5 Best Pasta Salad Recipes for Your Summer

Jul 6, 2020 | Pasta, Recipes, salads

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a pasta salad master? Yeah, me either, but after having made all 5 of the pasta salads featured in this post yesterday, I’d say that I’ve come pretty close to that master title. So, why did I make 5 Pasta Salads in one day? Am I sick? Do I have a screw loose? Possibly, but more importantly, I am so excited to share these with you that I didn’t want to wait another second. So, I wrote the recipes and tested them all yesterday, and I am glad that I did because I think that you are going to love these.

Each one of these 5 Pasta Salad recipes has loads of flavour, and you can make them in around 20 minutes. I highly recommend that you try all of these and pick which ones are your favourites then add them to the regular rotation of dishes that you cook. Just don’t make them all at once like I did because it’s a lot of pasta salad. Each one of these recipes makes about 4 cups. If you’re keeping track, that means that I made about 20 cups of pasta salad in one day. Also, I used gluten-free pasta to make all of these which kind of limits the shapes of pasta that I can use. So, if you are using regular pasta, feel free to mix up the shapes a bit.

Alright, let’s get to it, here are my…


Greek Pasta Salad

The first pasta salad that we are going to look at today is a Greek Style. I took my best Greek Salad Recipe, threw out the lettuce, and added some pasta. It sounds easy because it was. It was also delicious. This pasta salad is best left to marinate in the fridge for about an hour before eating. This marinating time allows the pasta to absorb the flavour from the vegetables and dressing. If you like Greek Salad, you are going to love this version.

Making the dressing

To make the dressing for the Greek Pasta Salad, start with some Red Wine Vinegar then add a bit of prepared mustard, oregano, garlic, lemon juice, and honey. See the recipe below for the measurements. Once those first ingredients are in the bowl, whisk them together and then whisk in some olive oil. Taste the dressing, season it with salt and pepper to your liking and its done.

Making The Greek Pasta Salad

To the Greek dressing, add a 1/2 cup each of green bell pepper, red onion, pitted olives, and feta cheese along with 1 cup of cucumber. Next, cut 12 cherry tomatoes in half and add those to the other ingredients along with 8-10 fresh chopped mint leaves. The final step is to add in 2 cups of cooked pasta (I used gluten-free penne, but you don’t have to) and gently stir until everything is mixed. Put the salad in the fridge for an hour or two and enjoy!

Greek Pasta Salad

Take everything you love about Greek Salad, take out the lettuce and add in some pasta. You can't go wrong with this delicious Greek Pasta Salad
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, Greek salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Penne Pasta
  • 1 cup Diced Green Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Diced Red Onion
  • 1 cup Diced Cucumber
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sliced and Pitted Olives
  • 8-10 Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Prepared Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp Honey

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the dressing ingredients then whisk to combine them. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
  • Add the salad ingredients into the bowl with the dressing and toss or gently stir to combine.
  • Cover the salad and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least one hour before serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Salad is an Italian dish made of seasoned tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil. If you’ve never had a Caprese salad, I can’t suggest enough that you do. It is one of the most straightforward and most delightful salads you will ever taste. With a sweeping stroke of genius, I added pasta to it. Okay, it’s not that big a deal, and I am probably not this person to do this, but that doesn’t take away from how delicious it is.

Making the dressing

To start the salad, we first have to make a simple dressing of equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. To the oil and vinegar, add a clove of thinly sliced garlic and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This time will allow the garlic flavour to mellow out a bit and dissipate into the oil.

Making Caprese Pasta Salad

To the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add a bunch of halved cherry tomatoes, some prepared pesto, a container of bocconcini, salt, pepper, sugar, and finally some pasta. As with the Greek Pasta Salad, this is best left in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Tomatoes, Basil, Pasta and Fresh Mozzarella, Combined and then Dressed with Olive Oil and a Little Balsamic Vinegar. Is this your new favourite pasta salad? Possibly.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad, Caprese Salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Fusilli Pasta
  • 200 g Mini Bocconcini cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp Prepared Pesto
  • 2 cups Multi-Coloured Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine olive oil, balsamic and garlic and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the salad and toss or gently stir to combine.
  • Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Optionally, garnish the salad with Balsamic Reduction, Toasted Pinenuts and Fresh Basil Leaves.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nicoise Pasta Salad

Nicoise salad is a French Salad from the city of Nice. How could it not be good? Most chefs generally regard it as the best salad ever put to the plate and for a good reason. Although this pasta salad version would be considered blasphemy by some, it is regarded as delicious by most. Let’s take a look at how to make it while ignoring the naysayers.

