A list of pasta salad recipes for every occasion including spaghetti salad, chicken pasta salad, Italian pasta salad, Greek pasta salad and many more! These pasta salad recipes are perfect for picnics, barbecues, potlucks or casual family meals.

I love a good hearty salad, and this list of pasta salad recipes has everything from the classics to more unique offerings like Asian noodle salad and a BLT version.

A collection of pasta salad recipes including spaghetti salad, Italian pasta salad and Asian noodle 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 these salads.  Here are 10 modern pasta salad recipes you can really wow people with!

10 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. These salads can be garnished with a variety of toppings such as fresh herbs, olives, nuts and seeds.

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 salad dressing.

A collection of pasta salad recipes including BLT pasta, chicken pasta and Greek pasta salads.
BLT pasta salad in a creamy ranch dressing.

BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT pasta salad recipe is full of veggies, avocado, pasta and crispy bacon, all tossed in a cool and creamy dressing. The perfect easy meal or side dish!
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A bowl of chicken pasta salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese.

Chicken Pasta Salad

This chicken pasta salad is grilled chicken with olives, cheese and fresh vegetables, all tossed in a homemade Italian dressing. A light and refreshing side dish or main course option that's perfect for feeding a crowd!
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This easy Asian noodle salad recipe is ramen noodles and colorful veggies all tossed in a sesame hoisin dressing. The perfect side dish for any summer celebration!

Asian Noodle Salad

This easy Asian noodle salad recipe is ramen noodles and colorful veggies all tossed in a sesame hoisin dressing. The perfect side dish for any summer celebration!
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Greek pasta salad in a serving bowl, garnished with parsley.

Greek Pasta Salad

This Greek pasta salad is a light and fresh combination of colorful veggies, olives, and feta cheese. 
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A bowl of couscous salad garnished with parsley.

Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean couscous salad is pearl couscous with vegetables and feta cheese, all tossed in a homemade dressing. A quick and easy side dish that's fresh, colorful and always gets rave reviews.
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Is pasta salad good for you?

The healthful qualities of pasta salad vary widely depending on the recipe. Many 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 salad dressing would contain little to no oil.

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.

A group of salads including spaghetti salad, orzo salad and pesto pasta salad.
Italian pasta salad with rotini noodles, salami and pepperoni.

Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian pasta salad is loaded with meat, cheese and vegetables, all tossed together with noodles in a homemade Italian dressing. A quick and easy side dish that's perfect for feeding a crowd!
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Orzo salad in a serving bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas.

Orzo Salad

This greek orzo salad is made with cucumbers, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion, feta and herbs, all tossed in a herb dressing. A simple yet hearty pasta salad that can be served as a main course or side dish.
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Pesto pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, mozzarella balls, pine nuts and red onion.

Pesto Pasta Salad

This pesto pasta salad is pasta with mozzarella cheese, olives, tomatoes and pine nuts, all tossed with fresh basil pesto. An easy side dish that’s perfect for a potluck or picnic.
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Tortellini salad with cucumber, tomato, olives and feta cheese.

Tortellini Salad

This Greek tortellini salad is a mix of cheese tortellini, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese, all tossed in a garlic and herb dressing. The perfect summer side dish or meatless main course!
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This recipe for spaghetti salad is a unique pasta salad full of crunchy vegetables and parmesan cheese, all tossed together in a homemade zesty Italian dressing. The perfect dish to feed a crowd when you're entertaining! #ecover #ad

Spaghetti Salad

This recipe for spaghetti salad is a unique pasta salad full of crunchy vegetables and parmesan cheese, all tossed together in a homemade zesty Italian dressing. The perfect dish to feed a crowd when you’re entertaining!
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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 freshly made 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.

How long do these salads last in the fridge?

A mayonnaise based pasta salad can last in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. A salad with a vinaigrette or other non-mayonnaise dressing will last for up to 5-7 days. Salads with highly perishable ingredients such as seafood or lettuce may last for less time.

These pasta salad recipes will delight your friends and family for pot lucks, barbecues, get-togethers and plain old everyday dinners. You will be amazed at how quick and easy these flavorful salads are to make. Try one of these salads today!

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  1. I love pasta salad and it’s a great choice for Spring or Summer! I wouldn’t mind keeping this list of pasta salad recipes that you shared!

  2. I love a good pasta salad recipe and have found a couple in your roundup I want to try!! Thanks for this!!!

  3. So many amazing recipes! I don’t make pasta salad enough to be honest. I see a bunch that I would love to try.

  4. 5 stars
    I always ask my daughter to make pasta salad for every event because she creates the best ones I’ve ever tasted. She didn’t get that from me. I’m going to send her your link so hopefully, she will make me one of each of these lol. Goodness, if there was ever someone that loves pasta salad, it is me.

  5. I’m bookmarking this post for the summer. My favorite dish to bring to warm month potlucks are salads.

  6. I love pasta salads of all sorts, but I hardly ever make them. I guess I just depend on others to show up with them. That should change asap, because this list is great!

  7. 5 stars
    Your one stop pasta salad shop! Bookmarked you for the summer party line up! I love pasta salads. They are my go to thing to bring to summer gatherings.

  8. 5 stars
    Pasta salad is a really great way to add finishing touches to any gathering. My family never has a picnic without some!

  9. 5 stars
    There are so many ways to make a salad. I’ll be exploring some of the recipes. You can really experiment with different taste and flavors for this one.

  10. 5 stars
    Now this sounds like a delicious round up of salads! I have to admit I really start fancying salads at this time of year and definitely need to try out some of these recipes.

  11. 5 stars
    Heck yes, I would love to try all of these. I am a huge fan of pasta salad. It’s actually been ages since I’ve had some.

  12. If someone can’t find a pasta salad or dish they like there is something wrong with them. Hard to choose where to start and which ones we would just love.

  13. 5 stars
    We eat pasta salad so much during the Summer! I’m excited to try out some of the different variations!

  14. 5 stars
    I love pasta salad. It can be as inexpensive as you like and can be made in so many ways. Yours reminds me of an antipasto.

  15. I could eat pasta salad every single day! With all these delicious pasta salad recipes, I now can! I want to try the shrimp pasta salad first.