30 Pasta Salad Recipes

These 30 Easy Pasta Salad Recipes are perfect for summer! I’ve included my favorite ideas, from vegetarian recipes, to chicken pasta salads, Italian pasta salads and more.

Title image for 30+ Pasta Salad Recipes

Spring and summer are the seasons for throw-together meals that are simple, nutritious and packed with flavor. I can’t think of a dish that sums this up more than a classic pasta salad!

If you can boil pasta and chop up a few ingredients, you can make an amazing pasta salad right at home. Here are just some of the many, many reasons why pasta salads are my best summer side dish:

  • The combinations and flavors are endless. I love recipes that can be customized with different ingredients. Pasta salads are also perfect for changing up flavors and ingredients to convince picky eaters or navigate dietary restrictions. 
  • They store super well. Pasta salad recipes keep well in the fridge, too, so you can use up the leftovers for no-cook lunches all week long. 
  • Pasta is budget-friendly! An inexpensive dish that’s still crazy tasty is always a winner! Most pasta salad recipes are made from affordable ingredients that we already have in our pantries, like pickles, olives, different pasta shapes and easy dressings.
  • Serve it anytime, anywhere. You can serve just about anything with pasta salad. Pair it with BBQ ham sandwiches, BBQ chicken, Crock Pot Pulled Pork, or Instant Pot Chicken Breasts for a lighter meal.

What Kind of Pasta to Use

The beauty of a pasta salad is that you can really use almost any pasta you’d like (even spaghetti!). Of course, short pasta shapes like fusilli, macaroni, penne, rotini, and bowtie pasta are all popular choices for pasta salads as they’re easy to eat. Plus, these pastas’ many nooks and crannies make them perfect for trapping dressings and seasonings.

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Should You Rinse the Pasta?

It’s a good idea to gently rinse the pasta for pasta salad under cool water after boiling. This brings the temperature of the pasta down so that it won’t continue to cook after the fact. Overcooked pasta may become gummy when mixed with the wet ingredients. 

Is Pasta Salad Served Hot or Cold?

Both! It’s more common to find pasta salad served cold, but there are plenty of recipes for warm pasta salad out there as well. In this sense, pasta salad is really a year-round side dish. And that’s more than fine with me!

How to Make Ahead & Store Extras

Many pasta salads can be made ahead and stored airtight in the fridge. Some will even taste better a day or two later! This makes them glorious for advance party prep.

With one small caveat: Have you ever had pasta salad on day two and noticed a funny after taste? That’s vinegar or another acidic component, like tomatoes, proclaiming victory over the other ingredients. This can happen to a salad after it “marinates” for a while with flavors that are overly acidic. 

For this reason, if you are making such a recipe in advance, I recommend mixing everything together while leaving out things like chopped tomatoes or dressings to preserve the overall flavor. Instead, just add these in before serving.

How Long Will it Last in the Fridge?

Depending on the ingredients, pasta salad can last 3-5 days refrigerated.

Below I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pasta salad recipes, as well as a few by my favorite bloggers! If you’re hunting for a dish to bring to your next cookout, we’ve got you covered!

This BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh summer vegetables and chicken and tossed in a light dressing with a hint of barbecue flavor for an easy, meal in one perfect for picnics! Step by step recipe video. | summer salad | picnic salad | cold salad | summer veggies | healthy recipe
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn
Whole wheat rotini turns this recipe into a health-conscious version of BBQ chicken pasta salad! A summertime classic packed with all kinds of BBQ flavor!
Get the recipe here
glass bowl filled with dill pickle pasta salad and spoon.
Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Say hello to summer with this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad! Tender bites of pasta are tossed with crunchy dill pickles, cheddar cheese cubes and a creamy dill dressing. Perfect for the pickle lover in your life!
Check out this recipe
A bowl of Buffalo chicken pasta salad.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
Spicy Buffalo chicken dip is always a crowd-pleaser at parties, and it’s just as delicious in the form of a pasta salad!
Get the recipe here
creamy ranch bowtie pasta salad in a large bowl
Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad Recipe
An easy summer side dish that’s also budget-friendly! Take this creamy ranch pasta salad to warm weather get-togethers or keep a batch in the fridge for a quick and nutritious lunch.
Get the recipe here
Close up of cashew chicken pasta salad.
Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe ties together a delicious mix of sweet fruit and savory chicken, while cashews give it a little extra crunch!
Get the recipe here
Top view of a bowl of chicken and broccoli pasta salad.
Chicken Broccoli Pasta Salad
Protein and veggies all in one bowl makes the perfect meal, right? That’s exactly what you get with this hearty pasta salad with chicken, broccoli and raisins!
Get the recipe here
A clear salad bowl full of Italian pasta salad with a wooden spoon.
Italian Pasta Salad
This Italian pasta salad has it all. Soft mozzarella pearls, tender salami and a tangy dressing make up a smorgasbord of flavors and textures, all in one bowl!
Get the recipe here
A fork twirls spaghetti from a bowl of spaghetti pasta salad.
Spaghetti Salad
Instead of short pasta, this Italian-inspired pasta salad is made with tender spaghetti noodles. A unique twist on pasta salad that still packs all kinds of delicious flavors!
Get the recipe here
Top view of antipasto pasta salad in a black serving bowl.
Antipasto Pasta Salad
This easy recipe has all sorts of beautiful colors thanks to a wonderful combination of vegetables, meats, and cheeses tossed in a flavorful dressing. Just like an antipasto platter, but with the added bonus of pasta!
Get the recipe here
Warm tomato pasta salad in a clear glass bowl with a silver spoon.
Warm Fresh Basil and Tomato Fusilli Salad
A simple and delicious Italian pasta salad made with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and fusilli pasta, served warm for something a little cozy!
Get the recipe here
Close up of a spicy Italian pasta salad.
Spicy Italian Pasta Salad (Arrabbiata Style)
Packed with plenty of heat, this spicy pasta salad is kicked up a notch with Arrabbiata-style pesto made with sun dried tomatoes.
Get the recipe here
Close up of a bowl of orzo pasta salad.
Orzo Salad with Vegetables and Feta
Creamy feta, aromatic herbs, and fresh vegetables make this one hearty pasta salad – this simple orzo salad recipe is great for lunch or as a side dish!
Get the recipe here
Close up of a bowl of orzo pasta salad.
Orzo Pasta Salad with Mint + Feta
Like a traditional Greek salad, but with pasta! Fresh mint and a zesty vinaigrette are beautiful finishing touches on this easy orzo pasta salad.
Get the recipe here
Top view of a bowl of Mediterranean orzo salad.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
An effortless side dish idea that only gets better each time you make it! Jazz up this Mediterranean orzo salad with homemade dressing or add chicken for protein.
Get the recipe here
A blue bowl of orzo salad with chicken and roasted vegetables, served with a slice of bread.
Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
Craving something light yet filling for dinner? Enjoy this one-bowl meal complete with warm grilled chicken, roasted vegetables and orzo.
Get the recipe here
Mediterranean shrimp pasta salad served on a white platter.
Shrimp Avocado Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Don’t wait for your next potluck to make this pasta salad! Mediterranean pasta salad is bursting with fresh shrimp, summer vegetables and a light lemony dressing for the ultimate summer side.
Get the recipe here
Close up of spicy shrimp and veggies in a Po'boy pasta salad.
Po’ Boy Shrimp Pasta Salad
Your favorite seafood sandwich just got better! Cajun shrimp, crispy vegetables and tender tortellini are topped with a zingy remoulade sauce in this creative twist on a po’boy.
Get the recipe here
Close up of shrimp primavera pasta salad.
Shrimp Pasta Primavera Salad Recipe
Snappy asparagus, fresh shrimp and crunchy snap peas make this primavera pasta salad the perfect summer lunch.
Get the recipe here
Top view of tuna pasta salad on a plate served over iceberg lettuce leaves.
Tuna Pasta Salad
A quick and easy pasta salad for picnics and potlucks! With the added veggies and protein, you have a complete lunch all in one bowl!
Get the recipe here
Tuna pasta salad served on a plate garnished with basil leaves.
Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
If you love tuna salad, you’re going to love this twist on the American favorite, as a lightened up pasta salad with lemon vinaigrette!
Get the recipe here
Grilled vegetable pasta salad on a white plate.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
With that fresh-off-the-grill flavor, this grilled vegetable pasta salad is drenched in summer goodness and a delicious homemade vinaigrette!
Get the recipe here
Top view close up of Greek Pasta Salad in a pasta bowl.
Greek Pasta Salad
This Greek Pasta Salad recipe is flavorful and filling, made with the freshest ingredients and a homemade Greek dressing! It's very quick and easy to make, perfect to serve as a side dish with a hearty main, or as a light dinner on hot summer days.
Check out this recipe
Cowboy pasta salad in a clear bowl with a silver serving spoon.
Cowboy Pasta Salad Recipe
Cowboy pasta salad is a unique twist on a summer side dish, chock full of bacon, ground beef, cheese and tangy hot sauce!
Get the recipe here
Mediterranean pasta salad in a large wooden bowl.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and spinach come together in another Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad. Tossed with crumbly feta cheese and a homemade dressing!
Get the recipe here
A large bowl of tomato mozzarella pasta salad with a serving spoon.
Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Gorgeous flavors of ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella mingle in a balsamic dressing made with zesty parmesan cheese! One forkful of this pasta salad feels like a bit out of summer!
Get the recipe here
Top view of a bowl of Hawaiian pasta salad.
Ham & Pineapple Pasta Salad – Spend With Pennies
All the fabulous flavors of a Hawaiian pizza, loaded into an ultra-tasty homemade pasta salad! Smoky ham, sweet pineapple and crunchy peppers join forces with rotini pasta, and the result couldn’t be more satisfying!
Get the recipe here
Creamy avocado pasta salad served in a large white bowl with a wooden spoon.
Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
This deliciously creamy pasta salad is made easy with fresh and frozen veggies and tender pasta, tossed in a smooth avocado dressing made with a sneaky special ingredient!
Get the recipe here
Creamy bacon and pea pasta salad in a bowl with two wooden serving spoons.
Bacon Pea Creamy Pasta Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing
A classic and versatile creamy pasta salad recipe that you can bring to all your summer cookouts, picnics, parties and beyond! Loaded up with crispy bacon and dotted with crisp green peas.
Get the recipe here
A clear bowl full of taco pasta salad.
Taco Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe is positively exploding with Mexican-style flavors! A taco and a pasta salad meet somewhere in the middle with this fun and tasty recipe.
Get the recipe here
Top view of pesto salad in a large white bowl.
Pesto Pasta Salad
A 6-ingredient pasta salad that you can toss together in literally minutes! Dressed in a flavorful green basil pesto with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Get the recipe here
How long does pasta salad last?

Depending on the ingredients, pasta salad can last 3-5 days refrigerated. It’s always a good idea to check the recipe!

What’s the best kind of pasta for salads?

Generally, short pastas are great for salads because they’re easy to eat and combine well with the other ingredients (which are normally chopped into small pieces).

What should I serve with cold salads?

Grill something! A juicy Chicken Burger, one of the The Best Burgers, some Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs or Grilled Pork Tenderloin are all great options and go perfectly with these summer salads.
Be sure to add some Easy Homemade Pink Lemonade and Oreo Ice Cream Cake for dessert!

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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