Pasta Salad Hints and Tips

There are many ways to dress up a pasta salad! These five recipes will give you delicious and simple ideas next time you're boiling up a pot of noodles.

You'll also find a handy pasta chart that tells you just how much pasta to cook for your crowd.

Velma Jenness of Marcus, Iowa created BLT in a Bowl. This hearty pasta medley is sure to become a staple at many potlucks and gatherings.

A few years back, Juli Stewart of Coppell, Texas found this easy, light salad recipe. She made it for a picnic for her boyfriend. "Now that guy is my husband, and we still enjoy going on picnics and dining on Grilled Chicken Salad!" shares Juli.

German Hot Noodle Salad is a tasty take-off on German potato salad. It's flavored like the traditional side dish but uses noodles in place of potatoes. "I always loved my mother's German potato salad," says Gordon Kremer of Sacramento, California, "but once she served this noodle salad instead, I was hooked."

Tammy Steenbock from Sembach Air Base, Germany tells us that Tortellini Caesar Salad was served at a friend's baby shower. The health-conscious hostess suggested preparing the dressing with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely.

"I've been making Hearty Eight-Layer Salad for years," shares Noreen Meyer of Madison, Wisconsin. "It's my most requested recipe for family gatherings." It's simple to make ahead of time and looks lovely with all of its tasty layers. Dijon mustard gives a nice kick to the dressing.


Pasta Chart

Not sure how much pasta you'll need to feed your gang? Two ounces per serving of uncooked pasta is the right amount for most appetites. Check out the chart below to see how much dry pasta you'll need and how much cooked pasta the amount will yield.

Type of Pasta
Dry Weight
Cooked Volume

Bow tie

4 cups/8 ounces

4 cups

Capellini or angel hair

8 ounces

4 cups

Elbow macaroni

2 cups/8 ounces

4 cups

Rotini

3 cups/8 ounces

4-1/2 cups

Spaghetti

8 ounces

5 cups

Ziti

3 cups/8 ounces

4-1/2 cups