Pasta Salad Recipe

pasta salad recipe
pasta salad recipe

Are you in search of a flavorful and effortless pasta salad recipe that’s perfect for picnics? Look no further! At Takeout Food, we bring you the ultimate pasta salad recipe that combines tender pasta, crunchy fresh veggies, cheese, and a simple vibrant, tangy dressing. This versatile dish fits seamlessly into any menu, whether it’s a gathering potluck or a refreshing make-ahead meal on a warm day.

an easy pasta salad in a white serving bowl with parsley

Easy Pasta Salad

  • Quick and easy, this recipe allows fresh seasonal veggies to shine.
  • It’s a great canvas for leftovers – toss in chopped chicken, leftover roasted veggies, or cheeses you have on hand.
  • Potluck perfect, this vibrant and flavorful salad is best made ahead of time.
  • Prepare a double batch and voila! Serve it as a side at a summer cookout and keep a bowl for yourself as a light dinner or for workday lunches all week long.

Ingredients for an easy pasta salad on a cutting board

Basic Pasta Salad Ingredients

The best pasta salad starts with the basics but can easily be customized:

  • Pasta – Any medium pasta shape works, such as rotini, bow ties, or penne. Pasta with holes, ridges, or curls hold the dressing better.
  • Vegetables – Cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and more can add color and crunch. Get creative and try spring peas, corn kernels, sliced radishes, chopped spinach, or sundried tomatoes.
  • Flavors – Boost the flavor with red onion, olives, or feta cheese.
  • Dressing – A light vinaigrette brings all the flavors together. You can use the DIY dressing recipe below or opt for a bottled vinaigrette, Italian or Greek dressing.

Ingredients for an easy pasta salad in a white serving bowl


Change it up, add new textures and flavors. Almost anything goes in a cold pasta salad:

  • Add a scoop of pesto, kalamata olives, or tapenade for a bold flavor.
  • Include chicken, shrimp, or bacon bits for extra protein.
  • Swap out the feta for other cheeses like cubed mozzarella or cheddar.
  • Boost the flavor with marinated artichokes or a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Fresh herbs like basil, dill, or parsley add freshness and make for a beautiful garnish. Fresh basil is best added before serving, while dill or parsley can be added during preparation.

How to Make Pasta Salad

  1. Cook pasta to al dente, drain, and rinse in cold water.
  2. Chop vegetables and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Toss vegetables and pasta with dressing (see recipe below).
  4. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

an easy pasta salad in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon

Tips for Perfect Pasta Salad

  • Cooking the pasta to al dente will keep it firmer as it soaks up the dressing.
  • Dress very generously, as the pasta will soak up the dressing. For the best results, be generous with the dressing so the pasta can soak it up.
  • Allow time for the pasta salad to chill in the fridge. The flavors will meld together beautifully.
  • Cut the add-ins fairly small so you get a bit of everything in every bite.

Storing Pasta Salad

  • Make this simple summer salad a day ahead and keep it chilled until ready to serve.
  • Keep leftover pasta salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Pasta doesn’t freeze well, so it’s best to start a fresh batch.

Easy Pasta Salad with tomatoes and a title


Can I add meat to pasta salad?

Absolutely! Adding protein like chicken, shrimp, or bacon bits can enhance the flavor and make the salad more filling. Feel free to get creative with your add-ins.

Can I make pasta salad ahead of time?

Yes, making pasta salad ahead of time is highly recommended. Allowing the flavors to meld together in the fridge for a few hours or overnight will result in a more delicious and well-marinated salad.

At Takeout Food, we are dedicated to providing culinary enthusiasts with delightful and creative recipes like this pasta salad. We invite you to explore our website here for more culinary delights and inspiration. Happy cooking!

Article by Takeout Food

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