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5 Easy Cold Pasta Salad Recipes - Great Dishes for Summer Potlucks

Updated on July 30, 2014
Italian Pasta Salad--this was soooooo good!
Italian Pasta Salad--this was soooooo good! | Source

Pasta recipes are easy to make and flexible in terms of how to eat them. By flexible, I mean that pasta recipes can be eaten hot or cold. Of course, recipes served warm or hot, such as spaghetti with a red sauce and noodles with a creamy Alfredo sauce are some delicious examples of hot pasta based meals. But there are several pasta dishes better served cold, dishes that make perfect accompaniments to a potluck or any meal, especially when the weather is hot.

I'll give you recipes for four cold pasta salads that I have personally created and eaten plus a bonus recipe that I have thought of but haven't yet made. These pasta dishes are easy and tasty. And so refreshing for summer!

Don't fret if you don't have all the ingredients listed in the recipe. The fun thing about these pasta recipes is that you can mix and match ingredients, using whatever you have on hand. That is exactly how I came up with these pasta salad recipes over the years. I'm not going to give you exact amounts either, as it is totally up to as to what you have on hand and how much of any ingredient you want. This makes these pasta salads very easy, as there are no rules. Just put ingredients together and have fun creating!


the main ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad
the main ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad | Source

Italian Pasta Salad - My Personal Favorite

The Italian pasta salad is made with some of the ingredients that are put on pizza. It is so delicious!

  • elbow macaroni (about 8 oz, uncooked, or desired amount)
  • pepperoni
  • black olives
  • can of mushrooms or marinated mushrooms
  • green onions
  • chopped tomatoes
  • Italian dressing
  • grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • garlic salt, to taste (optional)
  • green (or any color!) bell peppers (optional)
  • green olives (I tried these the second time around--tangy and tasty!)

Cook macaroni (spaghetti noodles also an option) as per package instructions. Add rest of ingredients. If you use marinated mushrooms, you can use some of the juice from them and use less Italian dressing or none at all .Be your own judge. I used some of each liquid. This is a tasty recipe that would be great to pair with pizza night.


versatile elbow macaroni
versatile elbow macaroni | Source

Artichoke Pasta Salad

This pasta salad includes marinated artichokes, and, really, little else is needed if you want to just stop there. I like a few more ingredients, however.

  • wide egg noodles, white or wheat (about 8 oz., uncooked)
  • 6 oz. jar marinated artichokes
  • chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional)
  • parsley, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • black olives and green onions, optional

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain noodles. Melt butter and mix in for extra flavor. With just artichokes, tomatoes, parsley, and pepper, this dish tastes delicious.



Like these recipes? Rate them!

4.4 stars from 5 ratings of Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

Poppy Seed Pasta

Poppy seed pasta is a delightful combination that I came up with several years ago.

  • spaghetti noodles (or other noodles will do)
  • butter
  • salad vinegar
  • green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cavendar's Greek Seasoning (optional)
  • turkey or chicken, chopped (optional)
  • any Italian or vinaigrette or my homemade Parmesan vinaigrette dressing
  • poppy seed dressing

After cooking and draining noodles, mix in butter, if desired. Add green onions and seasonings. Cavendar's is an excellent spice that I use on a lot of foods, including meat and vegetables. Flavor with a bit of salad vinegar and your choice of dressing. Don't overdo it, as your main topping will be the poppy seed dressing. Chicken is great with this recipe, as it goes well with the poppy seed dressing. Yummy!


Tomato Garlic Angel Hair Pasta

This is a dish that I made with angel hair pasta. It could be made with other types of pasta, but the angel hair pasta goes along with the fresh simplicity of this recipe, which includes mostly spices.

  • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 T. basil, preferably fresh, minced
  • black pepper, to taste

Again, cook pasta as directed. Angel hair doesn't take very long to cook, so pay careful attention to instructions. Add oil, tomatoes, and rest of ingredients. Voila!


Vegetable Pasta Salad

This is not a dish that I have made, but I just made it up and want to try it. Here is my plan:

  • elbow macaroni
  • cucumbers, chopped
  • bell peppers--green, red, orange, and/or yellow
  • broccoli, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • carrots, grated
  • ranch dressing
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
  • black pepper, to taste (optional)

I think this would be a great veggie option. Choose from the above vegetables, or add others, or just use what you have on hand. The ranch dressing would be a nice touch, I think. If you don't like ranch dressing, try blue cheese dressing. If you try this pasta salad before I do, let me know how it goes!

Pick your favorite pasta salad:

Which of the 5 pasta salad choices sounds best to you?

See results

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    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yes, do it, Phyllis! I'll be looking for it!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Raimer Gel--I sure think so! Try one!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Go for it, Frank! They're easy and tasty!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      hmmm... never thought about posting it, Victroria. That is a good idea. Thanks!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Phyllis, that sounds amazing! Do you have that recipe posted? Yummy!

    • profile image

      Raimer Gel 3 years ago

      Looks good. It must taste good, for sure. :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Go for it, Denise! I've made the Italian one so far this summer for a family grill-out! Thanks for sharing it!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I don't blame you, Audrey! Yummy!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      i love pasta salads.. you make following directions easy so yeah I can do it

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I love pasta salads and yours sound delicious, Victoria. One of my favorite pasta salads is to sauté bell peppers (green, red and yellow), mushrooms, onions, and broccoli in olive oil and butter, with lots of garlic and black pepper. I serve it over spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan. I guess it is a hot dish, but tastes just as good when cold.

