8 of the Best Pasta Salad Recipes

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

Raise your hand if you are so excited for summer. Raise your hand if you are so excited to eat summer foods. Me, me, me! I love seasonal food and of course summer foods top my list as some of my favorites. I love sweet juicy watermelon, fresh corn on the cob, my mom’s seven layer salad, green beans cooked with bacon, s’mores fresh from the fire, grilled fish, homemade ice cream, potato salad, and of course pasta salads in all their varieties.

If you love summer food as much I do, chances are good you like a pasta salad or two. Today I wanted to share 8 of my very favorite pasta salad recipes. When you have a picnic or party to go to, you’ll have a big list of recipes to choose from. When you need a delicious side to go with dinner or to share with friends, I’ve got you covered! I made a huge variety of pasta salad recipes so that no matter the craving, I’ve got a salad for you. My kids loved all the creamy pasta salads (Dill Pickle Pasta Salad and the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad were their favorite), and if you are going to make me pick, the Creamy Taco Pasta Salad as well as the Italian Pasta Salad were my favorites. That’s a tough call though because we liked them all. Did you see the recipe for the Pesto Pasta salad? It’s so summery and full of flavor – that’s probably a favorite, too.

Who am I kidding, you are going to want to make them all, too. I can’t wait until you do!

Be sure to share these with your favorite pasta-loving friend.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

Tips and tricks for making the best pasta salad recipes:

    • Make sure you rinse the pasta well in cold water (you can even give it a plunge in ice water). This stops it from cooking more (which means the texture won’t get too soft) and it keeps your other ingredients from getting warm from the pasta too.
    • Only cook the pasta until it is al dente (the shortest cooking time recommended on the package). Over cooked pasta gets mushy and tends to break when stirred.
    • If you plan on making your pasta salad ahead of time, feel free to only had half of the dressing and then add the second half right before serving. This helps to ensure that your pasta won’t absorb all your sauce before you are ready to eat.
    • Serving a creamy pasta at an outdoor picnic this summer? It’s always a great idea to bring a second slightly larger bowl, fill it half way with ice, and then set your slightly smaller bowl of pasta salad on the ice. This helps to keep the pasta salad cool which is great for food safety as well as taste and texture. (I love this set of bowls with lids – great for traveling and parties!)
    • You can change just about any pasta salad into a main dish by serving some protein with it. Here are 4 cooking methods to make amazing chicken breast every time if you need a little help.

Craving more? Subscribe to Bless this Mess to get new recipes, meal plans, and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #blessthismesseats on Instagram. I love to see your kitchen skills in action!

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Dill Pickle Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

Description

Everything you love about dill pickles and cheese in a creamy pasta salad. Pickle lovers unite!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the chopped pickles and cheddar cheese.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, pickle juice, and garlic powder.
  4. Add the dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

I like to chop up dill pickle spears for this recipe instead of using already sliced dill pickles. The texture is crunchier when you chop up a whole dill spear. Extra sharp cheddar cheese is great in this recipe.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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BLT Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

Description

Crunchy lettuce, tasty tomatoes, and bacon all mixed in with pasta and a creamy dressing. BLT pasta salad is going to be a favorite in no time.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and onion.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic powder.
  4. Add the dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

If you are going to make this ahead of time, don’t add the lettuce until just before serving. It tends to get limp if left in the dressing for too long.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-8

Description

Chicken Bacon Pasta Salad is our favorite pasta salad recipe that comes together in about 20 minutes, and the whole family loves it.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed in warm water
  • 1 cup tomato pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, about 8 ounces
  • 4 ounces cooked crumbled bacon
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the peas, cooked chicken, bacon, tomato and onion to the pasta.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and ranch seasoning and stir to combine. Add to the pasta.
  4. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

  1. Use whatever type of chicken you have. Grilled chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, or even crispy chicken strips from the freezer section will work here.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Easy Pesto Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

Description

The easiest Pesto Pasta Salad ever! This recipe only calls for a few simple ingredients and it tastes like summer.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the pesto and olive oil.
  4. Add the pesto dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

Add a little more pesto and olive oil to this salad on the second day to refresh the leftovers before serving.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Simple Italian Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

Description

Simple Italian Pasta Salad made with pasta, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup halved Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil and/or parsley (I like a combination of the two)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, and fresh herbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Add the dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

This is delicious with the addition of chickpeas or white beans, pepperoni or salami, and/or some feta cheese to push this from a side to a main dish.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Asian Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa

Description

Asian Pasta Salad is made with chopped vegetables, pasta, and a simple soy sauce dressing – and it only takes about 20 minutes to make!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced purple cabbage
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, optional
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the bell pepper, celery, carrot, almonds, cabbage, and onion.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic powder, and ginger.
  4. Add the dressing to the pasta.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

If you are preparing this ahead of time, leave out the nuts until just before serving so that they don’t get soft in the dressing.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Taco Pasta Salad


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-12

Description

Creamy taco pasta salad made with pasta, hamburger, chopped vegetables, and a creamy, taco-inspired dressing to bring it all together. Bonus: It’s done in about 20 minutes!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups small dry pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • ½ pound hamburger
  • ½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, in a small skillet cook the hamburger over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain extra grease and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooked hamburger, bell pepper, olives, tomato, red onion, and the cheddar cheese. Add the mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

Notes

To make this meatless sub the hamburger for a drained and rinsed can of black or pinto beans.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

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Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe


  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10

Description

Classic macaroni salad recipe, just like you’d get from your grocer’s deli, only better! Loaded with celery, carrots, peppers, and eggs and topped with a homemade creamy dressing.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni pasta (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup chopped boiled eggs (about 4 eggs)
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely grated carrot
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is cooked al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, and sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Add the pasta to a medium mixing bowl. Add the eggs, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and red onion to the pasta. Add the mayonnaise mixture.
  4. Stir everything together until it is all well-coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.

8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pasta salad ever. BLT, Asian, Italian, Pesto, and more!

So many pasta salad recipes to love. Which one will YOU be making first?

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  1. 8 of my favorite pasta salad recipes plus tips and tricks on making the best pas… – Delectable Salads

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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