Pasta Salad Recipes

I made this at my friend's house because we were craving a pesto-like flavour on a hot day, but we did not have the right equipment available to grind up a nice pesto sauce. I opted for items that were already in the fridge to try to mimic the flavours, and used an avocado as the base of the creamy sauce. It only took the amount of time it took to boil the pasta, then was chilled. It was such a delight, that I had to share it with you!


Total Time: 15 minutes plus chill time

Yield: 4 servings


  • 6 oz dry pasta
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cider or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 ounce fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 head lettuce


  1. Begin by boiling your pasta per package instructions, using salted water.
  2. In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, green onions, avocado, Parmesan, garlic and sugar.
  3. Use a fork to mash it all together until creamy and smooth.
  4. Drizzle in vinegar and stir well.
  5. Add chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add tomato halves to the mixture, then tear in half the basil leaves. Stir well so the flavours and tomato juices mix in.
  7. Drain the pasta, reserving a couple tablespoons of the starchy cooking liquid.
  8. Pour pasta into the creamy sauce and stir. If you see it's a bit on the dry side, then add some of the reserved pasta liquid. Allow to cool in the fridge, covered, if desired. Tear in the rest of the basil leaves.
  9. To serve, line bowls with lettuce leaves and place pasta salad in the middle. I like to add a tiny drizzle of vinegar to my lettuce for a punch.
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Don't get me wrong, I love those rich and creamy sauces just like everybody else! I have to say though, this is actually quite tasty despite being a healthier option. My whole family loved it, and that's saying a lot!

Low Fat Italian Pasta Salad

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The flavor and juiciness of rotisserie chicken makes this pasta salad a hit with me. You can serve this dish immediately or refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend more and serve cold. Either way, it's yummy.

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This salad tastes great switching the Parmesan cheese with crumbled feta too!

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Cook pasta shells as directed on package. Add in carrots too when you cook the shells (about 10 minutes) drain, rinse with cold water. Put into a large bowl...

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To switch it up from our usual quinoa lunches, I made pasta salad. You can make this huge batch of pasta salad that lasts in the fridge throughout the week. What's great about this pasta salad is you can serve it cold and it's customizable (feel free to change up any ingredients you'd like)! Plus, this would be a great to make for parties.

Pasta Salad

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A delicious, lemony cold pasta salad.

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Cook pasta according to package directions. Put pea pods, carrots, and broccoli in a large amount of boiling water until broccoli turns bright green. Combine pasta and all vegetables except tomatoes in bowl.

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When you make pasta (mac, etc.), save 3 or more cups of it. Rinse it and put in the fridge for pasta salad the next day.

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A colorful salad, a little different, and fairly calorie wise. Combine ingredients and chill until serving.

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For salad, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse under cold water. In salad bowl, combine all salad ingredients; set aside.

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Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. In large bowl, combine tortellini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic, dressing and pepper sauce.

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Try this pasta salad for a wonderful side dish.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I am looking for a plain pasta salad recipe. Just with the tri-colored pasta, some type of salad dressing, and some parmesan? Does anyone have a very plain recipe?

Snowbells from New Jersey


By Lee-Ann (Guest Post)
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

How about your pasta and parmesan, mixed with italian dressing or garlic oil and vinegar?

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By Olivia (Guest Post)
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

I agree with the previous poster. Chill some pasta, add italian dressing, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. I like to add croutons to mine.

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April 18, 20060 found this helpful

I just make up some tri-colored pasta, and use Good Seasons Italian Dressing on it. top with some grated parm cheese. Awesome! I think I will make some now! lol

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By (Guest Post)
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

Ranch dressing with bacon bits added to cooked pasta and parm is good too.

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I am looking for some great meatless, cold pasta salads. I am not looking for exotic recipes. I would like ones that are simply made, like the ones our mothers and grandmothers made. I sure would love to hear from you. Thank you and God Bless.

By kay from Clyde, TX

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I use Dreamfield Pasta for macaroni salad and it is very dry no matter what I do. I even cook pasta for 8 minutes, then let it soak in cold water for 10 minutes so it won't absorb as much liquid (my mom's secret). Does someone have a juicy recipe for the dressing? Is the Dreamfield the problem?

By Joan

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