9 Best Pasta Salad Recipes

We think it’s about time to add some new recipes to your pasta salad lineup. Pasta salad has many faces and can range from light and refreshing to heavy and savory. It’s normally served as a side, but some pasta salads are satisfying enough to be eaten for lunch as well. However you decide to serve your pasta salad, you’re sure to be the star of the next BBQ cookout with any of these delicious recipes.

1. Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

Shrimp makes a perfect partner for rotini pasta and cherry tomatoes in this creamy but light pasta salad. With crunchy veggies, sweet tomatoes, and briny olives, the balance of flavors in this recipe is on point. This pasta salad can be served hot or cold, but we find that the flavors really come together nicely if left in the refrigerator overnight.

Use a tri-color or rainbow rotini to add a bit of color to the dish, and feel free to include a variety of bell peppers instead of just yellow ones. While we really enjoy the taste of the nutritional yeast, but you can use parmesan if you can’t find that ingredient and still end up with a similar flavor.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

2. Grilled Veggie Fusilli Pasta Salad Recipe

Grilled Veggie Fusilli Pasta Salad

Grilled veggies tossed in a red wine vinaigrette with fusilli make for a wonderfully light and refreshing pasta salad that is great for any occasion. This works great as a side dish for a dinner at home or as an appetizer at a potluck.

While we love the texture of the fusilli and its ability to hold onto the dressing, you can use any short noodle that you like with this pasta salad. For some extra heat, try adding some thinly sliced fresh jalapenos.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

3. Asparagus and Sweet Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe

Asparagus and Sweet Pepper Pasta Salad

Mildly bitter asparagus and arugula paired with sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes produce a well-balanced pasta salad. This recipe includes a light lemony dressing and it screams “summer,” but it is truly a delicious salad any time of year.

When asparagus isn’t in season, you can substitute it with green beans, zucchini, or even broccoli. If you want to add even more depth of flavor, consider using roasted red peppers in addition to fresh ones.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

4. Copycat Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad Recipe

Copycat Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

At Ruby Tuesday, the pasta salad is one of the most frequently requested dishes. This copycat version includes diced ham, but you can certainly substitute bacon or grilled chicken breast or leave them all out if you want to make it vegetarian-friendly. Either way, this is going to be a pretty hearty, satisfying pasta salad.

Rotini is the noodle of choice here, but farfalle would work just as well. For an even more impressive flavor, consider making some homemade mayonnaise with an immersion blender and using that to mix into your pasta salad.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

5. Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Sun-dried tomatoes may just be the unsung heroes of summer cookout dishes. They are somehow tart, sweet, and savory all at the same time, and offer a unique texture that brings a nice contrast to any dish. Combine these with fresh spinach and penne pasta and you have a visually appealing pasta salad that tastes even better than it looks.

The balsamic vinegar-based dressing is easy to make but it tastes like it comes from a professional kitchen. This utterly mouthwatering pasta salad is making us hungry!

Get the full recipe and directions here.

6. Creamy Macaroni Pasta Salad Recipe

Creamy Macaroni Pasta Salad

There’s something about macaroni salad that is incredibly comforting. The tiny noodles are great for absorbing thick, creamy sauces, and when combined with crunchy vegetables, they bring a wonderful textural contrast to every bite.

Sour cream provides a good amount of tang to this dish, but you could use plain Greek yogurt instead. If you want to make this pasta salad even heartier, consider adding grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or diced bacon.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

7. Zucchini and Eggplant Pasta Salad Recipe

Zucchini and Eggplant Pasta Salad

Eggplant is a wonderful option for vegetarian pasta salads, as it provides a meaty texture and can absorb a wide range of flavors. Tossing it in a simple olive oil dressing with diced zucchini and crunchy bell peppers really helps to bring out the flavors, while the penne makes this dish incredibly satisfying.

If you don’t need to keep this one totally vegan, you can crumble some feta or bleu cheese on top, or grate some parmesan to it for added flavor. If you don’t like zucchini, then any summer squash should work well in this pasta salad.

Get the full recipe and directions here.

8. Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

It may seem a little over the top, but this pepperoni pizza pasta salad is a total flavor bomb that is totally worth the calories. The pizza flavor comes from sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese and tossed in a quick Italian dressing and mixed with farfalle, olives, and green peppers. For an even fresher flavor, consider using fresh mozzarella balls, also known as bocconcini.

Get the full recipe and directions from Pillsbury.

9. Bacon and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Bacon and Broccoli Pasta Salad

Bacon adds a nice salty crunch to any pasta salad, and broccoli is always a welcome addition. This creamy dish uses both, and they complement each other splendidly. Making the dressing is as simple as mixing mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper together in a bowl.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes for a delicious pasta salad when combined with meat, veggies, and rotini. You could always leave out the bacon if you don’t want meat, or you could substitute pancetta, ham, or grilled chicken.

Get the full recipe and directions from The Country Cook.

If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our Best Weight Watchers Pasta Recipes post.

Pasta Salad Recipes

Leave a Comment