18 Pasta Salads You'll Want to Make All Summer Long
Pasta salad is always a crowd-pleaser when it comes to summer meals. These salads combine tender pasta with fresh veggies and flavor-packed dressings for a side or main dish that only gets more delicious the longer the ingredients meld together. Recipes like our Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad and Greek Pasta Salad are healthy, refreshing additions to your summer menu.
Shrimp Pasta Salad
This fresh and bright cold shrimp pasta salad features classic shrimp scampi flavors. Lemon and Dijon mustard brighten the dressing, and asparagus adds a nice crunch. Farfalle pasta works well with this dish, but any medium pasta shape will work.
Southern Macaroni Salad
Bring this quintessential Southern macaroni salad, made with whole-wheat macaroni, celery, peas and ham, to your next picnic or barbecue. It's the perfect salad to feed a crowd!
Greek Pasta Salad
This quick, healthy Greek pasta salad recipe is tossed with all the elements of a Greek salad--plus chickpeas for added protein. This pasta salad holds well in the refrigerator or a cooler and tastes even better as the pasta absorbs the tomato-infused vinaigrette. Serve with pita chips.
Pasta Salad with Black Beans & Avocado Dressing
Everyone will love this pasta salad recipe that's packed with tomatoes, corn and black beans. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.
Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad
This cold pesto pasta salad will cool you off on a summer day. Fresh tomatoes and roasted red peppers add a pop of bright color and juiciness here, but any of your favorite pasta-salad veggies, like blanched broccoli and fresh bell peppers, would be delicious too.
Lemon Shrimp & Orzo Salad
Consider making a double batch of this easy pasta salad--it's delicious the next day. The orzo will absorb the dressing as it sits, so add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if you'd like.
Couscous & Chickpea Salad
Cooked couscous and canned chickpeas come together in this quick lunch salad. The basil vinaigrette makes it taste anything but basic! When in season, we recommend adding fresh chopped tomatoes for a spin on tabbouleh.
Cucumber Pasta Salad
This light and tangy cucumber pasta salad is fresh and bright. The orecchiette pasta holds the dressing for flavor in every bite, but you can use another small pasta shape if you like. This easy salad is perfect for a warm day or to serve as a lunch dish for company! For a fruitier flavor, try apple-cider vinegar in place of white distilled vinegar.
Tex-Mex Pasta Salad
A light and creamy green-salsa dressing highlights this easy pasta salad with Southwestern flavors.
Make-Ahead Chicken Pasta Salad
Need something to bring to a party or backyard barbecue? This make-ahead chicken pasta salad recipe is classic and completely adaptable-you can swap in whatever veggies, herbs or cheese you like.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
You might not think to use hummus as a pasta sauce, but the creamy dip makes the perfect backdrop to the bold flavors of this healthy Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad.
Macaroni Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Give classic pasta salad a fresher, more flavorful spin. This fast pasta dish calls for avocado to replace some of the mayonnaise, which makes it extra creamy. Whole-wheat elbow macaroni and fresh vegetables lighten up this healthy pasta salad that you'll be making all summer long.
A tomato-rich dressing boosts the flavor and lowers calories and fat in this tortellini salad (the dressing is also great on green salads or grilled fish). Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes add a good dose of vitamins A, C and fiber.
Mediterranean Broccoli Pasta Salad
We've loaded this healthy pasta salad with vegetables and flavors of the Mediterranean. Sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of lemon zest jazz up the dressing, while tender-crisp broccoli florets cook alongside the pasta, making assembly (and cleanup!) a breeze.
Cilantro-Lime Pasta Salad
You may not be in the islands at this very moment, but you can certainly pretend to be while eating this tropical-inspired pasta salad--featuring grilled chicken, creamy avocadoes and sweet mango, tossed with lime-cilantro dressing.
Whole-Grain Orzo & Grilled Vegetable Salad
This lovely Mediterranean orzo salad is rich with basil, grilled vegetables and tender fresh mozzarella cheese. The combination of vegetables, vinaigrette and fresh basil is a perfect base for the orzo and the cheese.
Cold Noodle Salad
This Asian-inspired cold noodle salad with peanut butter, snow pea pods, chicken, and bell pepper is easy to make ahead and pack for lunch.
Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad
Yes, blueberries and pasta. The addition of poached chicken and feta cheese makes this dish into a light and satisfying summer supper that's also great for a potluck. If you already have some leftover chicken, skip Step 1 and add shredded chicken in Step 4.