24 Pasta Salads Like Grandma Used to Make

Looking for pasta salad ideas for a BBQ or picnic? Look no further than Grandma's recipe box.

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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this homemade macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don’t like it … and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

I love trying new recipes, and this one for Italian pasta salad tops all other varieties I've tried. With beans, cheese, sausage and vegetables, it's a hearty complement to any meal. —Bernadette Nelson, Arcadia, California
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Turkey and Pasta Ranch Salad

This easy pasta salad is loaded with fresh veggies, and the classic ranch dressing makes it appealing to kids. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad

Tortellini and a Parmesan dressing give this layered salad an unexpected twist. It's great for a potluck. —Dennis Vitale, New Preston, Connecticut
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Pizza Salad

A fun summer dish, this is a different salad that tastes as good as it looks. I love to take it to parties—the wonderful zesty flavor really complements a barbecue! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Easy Macaroni Salad

This hearty pasta salad is sure to please appetites of all ages—and it serves a lot of folks! —LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Creamy Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this creamy macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Vermicelli Pasta Salad

I started making this salad because it's loaded with peppers, my husband's favorite. Don't be surprised when there are no leftovers to take home after the family reunion, picnic or church potluck. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Summer Chicken Macaroni Salad

For sunny, lazy days, I make a loaded macaroni salad that’s like three salads in one. The mix of fresh veggies, sweet peaches and crunchy pistachios is a surprisingly delicious combo. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Mediterranean Tortellini Salad

One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Salami & Provolone Pasta Salad

Everyone needs a perfect pasta salad that’s easy to make, especially on busy nights when your family wants a dish that’s fast, light and cool. This is just the thing. —Jill Donley, Warsaw, Indiana
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Connie's Tortellini Salad

Toss satisfying cheese tortellini and mozzarella with refreshing veggies for a substantial potluck salad. Sometimes I keep a bowl of this in the fridge for family members to dig into when they need something fast. — Connie Eaton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Barbecue Macaroni Salad

My family loves a touch of tang, so I created this barbecue macaroni salad. Not too much—just a hint of both barbecue sauce and ranch dressing makes this everyday salad something special. —Andrea Bolden, Unionville, Tennessee
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Artichoke Shrimp Pasta Salad

I have enjoyed this recipe for as long as I can remember. My mom made it famous, and she passed it down to me on my wedding day. It's one of those potluck staples that folks can't get enough of. —Mary McCarley, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright side dish. This tri-color pasta salad with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Shrimp Pasta Salad

I adore shrimp, so discovering it in this pasta salad recipe was a real treat for me. The lemon-dill sauce is light and bright. It's one of our favorite cold pasta salad recipes! —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
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Pizza Salad

A fun summer dish, this is a different salad that tastes as good as it looks. I love to take it to parties—the wonderful zesty flavor really complements a barbecue! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Green Bean Pasta Salad

I like to prepare this special green bean pasta salad with fresh green beans and homegrown dill. Serve chilled or at room temperature. —Chris Snyder, Boulder, Colorado
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Judy’s Macaroni Salad

After finding this vintage macaroni salad recipe years ago, I tweaked the flavor and bumped up the pickles. Tuck this dill pickle pasta salad inside your picnic basket. —Elizabeth Kirchgatter, Maysville, Kentucky
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Spring Greek Pasta Salad

For a light meal, we toss rotini pasta with cucumber, zucchini and sweet peppers. Make this cucumber pasta salad into a main dish by adding grilled chicken. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana

Christine Rukavena
Christine loves to read, curate, sample and develop new recipes as a senior book editor at Taste of Home. A CIA alumna with honors, she creates cookbooks and food-related content. A favorite part of the job is taste-testing dishes. Previous positions include pastry chef at a AAA Five Diamond property. Christine moonlights at a boutique wine shop, where she edits marketing pieces and samples wine far higher than her pay grade.