25 Cold Pasta Salad Recipes (When It’s Just Too Hot)

25 Cold Pasta Salad Recipes (When It’s Just Too Hot)

Who wants to spend a hot summer day cooking in the kitchen? Not us! With these ideas, there’s no need to cook or worry about what to make for dinner or bring to the family BBQ. From classic tuna to a caprese and Greek-inspired, bookmark these pasta salad recipes for all those hot summer nights ahead.

Chicken Pasta Salad

There's a little something for everyone in this Chicken pasta salad from Wondermom Wannabe. Grapes, OJ, Greek yogurt and chicken are just a few of the sweet and savory ingredients that will make this a family-friendly salad perfect for all your summertime events. Get the recipe here.

Lemony Artichoke Pasta Salad

Homemade lemon basil vinaigrette and flavorful pasta come together in this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Fresh ingredients like artichoke hearts, asparagus and cheese round out this perfect picnic side dish that may also just convince a picky eater to eat, too! Find the full recipe here.

BLT Pasta Salad

Bacon, lettuce and tomato plus pasta? We are SO in! This 15-minute BLT pasta salad recipe from Busy Budgeter means your dinner is ready in a flash. Top with your homemade salad dressing and enjoy not sweating it out in the kitchen. Get the recipe here.

Greek Pasta Salad

Perfect for a potluck or meal prep, Plain Chicken's Greek pasta salad is packed with flavor. Fresh ingredients like tomato, basil and lemon juice make this dinner refreshing and will transport you straight to Greece! Get the recipe here.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese is a great way to entice little ones to eat fresh fruits and veggies! Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil come together with the pasta shape of your choice in this recipe from Pip & Debby. Make as a tasty side dish or a meal, you can't go wrong with this perfect pasta. Get the recipe here.

Tuna Pasta Salad

Psst! This pasta salad, courtesy of Weelicious, is so simple to make that you can whip it up on the quick for any last-minute barbecue. A tasty dish your kids will love? Sounds good to us! Get the recipe here.

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Do your little ones love pizza? Then this dish from Dear Crissy is sure to be an instant hit! It's got the all-important pepperoni, and you can customize with additional "toppings" that usually grace your 'za. Get the recipe here.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

This idea from The Creative Bite has all the flavors of your fave tailgating dish and is super easy to whip up. It also has some sneaky veggies, and you can include crumbled bleu cheese on the side! Get the recipe here.

Garden Veggie Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini is a kid favorite, so why not take a cue from Peas and Crayons and turn it into a delish cold salad? Toss with some homemade dressing and sneak in some healthy veggies and you're all set! Get the recipe here.

Nut-Free Basil Pesto Pasta

Pass the pesto! This nut-free sauce makes any pasta salad delicious and can be paired with all the additional ingredients you want. (Veggies? Cheese? Both?) It's a cinch to make—get the recipe here.

Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad

Bring on the broccoli with this dish from Boulder Locavore! Not only is it a great way to eat your green veggies, but it also skips the usual pasta salad mayo for a zesty dressing.  Get the recipe here to munch on this ASAP.

Hawaiian Pasta Salad

Good news! You probably already have all the ingredients to make this pasta salad from PDX Food Love. That means you can make a batch in minutes, serve it with some Kalua pork, and you're all set for an easy peasy summer meal. Get the recipe here.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Looking for the most flavorful pasta salad around? Dive into this dish from Chelsea's Messy Apron, which has tons of veggies, an adaptable chili-lime dressing, and tons of summertime corn! Trust us, you'll want seconds. Get the recipe here.


Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Amp up an average summer barbecue! This pasta salad from I Wash You Dry sports crisp veggies and a creamy, flavorful sauce. Bonus: It calls for ramen noodles and rotisserie chicken—no muss, no fuss! Get the recipe here.

Vegan Macaroni Salad

There's no reason vegans can't get in on the summer pasta salad fun! The Minimalist Baker has you covered with a delish dish that veers away from dairy and eggs. To try it out, get the recipe here.

Poppy Seed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad

Kiddos love grapes? Then it's time to bust out this great grape pasta salad from Cooking Classy. It's got a slightly sweet dressing and makes for a refreshing addition to a summer picnic. Get the recipe here to try it for yourself!

Quick & Easy Pasta Salad

Need a pasta salad PDQ? Veggies Don't Bite has your back with this super simple dish. Classic flavors, veggie-ful, and totally delish, it'll be your new go-to BBQ side dish. Get the recipe here.

Tricolor Pasta Salad

For an extra kid-friendly pasta salad, you can't go wrong with this idea, adapted from Melissa d’Arabian. Not only does it have the fun of multi-colored noodles, but it also kicks things up a notch with healthy and hearty veggies. Get the recipe here.

Spaghetti Salad

Chances are you have spaghetti in the pantry—and this idea from Dinner at the Zoo is the perfect use for it! It's also filled with crunchy vegetables for an extra healthy kick. Get the recipe here.

Picnic Macaroni Salad (Gluten-free)

Prepping for a picnic? Don't forget this gluten-free dish from Boulder Locavore! It's just like the old-school pasta salad that you had when you were a kid and even sports healthy twists like grated carrot. Get the recipe here.

Meat Lovers Pasta Salad

This deli-inspired salad from The View from Great Island is a great way to please the meat lovers in your family. You can also customize with whatever meats you have in the fridge for an extra easy summer meal. Get the recipe here.

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

Oh, my, orzo! Here's why this pasta salad is a thing of beauty: it only has a few ingredients, the flavors are fresh and summery, and it's delicious cold or at room temp. Add it as a barbecue side or serve it up as the main course! Get the recipe here.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

What do you get when you combine pasta and Caesar salad? This dish from Life Made Simple! It’s loaded with all the classic flavors you expect—crisp romaine, pasta, chicken, cherry tomatoes and lots of cheese! For the recipe, click here.

Roasted Garlic, Olive and Tomato Pasta Salad

Got garlic? This pasta salad from The Kitchn does! Three whole heads of garlic, to be exact. There's also creamy ricotta and yogurt, tomatoes, and other delish ingredients, making this the flavorful dish of your dreams. Get the recipe here

Avocado and Strawberry Macaroni Pasta Salad

The thing about this genius pasta salad from My Fussy Eater is that it's so creative it is likely to be a major kid fave. Think creamy avocado, sweet strawberries, and a squeeze of lime juice. You in? Get the recipe here


— Abigail Matsumoto & Karly Wood

Feature photo: Pixabay



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