Pasta salads… those easy side dishes you always see at potlucks and get togethers. But who knew there are so many different Pasta Salad Recipes out there? Whether your headed to a party, meal prepping lunches for the week or looking for a simple and light new dinner option, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re stuck in a rut making pasta salad the same way every time, I am here to say, break out of the cycle and invite your taste buds to new delicious flavors!
Oh, have you seen the Suddenly Pasta Salads in stores? Maybe you love to grab them and make them. You can make your own pasta salads, homemade from scratch, honey! They are so simple! Trust me, here.
This collection of 30 great Pasta Salad Recipes from GypsyPlate and around the internet will give you plenty of tasty ideas. Go through the list and see which ones catch you’re eye. They’re all so good!
Pasta Salad Tips:
Before we get to the recipes, here are a few tips to help you make the best pasta salad every time!
- Choose the Right Pasta: Not all pasta shapes are equal when it comes to pasta salad. Small, bite-sized shapes like farfalle, penne, rotini, or macaroni are great choices because they mix well with other ingredients and are easy to eat.
- Salt the Water: Always add some salt to the pasta water before cooking. 1-2 tablespoons per gallon is a good guideline.
- Cook Pasta Properly: Overcooked pasta can be mushy and ruin a pasta salad. Boil your pasta until it’s al dente. After cooking, rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Add Dressing Early: Pasta absorbs a lot of flavor, so it’s a good idea to add the dressing while it’s still warm.
- Make Ahead: Pasta salad is one of those dishes that actually gets better as it sits because the flavors have time to meld together. If possible, make your pasta salad a few hours before you plan to serve it, or even the night before.
- Dress It Right: The dressing can make or break your pasta salad. Too little and your pasta salad will be dry. Too much no good either.
- Serve at Room Temperature: Pasta salads are often served straight from the fridge, but they’re actually best at room temperature. Take your salad out of the fridge an hour before you’re ready to eat to let it warm up a bit and the flavors will shine.
Pasta Salad Recipes
1. Rainbow Pasta Salad
We’re starting this pasta salad list with something which is basic, simple, easy, quick and yet so satisfying and delicious.
Make this colorful pasta for your everyday easy lunches, as a side to some Italian meal or a quick fix for all the potluck parties or get togethers.
You can’t get easier than this Rainbow Pasta Salad. We love the final touch of feta in there…
2. Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto
This gorgeous Tortellini Pasta Salad is one dish that looks as great as it tastes. It’s so quick and easy, yet such a crowd pleaser.
Whether you’re hosting a pot luck or staying at home with family, everyone will love this one!
3. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is so fabulous, creamy and simple. This salad is a blend of creamy, sweet and tangy flavors that make it a great side dish for summer cookouts, BBQ’s or picnics.
4. Antipasto Pasta Salad
Antipasto Pasta Salad. If you’re searching for a delicious pasta salad, look no further. This is the perfect quick fix salad that’s mayo-free, almost no-cook, comes together in minutes, and is great for warm weather picnics and BBQ’s.
And it’s so easy. It can be your quick weeknight dinner, complete with protein, veggies and carbs. Or it can be meal prep for all the week’s lunches.
5. Fall Pasta Salad
Who says pasta salad is just a summertime potluck thing? Our Fall Pasta Salad is brimming with all the best flavors of autumn.
Roasted veggies, crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, and so much more. This is one of those salads where every bite brings a new combination of flavors.
6. Israeli Couscous Salad
Vibrant, bright and light fresh flavors! A melody of textures! Do you sometimes crave for some good starchy carbs in your salad?
Something that feels like a hearty fulfilling meal any time of the day, and yet something that you don’t mind going back for a few times a day? This Israeli Couscous Salad has it all!
Colorful veggies and Levantine flavors like Kalamata olives, feta, and pine nuts along with nutty chewy pearled couscous and tossed with a fresh lemon Dijon vinaigrette. It’s a salad chameleon at its best!!
7. BLT Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad is full of crispy Bacon, crunchy Lettuce and juicy Tomatoes, plus it also has fresh asparagus, peas and peppers.
It’s then drizzled with bright, tangy, creamy Lemon Chive Dressing for the most irresistible pasta salad ever!
It’s hearty, flavorful, super easy, make ahead friendly and about to become your favorite company or potluck side.
8. Greek Style Grilled Shrimp Orzo Pasta Salad
This Greek style lemony orzo pasta salad is filled with the best fresh and zesty flavors. It’s loaded with fresh herbs, grilled shrimp, veggies and feta.