      PS: my favorite of yours would be the Italian.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Awesome recipes...I love artichokes so that was my pick. :) will be trying all of these-thanks. UP/U/A/I and shared.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      My favorite might be the artichoke!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      It is good, Lee Ann! Go for it!

    • Lee Ann March profile image

      Lee Ann March 3 years ago

      The poppy seed pasta sounds very tasty! I think I may try that!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thelma--These are great to make during warm weather. So cool and refreshing. They're cheap, too, and can feed a lot of people. I hope you try them!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Oh my! These are all good to me. I have to try these all one by one when I have guests at home. Thanks for sharing;-) Voted up and Yummy.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love it, Sunshine! :-)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      The Italian Pasta Salad looks delish!!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      kumar--And monsoon season would mean what? Bad time for pasta salad? :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pssandwichofdoom--Go for it! Put extra ranch dressing on and maybe some croutons. Maybe that will help entice your roommate!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, lovedoctor.. Glad you enjoy my recipes!

    • profile image

      kumar24894 5 years ago from Fuck of HUBPAGES

      It's Monsoon season in India now .

    • pbsandwichofdoom profile image

      pbsandwichofdoom 5 years ago

      Great ideas; I can't wait to try the last one and see if I can get my roommate to eat some veggies!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Christy--These ARE great for summer. I love the Italian Pasta Salad, too. My fave. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      This pasta salad looks delicious! I really enjoy all of your recipes. voted up

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      My fave is the Italian Pasta Salad and I like the cold varieties. I like that you included 5 of the recipe combos here, very useful and just right for summer picnics!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      kumar, I hope you do. Pasta salad is great for hot weather!

    • profile image

      kumar24894 5 years ago from Fuck of HUBPAGES

      Wow. Pasta salad. Heard it first time. Will make it today !

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      teaches--I don't eat artichokes often enough either. When I do, I remember how much I enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I have really been missing out on artichokes in my diet, your recipe is one that I would enjoy and bring back my joy of the veggie. Love the tomato - garlic idea as well.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Susan--Yep, pile on the garlic! I haven't had the Tomato Garlic Angel Hair in a while and need to make it soon, too! Thanks for coming by!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your Italian pasta salad sounds really good. All of them do actually and it's getting close to lunchtime here. But the one that I really want to try the most is the Tomato Garlic Angel Hair Pasta. Anything Garlic you know me :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      mariexotoni--Good! I hope you like it! It should be great with tomatoes from the garden!

    • mariexotoni profile image

      mariexotoni 5 years ago

      definitely trying the tomato garlic angel hair recipe tomorrow! with some nice, fresh garden tomatoes :) mmmmm

      voted up, up, up!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Go for it, Angela! These are great, easy, cool, tasty dishes!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      I'll give any and all of these a try -- perfect summer fare and every one of 'em healthful! The fact that I'm a pasta freak doesn't hurt one bit, either! Best/Sis

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bobbi, thanks! What do you mean you can't see your ads? On your hubs? I don't see a print button either. Can you right click on your mouse and it gives you the option to print?

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

      Victoria,

      They all look great, and like you I make up and add ingredients as I go, that is how I cook most everything. I love to cook. How do you print anymore, and it is strange I can not see my ads.

      Thank,

      Your Hub Friend,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      molometer--The Italian is my fave, too! Thanks for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Joyce--Sounds good! Pasta salads are great for summer!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      Just in time for summer, well what we call summer in the UK lol.

      Easy pasta salad recipes are always handy to know, and I particularly liked the Italian pasta salad.

      Voted up and useful. Tweeting and pinning.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      vespawoolf--This is perfect for potlucks. I've taken it more than once. It's quick to make. Easy prep. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LOL, Swetankraj! You show your mom. You can do it! :-)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      All the pasta salads sound good. I usually make one for summertime, with corkscrew pasta cooked and left overnight to soak up italian dressing

      (names gone) with chicken any fresh veggies I have cooked tender, Joyce

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      What fabulous ideas! We're attending a convention this weekend and I was looking for an easy salad to take with us, so I'm thrilled to find your recipes. Voted up and shared!

    • Swetankraj profile image

      Swetank Raj 5 years ago from India

      This weekend i will show mom i can too cook! Thanks victoria for such a wonderful and easy recipe. I challenged my mom that i can cook too delicious foods. She laughed and appreciated my challenge from her heart and i got a week for my preparation! Thanks XD

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      WillStarr--I have some leftover Italian Pasta Salad for lunch. I think it's my favorite. Good to see you!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Very good! I especially like the sound of the Italian Pasta salad.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      rebecca--I'm glad you told me which you like best. Maybe I should make a poll asking that question!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Come on back, Bobbi, and make one for lunch! :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      poojasd--Thanks! I guess I'm on a roll lately. Glad you plan on trying!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These pasta salads sound cool, refreshing and healthy. I like the tomato garlic recipe best!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

      That looks great---I will be back to read this in a few hours.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 5 years ago from India

      my my! you come up with such lovely recipes and leave my mouth watering and my mind planning on trying them out!

      Voted up and Awesomed it! :-D