Bring me your pasta salad recipes


:onpatrol: calling all CAF chefs:

I have another mission for yall. I know it’s not exactly the season for it, but I’m in need of some really good pasta salad recipes. Or any good recipe with pasta that can be made in advance and then served cold. Please help and thanks in advance! :smiley:


I like to make a pasta salad with the mixed Italian shape pasta (but any shape will do), chopped veggies (totally flexible according to your taste), bite-sized chunks of cooked chicken and ranch dressing.

I also like a classic macaroni salad with elbow macaroni, diced celery and green pepper, lots of chopped hard boiled eggs (that’s the secret to great flavor, as far as I’m concerned), dressed with Hellmann’s mayo, a splash of cider vinegar and a sprinkle of celery salt.

Then there’s that great salad with linguine or spaghetti, chopped veggies of your choice, a lot of McCormick Salad Supreme (a whole bottle per pound of pasta) and bottled Italian dressing. I think that recipe appears on the Salad Supreme bottle.

I hope you’re not too frustrated with the lack of measurements - I’m an eyeball kind of cook. Happy cooking and eating!




* 1 pound(s) bow-tie or small shell pasta
* Salt
* 1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen baby peas
* 2  lemons
* 2/3 cup(s) milk
* 1/2 cup(s) light mayonnaise
* 1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
* 1 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped
* 4  green onions, thinly sliced


  1. In large saucepot, cook pasta in boiling salted water as label directs, adding frozen peas during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and peas; rinse with cold water and drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, from lemons, grate 1 tablespoon peel (lemon zest) and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice. In large bowl, with wire whisk, mix lemon peel and juice with milk, mayonnaise, pepper, basil, green onions, and 1 teaspoon salt until blended.
  3. Add pasta and peas to mayonnaise dressing; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate up to two days if not serving right away.


family favorite aquired by marriage

3-color rotini, boiled, drained and cooled
cubed cheese, use cheddar, jack, cheddar jack, pepper jack, or any combination your family prefers, we use cheddar jack, DD uses pepper jack
sliced pepperoni
Optional, again add what family prefers, but all should be drained and as dry as possible, use paper towels if necessary, something watery like cucumber or celery does not work very well
sliced black olives
red and green bell peppers, cut in rings, then quarter the rings
mild yellow pepper rings
artichoke bottoms,halved (not hearts with leaves still attached, too messy)
cup of italian salad dressing, from a bottle or mix
toss lightly with tongs, chill and serve


I love Pasta Salad. What is so great about it is that you can make it 1000 different ways, you can be as creative as you want. My reicpe is usually this:
Tri-Colored Rotelle
Green, Orange, Red & Yellow finely diced Bell Peppers
Diced Onion
Sliced Mushrooms (I use jar or canned for this recipe)
Package of good imitation Crabmeat cut into small chunks & sometimes I also add Shrimp
Italian Dressing (your choice)
This is very good, I am always asked to bring it to family functions and any potluck my husband’s work.:slight_smile:


So Italian dressing seems to be the key ingredient. I need to get some of that.


I do pasta salads often.

I usually use what’s on hand. I like to add marinated veggies like mushrooms, olives.

Also fresh veggies, like cucumber, carrots, tomatoes. Cubed cheese.

My trick is to toss the warm pasta with olive oil, so it does not clump.

As for Italian dressing…you can make your own…olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, some herbs like dried oregano, basil.


12 oz. fettucine cooked al dente
2 bell peppers, finely chopped
1/2 lb + green beans, blanched and cut
sun-dried tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced

~1/2 cup olive oil
~ 2/3 cup vinegar (mixture of reg/balsamic/choice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic seasoning mix
mix in blender

Marinate all veggies in dressing at least two hours, then toss with pasta.

Sorry there’s no measurement on the tomatoes-- I had a bunch of home-grown, oven-dried tomatoes to use up. How much to use depends on how much I have sitting in the pantry…:slight_smile:

I have a notion I sometimes top it off with some grated Parmesan, but my pregnant brain isn’t really cooperating today in the memory department.



Usually, but I have seen some with a creamy mayo/sour cream base that looks delicious. A couple of tips for making Pasta Salad: Add a bit of the dressing to the warm pasta, so it does not stick. I add my dressing in increments, careful not to add too much dressing in the beginning as the warm pasta tends to soak up the dressing. So I add a little while the pasta is warm, then after I add the ingredients I add a little bit more. Then after it gets nice and cold, I taste it to see if it needs any more. If so I add it, always giving it a good stir afterward. I don’t like it dry or too wet ( which makes it too tangy and makes yor lips pucker;)).


Always a hit :thumbsup:


Super easy & super yummy:

1 bag tri-colored rotini
1 bag shredded mozzarella
1 can tuna
1 bottle Italian dressing

Cook, drain, chill pasta
Drain tuna, add to pasta
Add dressing to taste
Add cheese to taste (however much looks good to you)

I make this whenever I’m supposed to “just bring something,” and everyone loves it. I had a friend who hates tuna eat it once, and she thought it was delicious! :wink:

I like the tips about adding the dressing incrementally.


If you make ahead, make some extra "dressing". Right before you serve it, give it another round of dressing. The pasta will have soaked up what you put on it the day before - or even earlier that day - and will be much creamier if you dress again before serving.


if anything with pasta of any kind qualifies, I would like to see again the one that starts with ramen noodles and has broccoli, grapes and a rather sweet dressing


Fettuccine Salad

8 oz. Fettuccine
1/2 C. Mayo (don’t use Miracle Whip, use real Mayo)
1/2 C. Frozen Corn
1/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese (use good quality Parmesan, freshly grated)
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Mix pasta and corn in a bowl. Mix together the mayo, cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Combine the pasta, and sauce, and mix well. Refrigerate 2+ hours before serving.

This is SOOOO good.


Kitchen Sink pasta salad-- this doesn't 'have measurements b/c I just eyeball everything

1 box rotini pasta
1 pkg crumbled feta cheese
sliced green olives, drained
pepperoni slices, cut into small pieces
chicken breast lunch meat cut into cubes (not the deli slices, the round slices that look like bologna-- yes, really, I use this)

1 bottle Italian dressing

Cook the pasta, drain and cool. Cut up however much pepperoni and sliced chicken lunch meat you want and throw in the bowl. Add however much olive you want and throw in the bowl. Add the package of crumbled feta (like Athenos) or if you really like cheese, put in two. Pour Italian dressing over the whole thing til it sems right and toss. Refrigerate a couple of hours.

OK, that's the basic. Then throw in the "kitcen sink" which is whatever you have handy. Broccoli florets, or some shredded cheddar cheese, or some sundried tomatoes, or just *whatever *sounds good to you.

Pour a little Italian dressing over it again just before serving.


Not exactly pasta, but mum makes that lovely Chinese-style salad with soy noodles, mun mushrooms, ham cubes and a couple more ingredients plus funny sauce. Interested in details? :slight_smile:


I always use steamed broccoli and Paul Newman's oil and vinegar. So easy. I throw in everything- the healthier the better- sunflower seeds, black olives, etc


You guys have me craving pasta salad now, thank you very much! :wink: :rotfl:


I always use rotini (the groves of the pasta hold dressing well), whole wheat, and for the dressing I mix some mayo with italian salad dressing. makes a nice creamy dressing. for veggies I usually add olives and diced tomatoes though you could also do diced red onion, cucumbers, etc. Like someone else mentioned, add dressing while pasta is warm so pasta absorbs some of the dressing, but have some extra on the side b/c when you get ready to serve it it might be a tad dry.


Yeah, if you have access to the recipe bring it on!

So I went to the store to get some Italian dressing, but it all looked kind of funny to me. This was a health/specialty/organic food store so maybe that’s why. And they all looked too vinegar-y in the ingredients list. Sooo I’m gonna make my own, got some extra virgin olive oil and cider vinegar and some dried herbs.

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