Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
Pasta salad provides endless possibilities for new flavor combinations and ingredients. Here are some of our favorite recipes.
Creamy avocado and a fiery buttermilk dressing make this good-for-you pasta salad feel like a hearty meal. The recipe is easy to double, and you'll have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so it's the perfect solution for a last-minute party or potluck.
If you're a broccoli salad fan, you'll love this combination of colorful ingredients. Cook the pasta al dente so it's firm enough to hold its own when tossed with the tangy-sweet salad dressing.
Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Cooking Video: Easy & Delicious Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Ready in 40 Minutes
Cook the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette. Ripe for riffs, the salad is also delicious with cheese-filled tortellini.
- Recipe: Farmers' Market Pasta Salad
Our pasta salad recipes are versatile enough to serve with almost any entrée. Some are even hearty enough to serve as the main dish. Mix and match the ingredients according to what vegetables and pastas you have on hand. Start with this cheese-filled tortellini pasta salad recipe, it is complemented by salty green and black olives and crunchy red bell peppers and onions. A tangy vinegar-based dressing is loaded with herbes de Provence to coat all of the ingredients with a variety of aromatic flavors.
Recipe: Summer Tortellini Salad
If you like Caesar salad, you’ll love this pasta twist. Lemon and Dijon mustard enhance bottled Caesar dressing to make a warm, creamy sauce for tortelloni and roasted red bell pepper strips.
Feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and red onion give this salad Greek flair, and star ingredient dill adds a punch of flavor to the combination. Even though this salad is delicious immediately after it comes together, we recommend chilling it for a few hours in the refrigerator to enhance all the flavors.
- Recipe: Confetti Pasta Salad
When served on skewers, this pasta salad makes a beautifully presented appetizer or first course. If you are pressed for time or want to make it a meal, skip the skewers and toss all of the ingredients in a bowl with dressing just before serving.
This salad includes just about everything but the kitchen sink, but feel free to add any extra vegetables or herbs of your choice. Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, smoked mozzarella chunks, and chopped green chiles create a great mix of flavors while pine nuts add a finishing crunch. The rotini pasta is perfect for holding the dressing, but substitute the pasta of your choice if desired.
Recipe: Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
This Italian-inspired salad uses basic ingredients and is easy to prepare. You can add in a few tablespoons of store-bought pesto to bring out the flavors of the fresh basil, parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts.
- Recipe: Fresh Pesto Pasta Salad
Crunchy green beans and crisp bacon are always a wonderful flavor pairing, and the addition of red grapes makes for a sweet surprise. Cook the penne pasta al dente so it holds up when tossed with the dressing and beans.
Creamy herb-infused Green Goddess Dressing is the star of this salad. We used yellow bell peppers; substitute a variety of peppers to add flavor and color.
Fresh jalapeño peppers and cilantro give this Asian pasta salad a kick of heat while mild cucumber, peanuts, and honey create a balance of flavors. Find fish sauce in the ethnic food section of your supermarket or at specialty Asian food stores. This noodle salad is great for a weeknight meal and also fun for a festive party.
- Recipe: Thai Noodle Salad
Ready in 20 Minutes
A homemade white sauce ready in 10 minutes? Yes, please. Round out the meal with a mixed green salad and lightly toasted Italian bread. You can lighten up the entrée by using reduced fat turkey bacon, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, and 2% reduced-fat milk.
- Recipe: Bacon Bow Tie Pasta
Inspired by the classic Thai dish pad thai, this noodle salad incorporates a variety of vegtables and flavors but leaves plenty of room for add-ons and creativity. For a main dish meal, add precooked shredded chicken or slices of beef. You can can serve this dish hot, cold, or at room temperature.
- Recipe: Peanut-Noodle Salad