Perfect for serving as a main dish or side, and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins. It does not skimp on olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs.
It’s one of our favorite pasta salad recipes!
9. Caprese Pasta Salad
This Caprese pasta salad is filled with grape tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella tossed in a pesto vinaigrette and drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze.
It combines your favorite flavors of a fresh, summertime tomato mozzarella salad with the familiar backyard BBQ pasta salad.
10. Pesto Pasta Salad
This Pesto Pasta Salad recipe is summer in a bowl! It’s bursting with pillowy cheese tortellini (or you can use any of your favorite pasta), sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, crunchy bell peppers, charred, caramelized sweet corn, red onions, bright, meaty salami and buttery pearls of fresh mozzarella.
All is doused in a bright herby, garlicky pesto vinaigrette. How good is all that?
11. Tuna Pasta Salad
Learn how to make a quick summer tuna pasta salad that comes together in a flash! Loaded with tons of tender, peppery arugula, flaky tuna, and zesty pepperoncini. Dress it with delicious lemon ranch dressing. This is sure to become a go-to summer lunch recipe!
12. Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
This Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad is perfect for a BBQ, a picnic or lunch. Loaded with chicken, bacon, tomatoes and olives all smothered in a creamy ranch, mayo and sour cream dressing.
This may be your “go to” pasta salad this summer!
13. Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Juicy tomatoes and cucumbers along with salty olives, red onion, tender pasta, and spinach are tossed together with creamy feta cheese in a homemade dressing for a crave-able salad that’s so easy to make!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a perfect side dish to serve any time of the year and it makes a terrific main meal.
14. Orzo Salad with Vegetables & Feta
This Greek orzo salad is made with cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, feta and herbs, all tossed in an herb dressing.
A simple, yet hearty, pasta salad that can be served as a main course or side dish. The combination of crunchy vegetables, protein packed chickpeas and creamy feta cheese just can’t be beat!
15. Mexican Pasta Salad
If Mexican Pasta Salad exists, it looks like this. This Pasta Salad with corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeño is a delicious side dish salad to make for summer cookouts.
The creamy Greek yogurt dressing with spices and lime add so much unique flavor!
16. Po’boy Shrimp Pasta Salad
Your favorite Po’ Boy sandwich turned into this amazing pasta salad with creamy remoulade dressing. How brilliant is that?
Its quick and easy to prepare and is guaranteed to be the hit of every potluck, barbecue and cookout (and 4th of July)! It simply doesn’t get more addicting than this creamy, hearty, spicy, juicy shrimp pasta salad! A great recipe if you’re looking to try something new.
17. Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad
An easy strawberry Caprese pasta salad that makes a perfect side or a main course! This pasta salad is tossed with a light homemade balsamic glaze and is perfect for spring or summer picnics!
Serve it by itself or add in leftover diced chicken. We bet it’ll become one of your go-to pasta salad recipes!
18. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfect BBQ side dish! If you love the classic Buffalo Chicken flavors, adding that into a pasta salad recipe is such a great combo.
It’s just the right amount of spice and heat to add to any summertime spread. This easy recipe is so unique and delicious!
19. Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken & Veggies
An easy summer pesto pasta salad, loaded with lemony grilled chicken & summer veggies in every bite. This pesto pasta is easy to make and looks and taste delicious.
Serve it warm, cold, or at room temperature, making it perfect for weeknight dinners, meal prepped lunches or even a summer BBQ side dish. Consider this Summer Pesto Pasta recipe your all-purpose summer meal solution!
20. Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek Pasta Salad is the salad you want to be seen with. It’s loaded with tender pasta, juicy tomatoes, crunchy bell peppers, crisp cucumbers, sweet zippy red onions, tangy Kalmatas, and salty creamy feta all enveloped in mouthwatering, delicious sun-dried tomato feta pesto.
This Greek Pasta Salad is always a crowd pleaser for holidays, potlucks and parties or a delicious grab and go lunch or snack.
21. Salmon Asparagus Orzo Salad
This lemony salmon asparagus pasta salad recipe is full of the best fresh springtime flavors, is quick and easy to make, and can be served warm or as a cold pasta salad.
Flaky smoked salmon tossed with some chopped asparagus, herbs, pine nuts, parmesan and a quick lemony dressing. This simple orzo salad is such a winner!
