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21 Easy Pasta Salads Prepped in 20 Minutes or Less

Don't spend all day getting ready for a picnic. These quick and easy pasta salad recipes require just 20 minutes of prep time.

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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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Garden Pesto Pasta Salad

My family and I live on a homestead in the Missouri Ozarks and produce much of our own food. In the summer, when the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables and it’s too hot to cook, I like to use the season's veggies for pasta salads and other cool meals. —Sarah Mathews, Ava, Missouri
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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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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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Hawaiian Chicken Macaroni Salad

I usually make this Hawaiian macaroni salad out of leftover chicken. The sweet pineapple complements the crisp celery, green beans and almonds in this flavorful, well-dressed salad. —Margie Dearth, Fremont, Wisconsin
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Fresh Summer Pasta Salad

While preparing lunch, I made this summer pasta salad for dinner. It was fast and easy; delicious and colorful. We love to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies in season. I served this salad with almond crackers and sharp cheddar slices. So tasty! —Cathy Orban, Chandler, 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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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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Turkey Ramen Noodle Salad

My husband and I make this awesome salad together—he does the chopping. When we bring it to potlucks, we pack the ramen and almonds separately and toss them in right before it's time to dish up. They stay nice and crunchy that way. —Kristen Pallant, Big Arm, Montana
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Fast Macaroni Salad

Chopped veggies provide crunch, and cherry tomatoes add vibrant color to this refreshing and creamy pasta salad. —Frankiee Bush, Freedom, Indiana
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Tortellini Caesar Salad

This salad was served at a dear friend's baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared 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. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany
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Quick Macaroni Salad

You can't go wrong with this time-tested winner. Here it is pared down for two.—Carma Blosser, Livermore, Colorado
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Sesame Almond Slaw

Crunchy veggies and noodles are coated in a tangy dressing in this pleasant slaw. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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
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Lemony Tortellini Bacon Salad

Who says summer meals have to be complicated? We love this tangy, simple and tasty salad on warm summer nights. Add a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea and dinner couldn’t be easier. —Samantha Vicars, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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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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Corn Pasta Salad

After tasting this cool salad at a family reunion, I immediately asked for the recipe. It has tricolor pasta, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and crunchy peppers to make it pretty and tasty. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Confetti Macaroni Salad

The bits of bright red and green in this easy macaroni salad remind me of fun confetti. The inspiration for the dish came from a recipe I found in a church cookbook when I was a young writer responsible for a newspaper’s food section. —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois
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Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

Summertime gatherings aren't complete without a refreshing pasta salad. This tasty version features a mayonnaise and picante dressing. It may become one of your favorite side dishes for tacos, too! —Kathryn Donahey, Oil City, Pennsylvania
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Nutty Broccoli Slaw

My daughter gave me the recipe for this delightful salad. The sweet dressing nicely coats a crisp blend of broccoli slaw mix, onions, almonds and sunflower kernels. Crushed ramen noodles provide even more crunch. It's a smash hit wherever I take it. —Dora Mae Clapsaddle, Kensington, Ohio
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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’s easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time and looks great. —Noreen Meyer, Madison, Wisconsin

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.