hard to hold. So I'll continue thinking about this because as I said I love the concept. Read More
(1)
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2015
Five stars for this being a FANTASTIC presentation idea!!! But for the actual stuffing recipe..... blah. Made it but didn't care for it so made my own pasta salad my way. Chunks (not slices) of salami ham & pepperoni chunks of swiss & a yellow cheddar cheese diced roma tomatoes (pat dry with paper towels) diced English cucumbers (keep skin on) black olives and diced red onion. Marinate it all in Zesty Italian dressing overnight. Stuff shells before serving. As for the romaine lettuce; garnish the platter with it..... that way guests can grab a piece themselves IF they want it! Sliced pepperoncini's are a nice addition too for some zing using some of the juice added to marinade! Ultimately... I would suggest using "YOUR" favorite salad recipe whether it be egg salad ham salad tangy broccoli cheese salad chicken salad tuna salad crab or seafood salad antipasto etc. Just remember to add some "crunchies" in the stuffing such as the cukes and onion; or try celery diced carrots water chestnuts radishes or red and/or green peppers broccoli and/or cauliflower. Kidney beans or black beans sound like a great addition too! Next time for a pot luck I am doing a combination of a few different varieties for guests to choose from!:) Thank You Micki you are so creative!!! Tip: Cook shells al dente and rinse in cold water then leave out to fully dry before stuffing. Makes it a easy & clean job!!! Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
01/01/2013
This rating is based mainly on the idea and presentation. Made this last night for appetizers served on deviled egg trays. I had a total of 44 large shells. The fillings I used were chicken salad tuna salad ham salad and a variation of the salad ingredients listed. This turned out beautiful! Was enjoyed by everyone and there were no leftovers. A keeper for sure. Thanks Micki for sharing a delicious new idea!! Will be using this many times in the future. Read More
(18)
Rating: 4 stars
05/21/2012
To reduce the fat even more I use turkey pepperoni and substitute fresh baby spinach leaves rather than the romaine. I'll also chopped up some water chestnuts to add a little crunch. Red wine vinegar with just a little olive oil also reduced the sodium that store-bought vinaigrettes might have:) Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2012
Great idea! A fun and delicious way to serve salad. Serve in a deviled egg tray for a nice presentation. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
12/18/2012
This is a great appetizer for the office parties when everyone is on a diet. I use reduced calorie ranch and spinach chopped with the romaine. You can use almost any colorful veggie ie green and red peppers carrots small pieces of brocolli and even red cabbage. This always gets oooohhh and ahhhs. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
06/23/2014
These were really good and super cute on an egg plate. I needed these to be creamy to fit with our dinner so I used a mix of what I had on hand: light red kidney beans cucumber green onions black olives and the romaine and used a homemade ranch as our dressing and topped with a bit of shredded cheese. We loved these and I love the fact that you can make them to suit what dinner your having. Such a clever idea thanks for sharing! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2013
Did not have all the listed ingredients - just made a big tossed chop salad with romaine lettuce cukes tomatoes red onion shredded carrot a little shredded parmesan cheese toasted almonds and croutons. Tossed half with italian dressing and half with Catalina (red) dressing. Drizzled more dressing on top and sprinkled with more cheese. Took them to a pot luck - total hit. Next time I am in a hurry for a pot luck dish I think I might just buy deli salad and stuff with that - tried a few at home with the broccoli salad - was tasty! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
12/18/2012
Okay a qualifier: I did not actually try the salad recipe but the idea of using large shells as the vehicle for any salad is ingenious! I can't believe I have never seen this before. I have a tuna/pasta salad recipe that I plan on serving using this idea rather than mixing the pasta with the salad. The only change I would make is to boil the pasta in highly salted water salty like the sea. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
08/01/2013
I will give this recipe for stars because it's a great idea but the salad recipe here is just so-so. I would like to experiment with other filling options; the sky's the limit for the potential here! Def a fun party idea to serve appetizers!! Thanks. Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
08/13/2015
Love the concept. And love all the suggestions for different fillings. But after chilling the pasta shells and filling them they were dry. Trying to figure out how to resolve they needed salad dressing or something on the outside but that would make them greasy and hard to hold. So I'll continue thinking about this because as I said I love the concept. Read More
(1)
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