A list of pasta salad recipes for every occasion including macaroni salads, chicken pasta salad, seafood pasta salad, mexican pasta salad and many more! These pasta salad recipes are perfect for picnics, barbecues, potlucks or casual family meals.
I love a good pasta salad, and this list of pasta salad recipes has everything from the classics to more unique offerings like avocado pasta salad, goat cheese pasta salad and crab pasta salad.
Pasta salad recipes seem to be the go-to option for potlucks and BBQ gatherings no matter the season. Sometimes we even take the same old recipe to every event because it is the one ‘we always bring’. Change it up! Need some new ideas? I have you covered.
We all have our favorite pasta salad recipe we turn to for everything but let’s be honest, variety is the spice of life. I have gathered what I call the new and improved go-to list for pasta salads. Here are 60 modern pasta salad recipes you can really wow people with!
60 Pasta Salad Recipes
What goes into pasta salad?
Pasta, vegetables and meat are the primary ingredients in pasta salad. Typically a short pasta is used, such as penne, rotini or macaroni. Protein choices vary and can include chicken, shrimp, bacon, beans and cheese. The vegetables are typically uncooked and include cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, onions and broccoli. Pasta salads can be garnished with a variety of toppings such as fresh herbs, olives, nuts and seeds.
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Strawberry Avocado Chicken Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Spaghetti Salad
- Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad
- Poppy Seed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad
- Mexican Macaroni Salad
- Cheddar Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad
What dressing is in pasta salad?
A common pasta salad dressing is Italian dressing, either homemade or store bought. Other pasta salad dressings are vinaigrettes, ranch dressing, or mayonnaise based sauces. Sometimes basil pesto is used as a pasta salad dressing.
Is pasta salad good for you?
The healthful qualities of pasta salad vary widely depending on the recipe. Many pasta salad recipes contain a fair amount of oil or high calorie meats and cheeses. That being said, it’s definitely possible to create a healthier pasta salad by using whole grain pasta, lean meats like chicken, and plenty of fresh vegetables. A lighter pasta salad dressing would contain little to no oil.
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Cobb Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Tuscan Pasta Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad
- Tortellini and Bacon Salad
- Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad
- Green Pasta Salad
- Pizza Pasta Salad
- Jalapeno Popper Macaroni Salad
- Macaroni Salad with Mozzarella and Prosciutto
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
- Israeli Pasta Salad
- Veggie Lovers’ Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Macaroni Salad
Can you freeze a pasta salad?
Technically speaking, yes you can freeze a pasta salad. Flavor wise, it’s not going to compare to a fresh made pasta salad. Pasta can get mushy when frozen then thawed, and some of the more delicate fresh ingredients like cucumbers, lettuce and fresh herbs do not hold up well to freezing. If you do plan to freeze a pasta salad, it’s best to freeze it in small portions, and add the dressing only after you’ve thawed your salad.
- Pasta Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing
- Strawberry Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad
- Taco Pasta Salad
- Italian Shrimp Tortellini Salad
- Lemon Roasted Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Fireworks Pasta Salad
- Cowboy Pasta Salad
- Basil Goat Cheese Pasta Salad
- Meat Lovers Pasta Salad
How do you make cold pasta?
All pasta salad recipes call for pasta that’s been cooked, then cooled, as hot pasta may wilt other fresh ingredients. To make cold pasta, simply cook your pasta according to package directions, then drain and run cold water over the pasta to cool it off and stop the cooking process. If your pasta sticks together at all, you can toss it in a little olive oil to keep the noodles separated.
- Broccoli Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Thai Chicken Pasta Salad
- Seafood Pasta Salad
- Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad
- Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
- Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad
- Crab Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta Salad
How long does pasta salad last in the fridge?
A mayonnaise based pasta salad can last in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. A pasta salad with a vinaigrette or other non-mayonnaise dressing will last for up to 5-7 days. Pasta salads with highly perishable ingredients such as seafood or lettuce may last for less time.
- Italian Pasta Salad (Get the recipe below!)
- Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Remoulade Pasta Salad
- BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Bacon Corn Tomato Pasta Salad
- Asian Pasta Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- Curry Chicken Pasta Salad
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
How to make Italian pasta salad
This Italian pasta salad is packed full of veggies, meats, cheese and olives, all tossed in Italian dressing. You can either buy your favorite Italian dressing or make your own, but I think this dish is SO much better with the homemade dressing. You can mix and match your favorite add-ins for this salad, other great options are pepperoni, kalamata olives, fontina cheese, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. This Italian pasta salad is always a hit, and it’s hearty enough to be a complete meal.
Italian Pasta Salad
- 4 cups cooked pasta, such as penne or rotini
- 1 cup diced salami
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, halved
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
- 1 1/4 cups Italian dressing (homemade or store bought)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Place the pasta, salami, mozzarella balls, olives, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan and parsley, then serve.