Pasta Salad Recipies

I have to make a pasta salad for a shower I’m co-hosting. Does anyone have a good recipe that will feed about 18 or so? It can have meat in it or be completely veg. I’m looking for something that’s more than “just dump a bottle of Italian dressing on some noodles and add olives”.


Take some red potatoes, quarter them, and cook them until they’re tender. Cook some spiral-shaped pasta. Mix both with a large can of white tuna. Toss in some black pepper, terragon, lemon juice, almond slivers, arugala, and just a little olive oil. You can also add some red pepper if you want to spice it up a little. Simply and yummy.

1lb. Three color rotini noodles.
1 lb. frozen broccoli crowns chopped coarse
1/2 lb. frozen mixed vegatables break the grean beans if they are too long
about a hand full of the frozen 3 color bell pepper strips chopped coarse
Half cup of green onion (or more) chopped fine
Italian salad dressing’

Boil noodles, drain, rinse
thaw vegetables by tossing them with the noodles (also cools the noodles to speed serve time)

add enough dressing to coat but not pool in bowl
Mayo to desired creamieness (is that a word?)
salt to taste

Known around here as my garden mac salad and a big hit.

Oddly the frozen vegs work better than fresh, I guess it has something to do with the blanching / quick freeze process

Shock and awe them with the addition of Baconsalt after their first taste.

BLT Pasta Salad

14 oz pasta (ziti or rotini work well), cooked, drained, and cooled
1 pond bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 cups lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 bottle ranch dressing
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients. Serve!

Tri colour pasta twirls
Chorizo\ spicy sausage
String beans\ French beans (or I guess you could use butter beans, as long as they are fresh)
Yellow bell pepper
Black olives

Quantities are at the discretion of the cook.

Cook and drain the pasta.
Add chunks or small strips of chorizo while the pasta is still warm.
Add steamed, chopped beans. (If you’re using butter beans, don’t chop them).
Add some chunks of roasted yellow pepper.
Slice the olives widthways and throw into the mix.

Dress with oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice. Salt and crushed black pepper to taste. (You probably won’t need very much salt).

The flavours are a party in the mouth, and the combination of colours is very pretty indeed.

4" of pepperoni stick, cut into small cubes.

1 brick of cracker barrel extra sharp cheddar cheese, cubed.

1/2 an onion, diced.

1 can of italian style diced tomatoes.

chopped basil to taste

Sun Dried Tomato style salad dressing.

Cook, drain, and refrigerate 2 lbs of spiral pasta.

Prepare pepperoni, cheese, onion, and throw them all in a mixing bowl. Squirt about 4 Tbsp of dressing on. Shake a sparse coating of basil on top, and mix thoroughly.

Refrigerate pepperoni, cheese, onion for about an hour so they can mingle.

Just before leaving for your party, put all the ingredients in the same bowl, add salad dressing until it’s moist enough for your taste. I always drain the juice from my tomatoes, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

I think waiting to add salad dressing until shortly before serving keeps the pasta from getting too mushy.


I’m not at home to look it up, but the one I like involves feta cheese, black olives, and Salad Supreme, among other things.

Surok, I bet that would be really smashing with those purple string beans.

Granny’s mac salad:

cubed ham, cooked elbow mac, shredded (or finely cubed) cheddar cheese, and fresh (or from frozen) green peas. Use a creamy dressing - I use 1/2 mayo and 1/2 ranch.

You can also use it with small shells or twirly pasta.

Per 4 servings, approximately (I’m not good at measuring ingredients or counting eaters)

Toss together, in a large bowl, to taste:
1 pkg tricolor rotini
small can artichoke hearts
small can baby corn, sliced
small can sliced black olives
4 oz (or so) salad shrimp, cooked or
1 Cup-ish good pepperoni, cubed to salad shrimp size. Or both. Or not.
1 tub perlinni (sp? itty bitty mozzarella balls in liquid – not marinated) Or a couple handfuls of small cubes of mozzarella
lots of small (or quartered) fresh mushrooms
2 or 3 small zucchinis, sliced
2 or 3 diced Roma tomatoes (cored & seeded)
Substitute or add anything else that sounds yummy (cucumbers, broccoli florets, sliced water chestnuts, ham, tiny scallops, whatever)

Whisk together, and pour over salad:
small bunch basil, very finely sliced
couple-or-four chugs GOOD olive oil
enough (Good, grated – not shredded, grated) Parmesan or Romano to give the sauce just a little body
couple cloves Garlic, well crushed
generous pinch Kosher or Sea salt
(If feeling lazy, bottled Italian or Caesar salad dressing will do. 1/4 of a bottle per bag of pasta, roughly)

Let sit at least 2 hours, tossing if you think of it, but at least toss once immediately before serving.

If you make it the day before, don’t add the mozzarella until shortly before serving and undercook the noodles just a bit (white core), they will soften as it sits.

Tortellini of your choice
Broccoli florets
Sliced black olives
Green onions
Water chestnuts
Pine nuts
Pesto sauce

Cook the pasta according to your taste, steam the broccoli, and combine with remaining ingredients. Serve with garlic bread.

Tri-colored spirally noodles, cooked and cooled
Pitted kalamata olives
Fresh pesto
A good crumbled hunk of feta
roasted pine nuts
thin slices of fresh red pepper

Toss it all together with a couple tablespoons of good olive oil, chill in the fridge, and try not to keep it all for yourself ;0)

Two of mine that have been a success:

Smoked salmon pasta salad

smoked salmon
spring onions or leek
sour cream or natural-flavored yoghurt
black pepper
cherry tomatoes
boiled egg

Amounts of all ingredients: on a “well, I like this, so I’ll add more” basis.

Boil the pasta and let it cool. Put the pasta in a bowl, add smoked salmon (the more the better, but remember to take out the bones). Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Add cucumber chopped into fairly large bits, halved cherry tomatoes, and some chopped leek or spring onions.

Mix some lemon juice, mustard, black pepper, and a pinch of salt and sugar with the sour cream or yoghurt. Mix this sauce in with the salad just before you serve it, otherwise the pasta will suck it all in. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and dill.
Chicken-pesto salad

1/2 grilled chicken
4-5 tablespoons of pesto (or more, if you like)
black pepper
green salad
one red onion, chopped into thin slices
pine nuts, preferably toasted
(small chunks of honeydew melon or peaches)

Boil the pasta, throw it into a bowl, throw everything else in, season. Grate parmesan on top.

Shrimp Salad

Package of shell pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
3 cans medium deveined shrimp, drained & rinsed
stalk of celery, minced
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 small bell pepper, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
dried dill weed to taste (usually at least a tablespoon, more if using fresh)
salt & pepper
5-7 large shrimp, shelled and grilled (optional)
paprika (optional)

Mix all but the grilled shrimp and paprika together. Garnish with the cooked shimp and paprika. I like to coat the shrimp with olive oil and a bit of Cajun spice before grilling.