When it comes to the summer and warmer weather, you can’t beat a pasta salad, can you? You get the carby goodness of pasta, the freshness of your salad, and a stunning dressing or sauce that leaves your mouth watering and begging for more!
Summer Pasta Dishes
But finding the best pasta salad recipe can be a challenge, can’t it? There are so many recipes and variations out there that it can be overwhelming and unsure which way to go.
The last thing we want to do is make a bland or underwhelming pasta salad that leaves our friends and family dubbing us the worst chef.
Of course, if you want more ideas for your meal plan, check out the ones below for inspiration!
- 50 Mediterranean Diet Recipe Favorites
- 25 Light And Easy Chicken Recipes For Dinner
- 20 Healthy Air Fryer Recipes You Must Try
- 20 Easy Flavor-Packed Sheet Pan Chicken Dinners
- 35+ Instant Pot Comfort Food Recipes For Weeknight Meals
- 30 Slow Cooker Pork Recipes Your Family Will Love
Best Pasta Salads for Summer
Luckily for you, it doesn’t need to be this way! We have taken the time to bring you the best pasta salad recipes that will keep you munching like rabbits all through summer!
Keep reading for all the inspiration, recipes, and mouth-watering images you need. Prepare to level up your pasta salad game now!
To start our list, this tasty recipe is an excellent entree. Simple flavors with beef, herbs, lettuce, and noodles, this classic recipe is filled with flavor and sure to please.
Substitute with chicken, shrimp or tofu in place of steak for a different flavor profile with tons of protein that works for anyone at your dinner table.
We couldn’t possibly start with any other dish than our favorite pasta salad with Italian dressing when it comes to pasta salads! It's packed full of delicious flavors that transport you to a rustic vineyard, sipping wine and smelling fresh flowers.
You can serve the pasta hot or cold as a lunch, dinner, or tasty side dish.
We love serving ours on a BBQ with some fresh salad leaves. It's the perfect accompaniment to burgers and dogs while adding a light and healthy feel to your BBQ. It's super quick to make, too, so you don’t need to worry about finding time to make the dish.
It's best to place the pasta salad in the refrigerator for roughly 30 minutes before serving, so it's cold and refreshing when you bite into it! It's a winner for us and a firm favorite in our home.
Sometimes, a simple homemade dressing, fresh produce, and a bit of feta is all that you need to make a killer pasta salad! This is my personal favorite for potlucks, or for those times I want the pasta, but a lighter option.
You can stick to this recipe, or add in more fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, or squash. It's so easy to adjust for your own personal tastes!
It’s easy to make and fast too! You can have it on your plate in 30 minutes, forks at the ready! We think you will enjoy the flavors, and the added cheese gives the dish some added protein.
If you want to enjoy the dish cold, pop it in the refrigerator for two hours before serving. Or you can put it in overnight, but we recommend adding the spinach just before serving if you do this to keep it nice and fresh!
This pasta salad is perfect for those wanting to use up mid-summer vegetables and enjoy a vibrant and tasty pasta salad!
The dish is packed full of veggies and flavors that work well on their own or with meat added to them. Beef, chicken, or fish pairs best with the dish, or leave it as is for a vegetarian-friendly dish.
We love serving this pasta as a side dish with our BBQs or summer parties. It's a nice change from other pasta dishes you often see on BBQs while still offering a light and refreshing taste. There’s a lovely lemon taste that complements the toasted walnuts nicely.
You can expect a crunchy texture and loads of flavor in every mouthful. It can take a little longer as you will roast the peppers but trust us, this dish is worth it!
After a light and tasty lunch or side dish? Then stop right here and make this lemon and basil pasta now!
The pasta salad is full of flavor without being too heavy or stodgy. The lemon flavor always reminds us of sunny summer afternoons, and we are sure you will be just as obsessed with it as we are!
You can often find ready-made versions of this pasta dish in the refrigerated aisle in a store. But usually, at twice the price you will make it for at home. And we think it never tastes as nice and fresh as when it's homemade, so save yourself some dollars and make it yourself!
You can add meat if you want; we think grilled chicken is fantastic tossed through, or leave it as a delicious veggie-packed dish. We enjoy it most as a lunch or a side dish at one of our garden parties.
You can’t go wrong with this pasta salad for those who want to increase their green intake! It is loaded with peas, pine nuts, chickpeas, asparagus and finished with a stunning pesto dressing. It has more than earned the title of the green goddess and is the perfect salad to enjoy as a meal or a side dish.
The healthy salad is full of flavor and complements a BBQ wonderfully. You can expect to whip this dish up quickly too and enjoy it all year round, not just in the summer! You can serve the salad hot or cold, although we enjoy this to cool us down after a hot summer's day.
You can add some meat to the dish too if you wanted, some leftover chicken from the BBQ, perhaps? Or it works perfectly as a veggie dish; the choice is yours!
For those that love a meaty salad, we have the one for you! This pasta salad is loaded with meat, cheese, tomatoes, beans, and a creamy barbecue sauce that will leave your mouth watering. It's the perfect pasta salad to serve as an evening meal or as a side dish on your BBQ.
You can remove the meat for the veggies in the room and add some extra beans if you want; the choice is yours! You can also adjust the flavors of the sauce, adding some extra heat if you’re going to kick it up a notch!
