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What is your choice when it comes to salad – Asian, Italian, or Mexican? How about pasta and salad together? If you love a combination of pasta and salad, then you can satiate your palate by enjoying them in a single dish. We have put together a handful of easy pasta salad recipes that will surely be a hit with the kids and adults alike. They are versatile and can be snuggled in as an appetizer, main course, or side dish.
25 Must Try Pasta Salad Ideas:
It is now time to stop thinking and start trying these 25 pasta salad recipes exclusively put together for you:
1. Warm Pasta Salad With Shrimp:
Here’s a fabulous salad that brings together seafood and pasta in one plate. It easily fits into your pantry and budget. Just toss the pasta in the piquant dressing and keep aside for a while before serving to allow the pasta to soak in the flavors. If you are planning to serve this chilled, then toss the ingredients into the dressing the previous day and refrigerate till you serve it.
2. Pasta Salad With Salami And Celery:
A crunchy, fresh salad, this one makes an amazing picnic side dish. It is also a great appetizer for a potluck party. Just toss the cooked pasta with the celery, salami, and the leaves. Flavor it with some olive oil and pepper dressing. Add a generous amount of grated Parmesan atop the salad. Serve garnished with a cherry tomato for added taste.
3. Spinach And Orzo Salad:
Palate pleasing and light, it is a simple, easy to prepare, and crunchy salad. Just blend olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Mix cooked orzo with spinach, onions, nuts, and basil along with feta cheese and white pepper. Pour the dressing atop this mixture and toss to ensure even coating. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until you serve it.
4. Pasta Salad With Lemon And Peas:
A healthy, heart-friendly salad, it is appealing both to your eyes and taste buds. Serve it as a side dish at your potluck or round it off as a full meal by tossing in some cannellini beans. Either way, it tastes good. Toss in the bow tie pasta in the light tangy mayonnaise dressing flavored with basil and pepper for that rich experience.
5. Italian Pesto Pasta Salad:
The zestful mishmash of peppery arugula with crispy nuts and the raging freshness of basil make this pasta a flavorful delight. The richness comes from the addition of the Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese mixture. While you can opt for ready-made pesto, homemade ones with fresh basil leaves, garlic, toasted nuts, and seasoned with ground pepper takes this salad to a different level.
6. Classic Macaroni Salad:
Everyone seems to be in love with this salad. Just add mayonnaise to Dijon mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt, and freshly ground pepper and mix well for consistency. Add the veggies and pasta. Mix well, and refrigerate it overnight before serving this mind-boggling creamy delicacy.
7. Southwestern Chicken And Macaroni Salad:
A blend of spices and ingredients from various cuisines, this one is a confluence of rich flavors. While the fieriness is rendered by the Mexican salsa taquera and poblano peppers, the blend of Southwestern Chicken and cream cheese along with the mushy avocado complements it. A very versatile delicacy, you can adjust the flavors according to your palate needs. If you do not like salsa taquera, then opt for a salsa of your choice and personalize the platter.
8. Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, And Chilies:
A simple, yet classic delicacy, this one is easy to fix and will give you a punch of flavor. The mildness of juicy tomatoes and goat cheese is set back with the addition of chili and black pepper. This dish is a perfect choice to warm up the cold wintery nights. Serve it alongside some hot soup and crusty bread for a complete meal.
9. Roasted Tomato And Mushroom Pasta Salad:
Salads, especially infused with pasta, make ideal picnic and potluck companions. And, this mushroom and tomato salad with pasta is definitely a saliva inducer! The herbed tomatoes, hearty beans and mushrooms blend with the penne pasta ensuring that your choice is perfect as usual.
10. Almond Citrus Couscous Pasta:
Your search for a cool, yet healthy and refreshing summer side dish comes to an end with this citrusy almond couscous recipe. The actually recipe mentioned here is just for couscous. However, you can add some orzo into it. If you are a vegetarian, then use vegetarian broth in place of chicken bouillon. Cook the orzo as per the instructions on the package and drain it. Mix it with cooled couscous, almonds, lemon zest, veggies, and olive oil. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
11. Creamy Pasta Salad:
Prepared with ditalini pasta, this one is tender, yet crisp. Carrots and beans are cooked along with ditalini pasta and then tossed with fennel bulbs, fronds, parsley, red pepper, sugar, ranch dressing, and seasoned with pepper and salt. Toss well to ensure even mixing. Serve fresh.
12. Orzo Salad With Radish And Fennel:
The tangy lemon dressing with the vibrant richness of fresh mint leaves makes this pasta a must try during summers. The radish gives you fiber while you get a dose of carbs from orzo. Make sure you give it a good 3 hours of chilling time before garnishing with mint leaves.
13. Mediterranean Pasta Salad:
Give your barbecue a new lease of life with this strikingly appeasing Mediterranean pasta salad. This looks simple with a basic seasoning of olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and pepper. Nevertheless, it gets its appeal from the blend of ripe tomatoes with capers and anchovy fillets. Make sure you add the tomatoes only at the end to prevent the ingredients from getting soggy.
