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24 Pasta Salads Like Grandma Used to Make

Grandma's signature pasta salad was a staple at every single backyard bbq, picnic and potluck. Try your hand at these classic recipes today.

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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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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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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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Pasta Salad in a Jar

If you're planning a picnic, make this pasta a day ahead. For my husband's lunch at work, I sometimes tie a plastic fork on the jar. —Pat Neiheisel, Leetonia, Ohio
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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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Summer Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this summer pasta 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

Make this great tortellini salad for long weekends at the lake, so the family can just grab a bowlful whenever hungry. — Connie Eaton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Panzanella Pasta

We take classic panzanella ingredients like ripe tomatoes, peppers and olives and toss them with hot noodles for a hearty pasta dish. My kids especially like the crunchy croutons. —Ashley Pierce, Brantford, Ontario
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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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Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad

My family has been fixing grilled mixed vegetables as a side dish for a long time. To make them more substantial, I added pasta. Then, to give the salad a Mediterranean flair, I tossed in some olives and feta cheese. —Tina Repak Mirilovich, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
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Chicken & Tortellini Spinach Salad

Not only is this attractive salad easy to make, but it is, delicious, light and filling as well.—Michelle Ashton, St. Johns, Arizona
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Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings to go with a bright pasta salad. This tricolor toss-up with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is the easiest one you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta Salad

My mom always encouraged us to try different foods. She made it her mission in life to expose us to new recipes with a unique flavor combination. This salad reminds me of my mom because she always made mealtime into something exciting. —Christine Green, Conway, South Carolina
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Judy's Macaroni Salad

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

For a light meal, we toss rotini pasta with cucumber, zucchini and sweet peppers. Make it 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 coasted with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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Peas & Pepper Pasta Salad

I often serve a pasta salad for a buffet. That way, there’s no need for a side salad. Any leftover pasta salad is great stuffed in halved and cored plum tomatoes. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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