25 New Ways to Make Pasta Salad

Updated: Feb. 09, 2024

Tired of the same old pasta salad? Get adventurous with your next batch and try one of these delicious recipes.

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Southwestern Pasta Salad

I created this southwestern pasta salad for a friend who owns a catering business. I was told it was a hit at her events and it's now among the most-requested dishes. —Valonda Seward, Coarsegold, California
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Udon Noodles with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Thai cuisine has such wonderfully intense flavors, but the dishes can be heavy and time-consuming. My answer is a refreshing salad with mango, gingerroot and a pop of jalapeno. —Melanie Stevenson, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Mediterranean Shrimp Orzo Salad

Loaded with veggies and shrimp, this crowd pleaser is a tasty change from standard pasta salads. —Ginger Johnson, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
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Gingered Spaghetti Salad

We love this chilled chicken salad brimming with colorful veggies. Make it meatless by omitting the chicken and tossing in more edamame. —Cindy Heinbaugh, Aurora, Colorado
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Pork

The only complex thing about this easy salad is the flavor! With smoky barbecued pork and a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables, this is a comforting and tasty home-cooked meal. —Rosalyn Nguyen, Astoria, New York
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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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Taco Pasta Salad

My family loves this savory taco pasta salad. Serve taco or corn chips on the side, and you have a complete meal. —Gert Rosenau, Pewaukee, WI
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Make-Ahead Hearty Six-Layer Salad

This salad is an all-time favorite. I reach for the recipe whenever I need a dish to pass. It is easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time and looks marvelous. —Noreen Meyer, Madison, Wisconsin
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Strawberry Pasta Salad

Bow tie pasta with strawberries makes a refreshing salad, especially with a little chopped mint. I multiply it for brunches, potlucks, even tailgates. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Orzo with Feta and Arugula

In my family, we love salads because they’re an interesting way to blend many different flavors. This orzo salad is one of our favorites—it tastes delicious served either warm or cool. —Laura Adamsky, Decatur, Alabama
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Grilled Jerk Shrimp Orzo Salad

The heat, seasonings and appearance of this colorful main-dish salad are perfect for summer—or any time of year that you want to summon memories of sunshine. —Eileen Budnyk, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Spinach Salad with Tortellini & Roasted Onions

Spinach and tortellini go so well together, and this salad makes an easy meal with leftover cooked chicken. What really makes it special is the roasted onion that adds oomph to bottled salad dressing. —Robin Haas, Hyde Park, Massachusetts
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Almond-Apricot Chicken Salad

Here's a one-of-a-kind pasta salad that combines tender chicken, sweet apricots and crunchy vegetables. Plus, the lemony dressing can't be beat. —Susan Voigt, Plymouth, Minnesota
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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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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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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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Spinach-Orzo Salad with Chickpeas

The first version of this salad was an experiment in mixing together some random ingredients I had on hand. It was a success, and several people at the party asked for the recipe—which meant I had to re-create it! It's healthy, delicious and perfect for warm-weather days. —Glen White, Kissimmee, Florida
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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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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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Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad

I love all the colors and flavors of this quick and easy dish and serve it often in summer, to the delight of my guests! You can't beat the combination of Gorgonzola and bacon. Leftover grilled shrimp makes a tasty substitute for chicken. —Terry McCarty, Oro Grande, California
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Special Sesame Chicken Salad

With its delicious mix of crunchy peanuts, tangy dried cranberries and mandarin oranges, this colorful Asian chicken salad is a definite crowd-pleaser. Water chestnuts and a teriyaki dressing give this main dish its Asian flare. —Carolee Ewell, Santaquin, Utah
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Cucumber Shell Salad

Ranch dressing is the mild coating for this pleasant pasta salad alive with the fresh flavors of crunchy cucumber, onion and green peas. Someone always seems to want the recipe! —Paula Ishii, Ralston, Nebraska
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Summer Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this summer orzo salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, so feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania