Top 12 Pasta Salad Recipes

Main Dish and Side Dish Pasta Salads Perfect for Any Season

Macaroni Salad with Ham and Peas
Photo: Diana Rattray

Pasta salad is great for summer cookouts and events, but it's also a delicious side dish salad any time of the year! Try one of these flavorful pasta salads with your next cookout or family meal.

  • 01 of 12
    Tex-Mex Pasta Salad
    Tex-Mex Pasta Salad. Diana Rattray

    This pasta salad is full of surprises, with Tex-Mex flavors, black beans, corn, and a variety of chopped vegetables. Use macaroni or a similar pasta in the salad. The dressing is a mayonnaise based mixture with the addition of Southwest seasonings and lime juice. The salad is great with burgers, fajitas, or grilled steaks.

  • 02 of 12
    Lobster and Macaroni Salad
    Lobster and Macaroni Salad. Diana Rattray

    A simple mayonnaise dressing flavors this delicious lobster macaroni salad. The lobster is the star of this salad!

  • 03 of 12
    Macaroni Salad with Ham and Peas
    Diana Rattray

    Diced or shredded cheddar cheese and diced cooked ham are combined with cooked macaroni, bell peppers, and onions, along with a simple mayonnaise dressing. Add cooked fresh or frozen peas if you'd like.

  • 04 of 12
    BLT Macaroni Salad
    BLT Macaroni Salad. Diana Rattray

    This BLT macaroni salad is filled with crumbled bacon and hard-cooked eggs. The salad is mounded on lettuce and tomato slices. Add grilled chicken to make it a hearty main dish salad.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill
    Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill. Diana Rattray
    This is a flavorful pasta salad, perfect for an everyday lunch with soup, or serve it as a side dish at your next cookout. A combination of mayonnaise, lemon juice, sour cream, garlic, and dill help to flavor this delicious pasta salad.
  • 06 of 12
    Garden Pasta Salad
    Garden Pasta Salad. Diana Rattray

    Pesto and lemon juice help to flavor this tasty pasta salad. Add a little diced cooked chicken, shredded or cubed cheese, or ham for a heartier supper salad.

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    Pasta Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This chicken, spinach, and pasta salad is tossed with a flavorful mayonnaise and lemon juice dressing. This is a great main dish salad for hot summer days, or take it along to a potluck or big family cookout. Use cooked leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken for this tasty salad recipe.

  • 08 of 12
    Classic Macaroni Salad
    Basic Macaroni Salad. Diana Rattray

    This macaroni salad is made with hard-cooked eggs, chopped vegetables, and a seasoned mayonnaise dressing. It's a classic macaroni salad with creamy dressing, and always welcome!

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon
    Pasta Salad With Chicken and Bacon. Diana Rattray

    A creamy mayonnaise and lemon dressing bring pasta, bacon, and chicken together in this flavorful pasta salad. The pasta can be macaroni or a mini penne pasta. Vegetables include tomatoes, onion, and herbs.

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    Seafood pasta salad
    Jupiterimages / Getty Images

    Make this pasta salad with crabmeat, shrimp, or lobster, or use a combination. Or use imitation crab with or without shrimp for a budget-friendly seafood salad.

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    Tuna Macaroni Salad
    Diana Rattray

    This is one of my favorite pasta salads, and it's surprisingly easy.

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    Shrimp and Pasta Salad
    Jonelle Weaver/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Use rotini, wheels, shells, or elbows in this tasty shrimp salad.The salad should be refrigerated for a few hours before serving, so plan to prepare it earlier in the day.