Making the dressing

To make the Nicoise dressing start with a bit of red wine vinegar, then add grainy mustard, honey, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix all of those ingredients and then whisk in some olive oil. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Making Nicoise Pasta Salad

Once the dressing is ready, add in 1 can of drained tuna, some olives, blanched green beans, tomatoes, and some cooked pasta. Mix the salad and garnish with a couple of hardboiled eggs. If you are unfamiliar with this salad, it may seem odd at first sight, but of the 5 pasta salad, this is hands down my favourite. Do not skip this salad; you don’t know what you’ll be missing if you do.

Nicoise Pasta Salad

Nicoise salad is often considered by Chefs to be one of the best salads ever created. Now, you can have it in pasta salad form.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Nicoise Pasta Salad, Salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1 can Tuna in water, drained
  • 2 Hardboiled eggs, cut into eights
  • 1/4 cup Pitted Olives Nicoise Olives if you can find them.
  • 1 handful French Green Beans, Cooked in boiling water for 3 minutes then cooled. about 40 total
  • 2 cups Rotini Pasta, cooked
  • 12 Grape Tomatoes cut in half

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Redwine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Grainy Mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil and whisk.
  • Slolwy whisk in the olive oil until it has been fully incorporated.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients except the eggs to the dressing and toss or gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish the salad with a few sprigs of parsley and the eggs.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creamy Avocado Club Pasta Salad

My favourite sandwich of all time to eat is the clubhouse. (It also happens to by my least favourite sandwich to make in a restaurant.) I don’t know why I love it so much, but I always have. When I was thinking about this post, this was the first salad that came to mind. It was a no brainer that a clubhouse sandwich would make a fantastic pasta salad. I decided to go with an avocado sriracha mayo to make it a little creamy and a little spicy, and I’m glad I did because I found that that combination made the salad. Okay, let’s take a look at how to make it.

Making the dressing

To make the clubhouse pasta salad dressing, mash an avocado and combine it with mayo, lime juice, salt and pepper, sugar, and sriracha. Taste the dressing and adjust with salt, pepper, and lime juice to suit your taste.

Making Creamy Avocado Club Pasta Salad

To the avocado mayo add some diced cooked chicken, crispy bacon, and cherry tomatoes along with the pasta. Mix the salad, plate it, and garnish it with aged cheddar cheese and parsley. I’ve to tell you, this is something truly special.

Creamy Avocado Club Pasta Salad

You love a good clubhouse sandwich, now you'll love it as a pasta salad. No need to worry about stabbing yourself in the face with those frilly toothpicks just to get the flavours you love.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Clubhouse Pasta Salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1 lg Chicken Breast, Cooked, Cooled and diced
  • 4 strips Bacon, Cooked Crispy
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups Penne Pasta, Cooked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Mayo
  • 1 Soft Avocado or 1/4 cup Guacamole
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Srirach Optional
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl mash the avocado and whisk it together all of the other dressing ingredients.
  • Add all of the salad ingredients to the dressing except the chesse and toss or gently stir until all of the ingredients are covered in the dressing.
  • Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Garnish the salad with the grated cheese.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Classic Pasta Salad

This final pasta salad is my version of the classic pasta salad I ate at every post luck growing up. What is special about this pasta salad is that it makes a great base to build your own recipes upon. You can easily switch the dressing or add some other ingredients and you have a compleltety new salad to call your own.

Making the dressing

For my version of this classic pasta salad, I start with an all-purpose dressing (it works for coleslaw and potato salad too) made of mayo, mustard, white vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. You can add herbs like parsley or dill to this as well, but I decided to keep it simple.

Makin Classic Pasta Salad

Into the dressing goes carrot, celery, and red onion along with the pasta. That’s it, that is the whole salad. The only thing left to do is to let the salad sit in the fridge for two hours before serving then enjoy it!

Classic Pasta Salad

This classic Creamy Pasta Salad is a classic for a reason.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Pasta Salad, Classic Cooking, Classic Creamy Pasta Salad, Pasta Salad, summer cooking, Summer food
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Macaroni Pasta
  • 1/2 cup Very thinly sliced Carrot
  • 1/2 cup Thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Mayo + 2 tbsp if you would like it more creamy
  • 1 tbps White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Prepared Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper To taste

Instructions

  • Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and toss or gently stir to combine.
  • Cover the salad and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Notes

If you would like the dressing a little more creamy you can add an additional 2 tbsp of mayo. Also, dill and or parsley would make a nice addition to this salad. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Conclusion

I hope that you take these recipes and put them to work for you, that’s what I made them for. I want you to cook them, eat them, serve it to the people that you care about, and enjoy them. But, I also hope that you see how you can create your own pasta salads with just a little creativity and effort.

Have a great week, everyone! Thank you for reading! Remember to subscribe to the blog, so you never miss a post again and share this post because that will help the blog grow and continue creating content like this. If you like this post you may also like 5 Small Changes That Will Have A Major Impact On Your Cooking.

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