Pasta Salads

I love pasta salads. Not necessarily the healthiest thing I put in my body but if I sneak some in as a side dish I’m not that concerned. There are a wide variety of recipes out there and I have experimented with quite a few over the last few years. In this post i will share three different yet delicious recipes I’ve come across. Try one, try them ALL and let me know what your fav is!

Whether you are sticking to regular pasta, whole grain or even gluten-free, you have an option of noodle. Traditionally the elbow is the most popular for pasta salad. I am a fan of bow tie or rotini pasta because they look pretty OR penne because it holds so much of the dressing. Dressing vary from oil based to mayo and seasonings make all the difference.

Let’s start with a go to Italian Pasta Salad. Pasta, meats, good olive oil…my mouth is already watering. Get the recipe here:Italian Pasta Salad


Some things I do a little differently. I use large chucks of salami and pepperoni. You will usually find the types that I use with the specialty cheese in your grocery store. I love the tri-color pasta but I often switch it out for bow tie. The dressing in this recipe is a simple Italian dressing and I really like it. You can use your favorite bottle dressing BUT choose something organic…in my opinion fresh is always best. I also add different veggie sometimes steamed and cooled broccolini is a favorite.

Back in America a Classic Pasta Salad is a great BBQ or picnic addition.  Now these recipes are widely available and each style- southern especially will have their own special twists. Some add diced pickles, pickle juice, pimentos. It is really up to you. This site has the recipe closest to my own Classic Macaroni Salad


It is perfect the way it is BUT I always like to make a recipe my own. SO…In my house this is always an elbow noodle recipe. I always use Hellman’s mayo. I leave out the sour cream and just add a bit more mayo. Southerners swear my Duke’s mayo. Stick with your favorite in this case.  I trade out the dry mustard for whole grain mustard I like the taste better and it looks pretty! This is a refreshing salad to have along side grilled meats or anything topped with BBQ sauce. YUM!

If you are looking for something a little different try this Mexican Pasta Salad. I got this from The Pioneer Woman website. I have all of her cookbooks I highly recommend them. They are real recipes with easy to find ingredients. The recipes vary from ridiculously unhealthy (but tasty) to light and healthy. Mexican Macaroni Salad

pwmac.jpgthis image is directly from her site!!!!

I don’t change this recipe one bit! It is just spicy enough thanks to the cumin and salsa; just sweet enough from the grilled corn and tomatoes. I just love this macaroni salad. Try it at your next BBQ. I guarantee it will be a hit. I am making it this week to serve alongside chicken fajita!

I hope you fall in love with the pasta salads as I have. Let me know your favorite!!!!


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