Pasta Salad Recipes

Easy pasta salad recipes to liven up any BBQ or picnic

Forget those pasta salads from your childhood with tons of mayonnaise, boring vegetables and little flavor. These pasta salad recipes are much more creative and satisfying. And they go well with just about any picnic food, from burgers to fried chicken.

  • 01 of 12

    Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

    Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

    The Spruce

    This is one of the more popular pasta salads I make for summer parties and picnics. Feel free to substitute your own favorite vegetables for the ones I've chosen, but try to keep the marinated artichokes. They lend such a great flavor to this dish.

  • 02 of 12

    BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

    BLT Pasta Salad
    BLT Pasta Salad. Stephanie Gallagher

    Refreshing and hearty, this is one of those pasta salads that could be served either as a light main course or a side dish. Feel free to add more bacon if you want a heartier flavor.

  • 03 of 12

    Southwestern Steak Pasta Salad

    Southwestern Steak Pasta Salad
    Southwestern Steak Pasta Salad. Stephanie Gallagher

    This hearty pasta salad has all the flavors of great Tex-Mex food: black beans, corn, jicama and red bell peppers. Feel free to substitute chicken for the steak if you prefer.

  • 04 of 12

    Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

    Tuna Pasta Salad
    Tuna Pasta Salad. Stephanie Gallagher

    There's a local high-end grocery store in my neighborhood that makes a tuna pasta salad everyone just goes nuts over. But it is so simple to create it at home. This is my version, and I have to say it is darned good. I especially like the fact that I don't have to pay $6.99 per pound for it!

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Mediterranean Pasta Salad

    Anita Schecter 

    Fresh vegetables like arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, and black olives add wonderful color and texture to this Mediterranean pasta salad. The dressing has a touch of mayo and mustard, offering a creaminess while the lemon, garlic, and oregano bring Mediterranean flavors. Fresh basil and feta cheese finish off this filling pasta salad perfect for a vegetarian meal or side dish.

  • 06 of 12

    Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

    Greek pasta salad
    newpi/Getty Images

    You will find all the flavors of a great Greek salad in this pasta salad recipe, including cucumbers, black olives, tomatoes and feta cheese. A Greek salad dressing brings it all together. Serve with my moist and juicy turkey burgers.

  • 07 of 12

    Spinach Orzo Salad

    Spinach Orzo Salad

    Pete Scherer

    Orzo is a type of small, rice-like pasta that pairs nicely with a fresh spinach sauce. This orzo salad also features wilted spinach, artichoke hearts, and cheese for a colorful and delicious side dish.

  • 08 of 12

    Mexican Pasta Salad

    Mexican Pasta Salad
    Mexican Pasta Salad. Stephanie Gallagher

    Black beans, red peppers, corn, Mexican cheese and jicama add Mexican flavors to this hearty pasta salad. This is a great side dish for my chicken fajita recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Tortellini Salad Recipe

    Tortellini salad
    StockFood/Getty Images

    This is pasta salad is made with whole wheat tortellini, zucchini, red peppers, onions and mushrooms. I like to make this salad in the summer when the zucchini is plentiful. Feel free to add or substitute different vegetables if you like. A red pepper dressing keeps this salad light.

    If you like this recipe, check out my baked tortellini with chicken and spinach. It's a hot comfort food dish that's always a hit with the kids.

  • 10 of 12

    Pasta Green Bean Salad Recipe

    Pasta Pesto

    The Spruce

    This is a very simple, four-ingredient salad that goes well with just about everything, and it travels well, too, making it a perfect bring-along dish for potlucks and parties. If you want to switch things up a bit, try making this pasta salad with kale pesto.

  • 11 of 12

    Tangy Apricot Pecan Penne Pasta Salad

    Asparagus pasta salad

    ​The Spruce 

    Fresh apricots, whole wheat penne pasta and pecans add sweetness, nutty flavor and texture to this wholesome, healthy pasta salad. This dish makes a great healthy lunch idea for the kids.

  • 12 of 12

    Couscous Salad Recipe

    Couscous salad
    Armstrong Studios/Getty Images

    Why include couscous salad in this recipe collection? Because couscous is technically pasta! This recipe tastes great in the summer when zucchini and red peppers are in season. I use instant couscous for this recipe.