50 Pasta Salad Recipes to Always Keep on Hand Plus Secrets Revealed

This post gives you 50 Pasta Salad recipes to help you put dinner on the table fast.   Cold Pasta Salads are easy to make and inexpensive.  They are perfect for potlucks, picnics, or even pool parties.  Plus, this post is full of Pasta Salad tips and hacks.   It answers all your questions about pasta and specifically pasta salads.  If you have a question that was not addressed in this post, please reply to this newsletter.  I would love to help you.

 

  Pasta salads are fast from the stovetop to the table, and this post includes 50 amazing recipes.

This post gives you 50 Pasta Salad recipes to help you put dinner on the table fast.   Pasta Salads are easy to make and inexpensive.  They are perfect for potlucks, picnics, or even pool parties.  Plus, this post is full of Pasta Salad tips and hacks.

Pick the Right Pasta

You have so many choices when choosing a pasta for your salad.  Stay away from linguine and spaghetti in pasta salads.  They are delicious and perfect for alfredo or spaghetti but not pasta salad.  They can be challenging to eat in a salad.  Consider Pasta that can be stabbed with a fork, rather than twirled.

Stay away from farfalle too.  The slippery bowtie will not trap dressing.  Tortellini may not be the right choice when filling inside the tortellini gets cold.

Stick to dry Pasta instead of fresh Pasta.  Dry Pasta holds up better when tossed with dressings.

Size Matters

Small Pasta

Fresh and raw Pasta on the white plate

Stick with short and small Pasta for your pasta salad recipes that go well with other ingredients in the salad.  You also want to look for a pasta that has places for the dressing and herbs to hide.  In other words, a pasta that has plenty of nooks and crannies.  For example, choice dry penne, rotini, fusilli, or even a macaroni pasta.

What to Serve with Cold Pasta Salads

A grilled cheese or panini sandwiches are delicious with cold pasta salad.  You could also serve corn on the cobb, baked sweet potatoes, or even sliced tomatoes.

How long can you leave pasta salad out of the refrigerator?

Bacteria grows fast with temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Like all other food, pasta salads should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Make Your Pasta Salad A Head of Time

You can make your pasta salad the day or even the day before serving it, but I would not recommend making it more than a day or so in advance.  You might end up with a soggy bottom.  No one likes soggy bottoms.

To Salt or Not To Salt

When eating cold Pasta, it is essential to make sure it is well-seasoned when it is cooking.  So YES!  Season your pasta water when cooking Pasta.  A warm dish that tastes seasoned can tastes bland when it is cold.  You need to add extra salt to the water.  Before you add any dressing, taste your Pasta.  Next, adjust the seasoning, especially the salt, before adding extra to the dressing.

How to Cook Pasta for you salad

Pasta is the main ingredient; therefore, you want to make sure it is cooked right.  You do not want to overcook your Pasta, or it will end up mushy.  It will also end up mush if you put the Pasta in the water before it starts boiling.  Start timing your Pasta after adding it to boiling water.

If you do not cook the Pasta long enough, it will end up too hard.

It will typically tell you on the box how long to cook your Pasta to al dente.

To Cook one-pound Penne Pasta

Bring four quarts of water to a boil with at least one tablespoon of salt.  Once the water is boiling, add the Pasta and cook for 11 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the stove and drain it well.

To Cook one-pound Macaroni Pasta

Bring four quarts of water to a boil with at least one tablespoon of salt.  Once the water is boiling, add the Pasta and cook uncovered for 7 minutes.  Remove from the stove and drain it well.

4:4:1 Rule When Creating Your Cold Pasta Salads

  • 4 cups cooked Pasta (8 ounces dry Pasta will make 4 cups of cooked Pasta)
  • Four cups add-ins, veggies, bacon, peppers, cheese, etc.
  • 1 cup of dressing

If you make the pasta salad the day before, you may need to add a little more dressing.  The Pasta will soak up the dressing.

Rinse Your Pasta

Rinsing your Pasta in cold water helps to stop the cooking process and brings the temperature down.  Bringing the heat down is fine since pasta salad is meant to be cold.

The only time you should rinse or “shock” your Pasta with cold water is when cooking it for a cold pasta salad.

Cool Your Pasta or Not Before Adding the Dressing

Not!  Add about half of your salad dressing to the warm Pasta and toss it.  The Pasta will absorb, and the dressing a lot easier, which means your pasta salad will be well seasoned.

Choosing Cheeses for Pasta Salad Recipes

Choose a soft cheese to put into your pasta salads like feta, mozzarella, or fresh goat cheese.