The salad is super tasty when served cold or warm on a colder day or evening. We think this salad is perfect for days when you want to throw everything in a bowl and enjoy a delicious meal!
For the fish fans in the room, we have a delicious pasta salad for you to enjoy. Packed with colorful veggies, protein, carbs, and fantastic flavors, it’s the perfect dish to enjoy when you are hungry and want something to eat now.
You can have the dish ready in no time at all, as a lunch, dinner, or side dish for BBQs and summer parties. It's tasty and quite refreshing, the perfect dish for cooling you down after a long day in the sun or work.
What’s great about it is that you can add the ingredients that suit you. Why not use up all the dregs in your salad drawer and enjoy a healthy dish! Although it's a dish we usually enjoy in the summer, most of the ingredients are available all year round, so you can make this with ease, whenever the mood takes you!
Mad for creamy, cheesy dishes, but still like getting your greens in? Give this goat cheese pasta salad a try! Trust us, you won’t be sorry. It’s so tasty it’s unreal! You don’t even need many ingredients to create this delicious dish or much time! It's perfect for lunches, dinners, or serving as a side salad if you wish.
The goat cheese adds a tangy and creamy taste to the salad while delivering a smooth consistency.
You can even turn the cheese into a tasty dressing, just add a ¼ cup of hot pasta water and watch the cheese transform! You can swap the cheese for a vegan alternative or use feta for a similar taste and texture if you wish.
That’s the beauty of these pasta dishes; you can easily adjust them to suit your taste and kitchen cupboards!
You get a crunchy texture added to pasta and some beautiful tastes that will make you feel as if you are having a truly authentic Italian dining experience!
While the recipe calls for chicken, you could swap or omit the meat if you wanted to make the dish vegetarian-friendly. You can customize with ease here and still enjoy sensational flavors and textures.
We enjoy this salad as lunch on a warm day, as a dinner, or it makes a fantastic side dish! Adjust the quantities to suit your needs and wow your friends and family with this tasty dish.
Trust us; it tastes so good, you will forget you are eating a salad!
For the goat cheese lovers in the room, we have another deciduous pasta salad for you! The quick dish is made in less than an hour and tastes sensational! Whether it's for a weeknight party, to enjoy as lunch, or as part of your BBQ spread, the corn pasta salad is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!
We are yet to serve it to someone that didn’t enjoy it! We know it's a bold claim, but trust us, it’s true! It's a great way to use up summer corn and teamed with the cilantro pesto sauce; you will transcend to the top chef and have this dish forever requested by your family and friends!
You can customize it to suit your tastes, too, if need be, but honestly, as Bruno Mars says, it's amazing, just the way it is.
We know, another pasta salad featuring lemon, are we crazy? Maybe so! This avocado and tomato chickpea pasta salad are worth all the judgy eyes for using lemon again, though! It's tasty, packed full of flavor, and healthy fats thanks to the avocado!
The vegetarian-friendly dish is the perfect salad to enjoy for a summer's lunch, or serve it up as a tasty and intriguing side dish at a party or BBQ! It's super quick to prepare too, in just 20 minutes, your pasta salad is ready to go! You can serve it hot or cold too, making it the perfect dish for summer.
If we are to offer any advice today, it's to ensure the avocado you are using is ripe! Whether you are slicing or mashing the avocado, it's so much easier to do when the avocado is ripe.
You don’t want to be hacking into a hard avocado when all you want to do is enjoy your lunch, do you? You can swap out the chickpeas for beans, too, if you wish; the dish is easy to customize to whatever is lurking in your pantry!
And just like that, we come to the end of our list today. As you can see, there is plenty of choice for you when it comes to your next pasta salad dish! All of these included today are perfect for summer, although we don’t judge; make them all year round!
Remember to customize the dishes to suit your tastes, and don't be afraid to adjust the seasoning if you want! Create the dish that is best for you and one you are sure to enjoy! Remove the meat if you want a veggie option, and enjoy your delicious pasta salads all summer long!
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- Cook the pasta according to the package direction then drain.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, mirin, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Pour this over the pasta then add in the chopped celery and carrots. Stir to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.
Serve alongside teriyaki chicken and steamed white rice.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
OXO Good Grips Y-Peeler
Mueller Pro-Series 10-in-1, 8 Blade Vegetable Slicer, Onion Mincer Chopper, Vegetable Chopper, Cutter, Dicer, Egg Slicer with Container
Nordic Ware Covered Bowl Set, 8-pc, Set of 8, Coastal Colors
Plastic Measuring Cups and Spoons Set 14 Piece. Includes 11 Colorful Measuring Cups and Spoons Set and 3 Plastic Liquid Measuring Cups. Nesting Measuring Set for Space Saving Storage. Dishwasher-Safe
Qimh Collapsible Colander Set of 3 Round Silicone Kitchen Strainer Set - 2 pcs 4 Quart and 1 pcs 2 Quart- Perfect for Draining Pasta, Vegetable and fruit (green,blue, purple)
COOK WITH COLOR Plastic Mixing Bowls with Lids - 12 Piece Nesting Bowls Set includes 6 Prep Bowls and 6 Lids, Microwave Safe Mixing Bowl Set (Blue Ombre)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g