20 Easy Pasta Salads Prepped in 20 Minutes or Less

These easy pasta salad recipes come together in no time. They're perfect for a summertime cookout or potluck.


A creamy pasta salad is the perfect complement to a plate piled with grilled meats and barbecue sides. You may think pasta salads are all the same, but there are so many variations of this summer classic.

You’ve probably made a mayonnaise dressing for your pasta salad, but what about ranch? Or mixing up your pasta shapes? And don’t forget adding a protein like chicken.

The next time you’re looking for an easy summer recipe, start with one of these quick-to-make pasta salad recipes.

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Sweet Macaroni Salad

This veggie-packed sweet macaroni salad always gets tons of compliments. It’s one of those pasta salad recipes that’s perfect at a summer cookout alongside burgers and tangy pickles.

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Scandinavian-Inspired Macaroni Salad

Tiny shrimp are a great addition to your next pasta salad. With fresh dill tying the dish together, you’ll want to keep this recipe in your back pocket.
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Almond-Apricot Chicken Salad

This easy pasta salad recipe combines chicken, apricots and veggies. Just wait until you try the lemon dressing! The broccoli adds a great splash of green.
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Vermicelli Pasta Salad

Vermicelli is a long, very thin noodle that’s great in a salad. Instead of a mayonnaise base, this pasta salad has creamy Italian dressing for added flavor. Green and red peppers adorn this festive dish.
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Barbecue Macaroni Salad

The tangy barbecue sauce and rich ranch dressing make for an irresistible coating for this pasta salad. While the hard-boiled eggs add enough protein to make it its own meal, grilled meats would be a great accompaniment to this dish.
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Caprese Macaroni Salad

This Italian pasta salad makes the perfect lunch. With tomato, basil and mozzarella, it’s a classic caprese with a twist. The dressing is a creamy combination of mayo and Italian salad dressing mix.
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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Broccoli and tomatoes brighten this fresh pasta salad. Italian salad dressing with roasted red pepper and Parmesan adds a nice kick to the plate. You can add other veggies, like corn or artichoke hearts, for more color and crunch.
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Judy’s Macaroni Salad

Pickle lovers, rejoice! This pasta salad uses sweet pickles and their juice. It’s a fun side dish for burgers and brats.
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Turkey Ramen Noodle Salad

Nothing beats a satisfying crunch, and, boy, do the ramen noodles in this pasta salad deliver. But so do the almonds and sesame seeds! You can swap out the turkey for grilled chicken.
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Fast Macaroni Salad

Tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots, oh my! If you want a creamy and simple pasta salad, you’ve come to the right recipe. The veggies add a lot of freshness here.
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Tortellini Caesar Salad

Tortellini in pasta salad is nothing short of a stroke of genius. With romaine lettuce, it feels like a normal salad with a lot of extra surprises. The creamy garlic sauce is a nice spin on a Caesar dressing.
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Quick Macaroni Salad

We see cheddar cheese and we’re sold. The mildly sweet pimentos make it even better. This smooth and creamy pasta salad recipe will be a hit at your next picnic.
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Chicken Taco Macaroni Salad

We love a taco twist. If you’re thinking pasta salad recipes are all the same, then you’ll love this variation. And since this recipe uses rotisserie chicken, it couldn’t be easier.
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

Bacon makes everything better, especially pasta salad. The mayo and vinegar dressings adds a tang that melds beautifully with the smokiness of the bacon. It’s great for your next cookout or potluck.
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Lemony Tortellini Bacon Salad

On a hot day, you want something tangy and bright. This easy pasta salad recipe fits the bill with a light balsamic-lemon dressing. Add a glass of lemonade and you’re all set.
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Cucumber Shell Salad

Someone is bound to ask for this recipe when you bring it to the potluck. Ranch dressing, cucumbers, shell pasta—what’s not to love?
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Confetti Macaroni Salad

Peppers and celery make this pasta look like it’s covered in confetti. With a cider vinegar, mustard and mayo dressing, this pasta salad is creamy and savory.
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Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

We’ll take any excuse to mix it up with a new pasta shape. Picante sauce and cumin give this pasta salad a nice kick.
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Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna is such a quick and easy way to add protein to a recipe. The dill, mustard and lemon sauce add a brightness that’s perfect for summer.
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Make-Ahead Hearty Six-Layer Salad

This make-ahead salad is dressed to impress. With hard boiled eggs, chicken, lettuce and cheese, you really can have it all. Or you can share it with friends!