13 Best Pasta Salad Recipes for the Summer

Summer is pasta salad time.
Last Updated
February 19, 2024
Editorial Staff
Best pasta salad recipes
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The weather is getting hotter, and the last thing you want to do is a slave in the kitchen over a hot stove. Who has time to cook during the summer? Not only is it hot, but you’re also likely spending more time outdoors and enjoying your free time.

We’ve got your solution- refreshing pasta salads that can be made ahead of time so you can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying the summer sun.


The 13 Best Pasta Salad Recipes

From our easy three-ingredient pasta salad recipe to our vegan black bean pasta salad, we’ve got something for everyone. Read on now to get started on making some delicious pasta salads for your next summer party!

Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad

Image of chicken fajita pasta salad on a plate
Simply Stacle

This easy chicken fajita pasta salad is perfect for a quick and tasty weeknight meal. It comes together in just minutes, and you can customize it to your liking with your favorite toppings.

The basic recipe is simple: just cook the pasta according to package instructions, then mix it with cooked chicken, bell peppers, and a delicious fajita sauce. You can add whatever toppings you like, such as shredded cheese, diced avocado, or sour cream.

All in all, this chicken fajita pasta salad is perfect for feeding a crowd, and it makes a great potluck dish. It’s also easily adaptable for different dietary needs; just swap out the regular pasta for gluten-free pasta if needed.


Bowtie Pesto Pasta Salad

Image of bowtie pesto pasta salad on a plate
Inquiring Chef

Bowtie pasta salad is a popular dish for potlucks, parties, and gatherings. It is easy to make and can be tailored to fit any taste. The most basic bowtie pasta salad recipe consists of cooked bowtie pasta, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

From there, you can add any number of ingredients to create a unique dish. For example, this pesto bowtie pasta salad features a homemade pesto made from basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.

The pesto dressing adds a delicious flavor to the salad and pairs well with the bowtie pasta’s slightly chewy texture. You could also add in other vegetables like cherry tomatoes or roasted red peppers for extra color and flavor.


Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

Image of creamy Italian pasta salad on a plate
The Defined Dish

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy side dish, look no further than creamy Italian pasta salad. This recipe is simple to follow and requires just a few ingredients, including pasta, Italian dressing, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.

The result is a creamy, flavorful pasta salad that’s perfect for potlucks and picnics. Best of all, it can be made ahead of time so you can enjoy your day without worrying about last-minute preparations.


Potsticker Pasta Salad

Close-up of potsticker pasta salad on a plate
Call Me PMc

Potsticker pasta salad is a delicious and easy way to use up potstickers. The potstickers add a nice texture and flavor to the salad. You can use any type of pasta you like, but we think the potstickers work best with bowtie pasta.

The salad is simple to make. Just cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then rinse it with cold water to cool it down.

Mix the cooled pasta with a little bit of dressing (we like ranch or Italian), then top with chopped potstickers and some shredded cheese. If you want, you can also add some chopped green onions or other herbs for extra flavor.

This is a great salad for a party or potluck or just as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.


Summer Pasta Salad

Close-up of homemade summer fusilli pasta salad on a plate
Adobe Stock

Summer pasta salad is a great way to use up all of the fresh produce that is in season. The salad can be made with any type of pasta, and it is easy to customize with your favorite vegetables.

We recommend using a mix of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, but you can add whatever you like. The dressing is simple but flavorful, consisting of olive oil, vinegar, and Italian seasoning.

Summer pasta salad is the perfect dish for a summer picnic or potluck.


Ramen Noodle Salad

Close-up of ramen noodle salad on a plate
Bon Appetit

Ramen Noodle Salad is a very easy and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables. The salad only takes about 10 minutes to make and uses ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.

Ramen noodles are a great way to add some crunch and protein to the salad, while the cabbage provides a nice base and sweetness. This is a great salad to take to potlucks or picnics or to eat as a quick and healthy lunch.


Easy Broccoli Lemon Pasta Salad

Close-up of broccoli lemon pasta salad
Food with Feeling

This easy broccoli lemon pasta salad is perfect for a quick and healthy weeknight meal. It takes just minutes to make and is packed with nutritious broccoli and vitamin C-rich lemon.

The creamy dressing is perfectly balanced with the tartness of the lemon and the sweetness of the broccoli. This salad is also great for packing in a lunchbox or taking on a picnic.


Summer Harvest Salad

Image of summer harvest salad on a plate
Cooking Classy

Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, local produce. This Summer Harvest Salad is packed with seasonal fruits and vegetables, and it’s a great way to use up any leftovers you might have.

The salad is delicious and healthy, and it’s perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue. To make the salad, start by mixing together some cooked farro, diced apples, diced celery, diced cucumber, chopped parsley, and crumbled blue cheese.

In a separate bowl, mix together some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything together until coated. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Cold Spaghetti Salad

Image of cold spaghetti salad on a plate
Belly Full

This dish is perfect for potlucks, picnics, and summer barbecues. It can be made with or without meat, and it’s always a hit with kids and adults alike. One of the best things about cold spaghetti salad is that it can be made in advance.

Just cook the pasta according to the package directions, then let it cool completely before adding the other ingredients. If you’re using meat, wait until just before serving to add it so that it doesn’t get overcooked.

Some of our favorite variations include Italian dressing, pesto sauce, or bacon bits. You can also add chopped vegetables like tomatoes, onions, or green peppers. Be sure to adjust the seasoning to your liking — salt and pepper are usually all you need.


Caprese Pasta Salad

Image of caprese pasta salad on a wood plate
Healty Fitness Meals

Caprese pasta salad is a classic Italian dish that combines the flavors of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. The ingredients are simple, but the combination is delicious. This salad is perfect for a summer picnic or potluck.

You can make your own Caprese pasta salad by using cooked bowtie pasta, diced tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves.

Toss the ingredients together with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Quick and Easy Tuna Pasta

Pasta salad with vegetables and tuna on wooden table
Adobe Stock

Quick and Easy Tuna Pasta is a dish that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes with ingredients that are likely to already be in your pantry. The combination of tuna, pasta, and simple seasonings makes for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

This dish can easily be tailored to your liking by adding different vegetables or using different types of pasta. Best of all, Quick and Easy Tuna Pasta is budget-friendly and doesn’t require any special cooking skills.

So if you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal that’s both nutritious and delicious, give this recipe a try!


Cheddar Broccoli Pasta Salad

Close-up of cheddar broccoli pasta salad
My Casual Pantry

This particular recipe is for a cheddar broccoli pasta salad that is sure to be a hit with everyone. The combination of cheese and broccoli makes this salad hearty and satisfying, while the pasta provides a bit of carbohydrate and fiber.

Best of all, it can be made ahead of time, so it’s perfect for busy cooks. Simply cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then rinse it with cold water until it is cool.

You can mix the cooked pasta with chopped broccoli, shredded cheddar cheese, and a dressing of your choice.


Tomato Feta Tortellini Salad

Close-up of tomato feta tortellini salad on a plate
Just a Taste

This Tomato Feta Tortellini Salad is the perfect side dish for any summer BBQ! It’s easy to make, and it’s so delicious that your guests will be asking for the recipe.

The salad is made with tortellini, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a simple dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures, and it’s sure to become a summer favorite!





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