22. Deviled Eggs Macaroni Salad
This easy Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad recipe tastes just like deviled eggs. It’s super creamy and loaded with celery, olives, pickles and red onion. Quick, delicious and ready in 30 minutes!
You’re going to be the hit of every barbecue you go to in the summer! You have to give this a try, especially if you have lots of eggs leftover. This recipe makes such great use of them and this also makes a perfect side dish.
23. Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad
An Asian-style sesame chicken pasta salad has tons of fresh lettuce, diced chicken, mandarin oranges, and crunchy romaine.
The sesame ginger dressing is so irresistible you’ll want to pour it on everything. This salad is sure to be a family favorite!
24. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
This simple but splendid pasta salad recipe will be your faithful barbecue, potluck, and easy lunch companion all summer long and beyond.
It’s easy, healthy, and perfectly represents the magic that occurs when two classic, well-loved recipe concepts (chicken Caesar salad and pasta salad) meet to create a refreshing new experience.
25. Cubano Tortellini Salad
Your favorite Cubano sandwich turned into mouthwatering, colorful pasta salad with zesty mojo dressing. This robust, tangy Cubano Tortellini Salad is hearty, comforting and vibrant, loaded with fixings but is wonderfully simple to make.
This flavor bursting pasta salad makes an in-demand recipe potluck side and a fantastic make-ahead weeknight lunch or dinner too!
26. Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
This healthy grilled chicken pasta salad is full of fresh summer flavors and smoky BBQ sauce! The creamy dressing is lightened up with Greek yogurt.
A great summer night meal.
27. Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
This Easy Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a homemade classic dish perfect for any spread or cookout.
This side dish is cheesy thanks to cheddar and is also loaded with plenty of veggies, mayo, Greek yogurt, or sour cream. Delicious…
28. Tuscan Pasta Salad
Tuscan Pasta Salad is an easy recipe with sun dried tomatoes, peppers, spinach and olives tossed in a tangy dressing.
This is one of the best pasta salad recipes for your next potluck or get together.
29. Bacon Pea Creamy Pasta Salad
Creamy pasta salad loaded with peas and crispy bacon drizzled with lemon parmesan dressing is super quick and easy to make. Great choice for potlucks and get togethers.
You can make the salad ahead of time and just add the bacon before serving for the perfect stress free side everyone will love.
30. Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Salad
We’re ending this fabulous list with this great pasta salad recipe fit for any time meal.
With Italian seasoned grilled chicken and a good kick of garlic and parmesan cheese, this is one pasta salad that will surely impress anyone!
What to Serve with Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is one of the most versatile side dishes out there. Here are some of our favorite pairings:
- Grilled meats like Shish Kebabs, Grilled Chicken Thighs, Pollo Asado, or Jerk Chicken.
- Party favorites like BBQ Ribs, Chicken Wings, or Stuffed Peppers.
- Of course, it’s great next to burgers and hot dogs, as well as any other sandwich like our favorite Reuben or Shrimp Po’ Boy.
- It goes great with our Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.
- Try it with soups like Broccoli Cheddar, Clam Chowder, or Italian Ribollita.
- Or, just enjoy your pasta salad on it’s own!
Storing Leftover Pasta Salad Recipes
Storage time can vary depending on the ingredients used, so it’s best to refer to the individual recipe. However, here are some good guidelines:
- Cool it down: Before you store your pasta salad, make sure it has cooled to room temperature.
- Airtight containers: Store the pasta salad in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing other odors from the fridge, and to keep it from drying out.
- Add a little extra dressing: If you’re making pasta salad in advance, consider saving some of the dressing to mix into the salad just before serving. Pasta can absorb a lot of dressing while it sits, which can make the salad dry. Adding a bit more dressing can perk it up.
- Use within three to five days: Pasta salad, especially if it contains perishable items like mayo, seafood, or chicken, should be eaten within three to five days. Be sure to keep it refrigerated whenever it’s not being served.
So, there you go. If this gorgeous collection of pasta salad recipes doesn’t inspire you to get more creative, I don’t know what will! Be sure to bookmark or pin this post, so you always know where to go for easy party sides or meal prep options.
Let me know what your favorites are. Have fun!
- Choose a recipe that looks tasty. Try something you haven't had before, it's fun to experiment!
- Make a shopping list and buy the ingredients.
- Cook your new favorite Pasta Salad Recipe!
- Let me know which recipes you try, I love hearing from you!
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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