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Pasta Salad Recipes

Category Pasta
Served warm or cold, pasta salad is delicious either as an entree or side dish. This page contains pasta salad recipes.


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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.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 7

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!

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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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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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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?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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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By Trix (Guest Post)
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

If you want something a little different, but still simple try this: instead of Italian dressing, mix half and half vinegar&oil dressing with pesto and top with feta cheese instead of parmesan. If I have a few minutes I'll also add some chopped zucchini and left-over chicken, but it's great even without the extras.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

Whenever I make pasta salad I'm never sure how it's going to turn out. Sometimes I use pasta tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. Other times I use pasta, maybe some tomatoes, olives, onions. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for.


The only thing I consitently use is italian dressing.

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

Hi. You will not want to believe it, but THE absolute best dressing for pasta is found at Dollar General. It's called Zesty Italian and it is $1 a bottle. I didn't believe it either, but try it! It's delicious! My favorite pasta salad is rotini, green peppers, carrots, onion, green olives, parmesan and hard salami. Pour on the DG dressing and let it sit for a couple hours. Stir and enjoy. Sometimes I make it with just the pasta and the green olives with the dressing and parm -- I love the saltiness of the olives. Boy, now I'm hungry!!

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

My recipe --
1 box rainbow spiral pasta, cooked
1 tomato chopped
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cucumber, chopped


1/2 green pepper, chopped
Black olives, sliced
1/4 cup Parm cheese, grated
1/2 bottle Italian dressing
Combine ingredients, let stand overnight. Before serving, add a little more dressing if it is too dry!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

this recipe actually won a free dinner at a local ponderosa type buffet.
It is simply the dressing you'd use for potato salad
mayo, mustard, pickle relish, a little vineagar.
Add to cooked , rinsed pasta anything you would put in a vegetable salad, except the lettuce. Cukes, radishes, tomatoes, onion, pepper, celery, celery seed . even pimento adds color and flavor. The longer it sits the better it is. Enjoy, Ceil

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Cindy (Guest Post)
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

The trick to my pasta salad is the RED onion cut up VERY small!!!!
Gives it an awesome taste........along with everything else.........!!!



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

"An easy, yet very yummy pasta salad. Almost any type of pasta may be used. Best if left to sit overnight."
Original recipe yield: 12 servings.

Prep Time:
15 Minutes
Cook Time:
12 Minutes
Ready In:
30 Minutes
12 (change)


* 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
* 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing
* 2 cucumbers, chopped
* 6 tomatoes, chopped
* 1 bunch green onions, chopped
* 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the Italian dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions. In a small bowl, mix the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning, and gently mix into the salad. Cover, and refrigerate until serving.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

pasta salad that we love is ;

olive oil, red wine vinegar and italian spices

we add crumbled feta cheese and small cherry tomatoes then small pieces of pepperoni cut up
it goes fast when I make this

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

My sister tells me she makes it with bottled Italian salad dressing and whatever she has in her refrigerator. She uses up all the leftover veggies. It can include peas, olives, cucumbers, etc. This is how she cleans out her refrig in the summer.

For a change, why not try it with mayo or salad dressing and tuna, etc.?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Liz (Guest Post)
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

Get some Salad Supreme in the spice dept. It is a mix of spices. Cut up tomatoes, cukes and cauliflower if you like. Sprinkle about 1/2 bottle of the Supreme on these and let sit overnight. Then in the morning mix the veggies, do not drain, with the cooked noodles and pour Zesty Italian dressing over all. Delicious!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Debbieg (Guest Post)
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

I use Good Seasons Italian dressing and add whatever veggies I have. Will work great with just the pasta and parmesan!

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By beth (Guest Post)
April 20, 20060 found this helpful

thanks for all the great ideas!!!!!!!!!

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April 25, 20060 found this helpful

Suggestion: Instead of using parmesan cheese that comes in a can and is finely grated, use cheese cubes. I had it once and it was fabulous.

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May 2, 20060 found this helpful

use the tri colored pasta cook and cool pasta add cherry tomatoes cut in half, diced cucumbers black olives green olives,cubed motz cheese, add bottled Italian dressing and mix well just before serving add your parmasan cheese this is an easy salad and every one loves it I make it for partys and pot luck dinners it is alway a hit Hope you enjoy

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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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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June 9, 2019

This is a simple and easy to make pesto pasta salad or served as a side dish. Its a perfect meal when you don't have much time.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

December 2, 2016

Assorted beans and pasta make a delicious main dish salad. This page contains a 3 bean pasta salad recipe.

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