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
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
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.
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