14. Chicken And Farfalle Salad With Walnut Pesto:
The key to extract the right flavors lies in the even mincing of the pesto ingredients. So, make sure you keep scraping down the sides of your processor every now and then to get an evenly flavored walnut pesto. The olives add saltiness to the salad while chicken and pasta makes it come alive with flavors.
15. Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad:
A protein laden pasta salad, it is the perfect salad, which you can enjoy after a strenuous workout. The sharp flavors of smoky salami and banana peppers just burst in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
16. Deli Pasta Salad:
This tasty salad needs just 20 minutes of your time. A great add-on for a spicy soup or a side dish for a meat entrée, this one is a deliciously versatile recipe. This salad gets that special flavor from the delightful blend of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and basil leaves. Toss the peas and pasta in the dressing first followed by sun-dried tomatoes and leftover basil leaves. Add the torn salami at the end and serve immediately.
17. Greek Pasta Salad:
Grab some fresh spinach and cook it along with pasta of your choice. Toss olives, cherry tomatoes, and Feta cheese with loads of coarsely ground fresh black pepper powder and generous amounts of olive oil. Add the cooked and drained spinach and pasta and toss well. Keep it in the center of the dining table along with some toasted garlic bread and freshly sliced fruits, and welcome your guests to help themselves.
18. Storecupboard Pasta Salad:
A great make ahead recipe for barbecue, picnics, and party, it can easily carve a special place in your lunchbox. Toss capers and onions with oil and pesto and keep aside. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl containing tomatoes and pasta, flake in tuna and give a quick toss. Add pesto mix and mix to ensure even spread of flavors. You can even add sweet corn kernels and a handful of toasted almonds to zest up the delicacy.
19. Mackerel Pasta Salad:
A delectable blend of mackerel with pasta, it has a soothing effect on your palate. A filling meal packed with just pure goodness, it will be loved by your kids for sure. Just remember the ratio of olive oil and lemon juice to get the flavors right – 3:1. Toss in the veggies, pasta, and seafood along with a handful of nuts of your choice in the dressing. Season it with freshly ground black pepper powder, and serve garnished with crumbled cheese.
20. Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad With Artichoke Hearts:
While canned artichokes can be used to cut down the time involved in the preparation of this salad, the fresh ones give your recipe a surprisingly good taste. Chicken seasoned with salt and pepper is grilled to perfection before tossing with artichoke hearts, scallions, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, cheese, and pasta. Adjust the seasoning and keep aside for 10 minute before spicing up your BBQ party.
21. Paella Salad:
This recipe is based loosely on the Spanish rice delicacy –paella and hence the name. While this recipe calls for the use of orzo, you have the option of using macaroni or spaghetti instead. And, if you love experimenting with plating, you can opt for a fusilli or multi-colored pasta to make this a party delight.
22. Penne Salad With Eggplant:
This one tastes the best when served slightly warm or at room temperature. It is an ideal choice for winters and BBQs and not really for summer. Grill the eggplants instead of stir-frying them along with a whole load of crushed garlic with the skin on. Load up the dried up spices and make it fiery with a generous amount of chili garlic sauce.
23. Waldorf Chicken And Pasta Salad:
This is an easy to make salad that will definitely be the showstopper at your party. The recipe calls for the use of cooked chicken. But you can even grill them, if you have time. Just blend mayonnaise and yogurt with lemon juice and season with pepper and salt. Mix in scallions with celery, apples, chicken, and pasta and toss well. Add a handful of roasted walnuts and serve.
24. Pasta Fruit Salad:
A combination of pasta and fruit definitely sounds interesting. A healthy and tasty delight, this one is perfect for that spring potluck. Even your fussy kids will go gaga over this tasty dish. Use multi-hued pasta if you are serving at a kids’ party and make sure the fruits are really, really colorful. This recipe calls for the use of pineapples, cantaloupes, strawberries, and grapes. You can add assorted berries and even watermelons to make it tastier. Opt for fresh cream instead of sour cream and a strawberry-flavored yogurt for a classical spring touch.
25. Asian Pasta Salad:
Give your Italian party an Asian makeover with this Asian Pasta salad. Packed with lush avocados and mangoes, this salad gets its unique flavor from the blend of soya sauce with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and sugar. Add cooked and drained pasta to mangoes, carrots, cabbage, avocado, onions, and pine nuts. Toss it in the sesame oil dressing. Season it with salt and pepper. Serve it immediately for a crunchy dining experience with bhatura, the deep-fried Indian flat bread.
Twenty five lip smacking ways to enjoy pasta and salad in the same plate—food at its best. It cannot get better than this!
What is your favorite pasta salad recipe ─ blend of vegetables and pasta or meat and pasta? Share it with us in the comments section.