Salads and Sandwiches Quick and Easy Family Friendly


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50 Cold Pasta Salads

Italian Pasta Salad Recipes

Bowl full of shrimp pasta

Pasta Salad Italian Shrimp

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad Italian Shrimp is perfect for any occasion. Pasta Salad Italian Shrimp Ingredients This Pasta Salad Italian Shrimp is easy to make using a bottle of Italian dressing. You will also need Italian seasoning, cucumber, tomato, Pasta, shrimp, and Italian Cheese.

Bowl full of pizza pasta

Pizza Pasta Salad made with Bottle Italian Dressing

 

      

    

   

Italian Pasta Salad – Italian Pasta Salad is always a winner with tri-color rotini pasta loaded with sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, black olives, quartered salami, diced cheese, and paired with a zesty dressing.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad| Mighty Mrs. Classic Italian Pasta Salad – An easy recipe made with Italian dressing that’s always a hit at potlucks or barbecues.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Tomato Basil Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad – Flavor Mosaic

Antipasto Pasta Salad – Amazing Pasta Salad With Classic Italian Flavors

  

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Tortellini Salad

Easy Spinach Tortellini Salad

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Tortellini Salad

Greek Pasta Salad Recipes

   

  

Easy Homemade Greek Dressing – Peas And Crayons

Greek Tortellini Salad

Healthy Pasta Salad

Herb Pasta Salad Recipes

Fresh herbs are fabulous in pasta salads.  They add a lot of freshness to the mixture. Add the herbs just before serving the Pasta, so the leaves do not change color in the dressing.  My favorite herbs to add to pasta salads are basil or cilantro.

Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe – Life Made Simple Bakes

Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes

Healthy (no mayo) tuna pasta salad tossed in a homemade vinaigrette. Great for a make-ahead work lunch or quick weeknight dinner. Try it in your next meal prep.

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad – 918 Plate

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad You can never go wrong with an easy Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad during summer! Taste the same creamy flavors of a beloved classic dip in this menu idea you can make ahead.

Vegetable Pasta Salad Recipes

Chop your vegetables into small pieces before adding them to your pasta salad.  Do not add whole cherry tomatoes!  You do not want to bite into a cherry tomato, and it shoots all over you.   The goal is to make your pasta salad easy to eat.

You may want to sauté your vegetables.

FRESH SUMMER VEGETABLE PASTA SALAD

Chicken Pea Pasta Salad

Asparagus Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing Recipe

Easy lemony spring pea pasta – Simply Delicious

Lemon Pasta with Ricotta and Fresh Peas (30 Minutes)

Mexican Pasta Salad Recipes

Bowl Full of Southwestern Pasta Salad

SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

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Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is full of fresh southwestern flavors with black beans, corn, cheese, and tomatoes. This hearty chicken pasta salad recipe topped with Fritos is perfect as a main dish or a side dish for potlucks and parties!

Creamy Taco Pasta Salad

Cowboy Pasta Salad with the BEST Dressing!

Ranch Pasta Salad Recipes

Copycat Outback Ranch Dressing    

BEST CAYENNE RANCH DRESSING

Plate full of Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta salad

    

  

  

Creamy Cilantro Ranch Pasta Salad | Together as Family

Fruity Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad Made with Ranch Dressing

Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

Easy Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Kids Will Love Quick and Easy Recipes


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Pesto Pasta Salad Recipes

Pesto makes a delicious, flavorful, healthy pasta salad.  Try creating your pesto with a combination of some of the following: basil, arugula, kale, spinach, almonds, walnuts, and even pecans.

When adding pesto to your pasta salad, it needs to be thin.  The pesto should be able to coat the Pasta thoroughly.  You can add additional olive oil to thin it out.

Pesto Pasta Salad Chicken

Green Goddess Pasta Salad Recipe – The Cookie Rookie

Best Pasta Salad Recipes

MACARONI SALAD FOR SUMMER

   This macaroni salad post has been viewed over 100,000 times.

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

* DILL PICKLE PASTA SALAD *

Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad – A Family Feast®

Summer Pasta Salad | My Casual Pantry

The Best Creamy Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad Recipes

BLT Tortellini Pasta Salad | The Recipe Critic

  

 

 

 

This post gives you 50 Pasta Salad recipes to help you put dinner on the table fast.   Pasta Salads are easy to make and inexpensive.  They are perfect for potlucks, picnics, or even pool parties.  Plus, this post is full of Pasta Salad tips and hacks.

100% Free 30-page ebook Cooking Tips & Hacks including Quick and Easy Recipes

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