25 Cold Pasta Salad Recipes (because It’s Just Too Hot)

an easy orzo pasta salad recipe iStock

Who wants to spend a hot summer day cooking in the kitchen? Not us! With these ideas, there’s no need to cook or worry about what to make for dinner or bring to the family gathering. From caprese to Greek-inspired, bookmark these pasta salad recipes for all those hot summer nights ahead.


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Tri-Color Pasta Salad

iStock

This go-to pasta salad recipe is as easy as they come. You can use cheese, olives, cucumber or any other assortment of veggies. You can even swap regular pasta for tortellini. Get the recipe here. 

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe
Life Made Simple

What do you get when you combine pasta and Caesar salad? This dish from Life Made Simple! It’s loaded with all the classic flavors you expect—crisp romaine, pasta, chicken, cherry tomatoes and lots of cheese! For the recipe, click here.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta salad recipe
Pip & Debby

Caprese is a great way to entice little ones to eat fresh fruits and veggies! Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil come together with the pasta shape of your choice in this recipe from Pip & Debby. Make as a tasty side dish or a meal, you can’t go wrong with this perfect pasta. 

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

an easy orzo pasta salad recipe
iStock

Oh, my, orzo! Here’s why this pasta salad is a thing of beauty: it only has a few ingredients, the flavors are fresh and summery, and it’s delicious cold or at room temp. Add it as a barbecue side or serve it up as the main course! Get the recipe here.

Lemony Artichoke Pasta Salad

Gimme Some Oven

Homemade lemon basil vinaigrette and flavorful pasta come together in this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Fresh ingredients like artichoke hearts, asparagus and cheese round out this perfect picnic side dish that may also just convince a picky eater to eat, too! 

BLT Pasta Salad

Busy Budgeter

Bacon, lettuce and tomato plus pasta? We are SO in! This 15-minute BLT pasta salad recipe from Busy Budgeter means your dinner is ready in a flash. Top with your homemade salad dressing and enjoy not sweating it out in the kitchen. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad recipe
Plain Chicken

Perfect for a potluck or meal prep, Plain Chicken‘s Greek pasta salad is packed with flavor. Fresh ingredients like tomato, basil and lemon juice make this dinner refreshing and will transport you straight to Greece! 

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

pepperoni pasta salad recipe
Dear Crissy

Do your little ones love pizza? Then this dish from Dear Crissy is sure to be an instant hit! It’s got the all-important pepperoni, and you can customize with additional “toppings” that usually grace your ‘za. 

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

The Creative Bite

This idea from The Creative Bite has all the flavors of your fave tailgating dish and is super easy to whip up. It also has some sneaky veggies, and you can include crumbled bleu cheese on the side! 

Garden Veggie Tortellini Pasta Salad

Peas and Crayons

Tortellini is a kid favorite, so why not take a cue from Peas and Crayons and turn it into a delish cold salad? Toss with some homemade dressing and sneak in some healthy veggies and you’re all set! 

Nut-Free Basil Pesto Pasta

nut-free basil pesto pasta salad recipe
Jennifer Tyler Lee

Pass the pesto! This nut-free sauce makes any pasta salad delicious and can be paired with all the additional ingredients you want. (Veggies? Cheese? Both?) It’s a cinch to make—get the recipe here.

Broccoli Sausage Pasta Salad

Broccoli sausage pasta recipe
Boulder Locavore

Bring on the broccoli with this dish from Boulder Locavore! Not only is it a great way to eat your green veggies, but it also skips the usual pasta salad mayo for a zesty dressing.  

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican street corn pasta salad recipe
Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Looking for the most flavorful pasta salad around? Dive into this dish from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, which has tons of veggies, an adaptable chili-lime dressing, and tons of summer corn! Trust us, you’ll want seconds. 

 

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Thai chicken pasta salad recipe
I Wash You Dry

Amp up an average summer barbecue! This pasta salad from I Wash You Dry sports crisp veggies and a creamy, flavorful sauce. Bonus: It calls for ramen noodles and rotisserie chicken—no muss, no fuss! 

Vegan Macaroni Salad

Minimalist Baker

There’s no reason vegans can’t get in on the summer pasta salad fun! The Minimalist Baker has you covered with a dish that veers away from dairy and eggs. 

Poppy Seed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad

Cooking Classy

Kiddos love grapes? Then it’s time to bust out this great grape pasta salad from Cooking Classy. It’s got a slightly sweet dressing and makes for a refreshing addition to a summer picnic.

Quick & Easy Pasta Salad

quick and easy pasta salad recipe
Veggies Don’t Bite

Need a pasta salad PDQ? This simple dish takes almost no time to make. Classic flavors, veggie-ful, and totally delish, it’ll be your new go-to BBQ side dish. Get the recipe here. 

Spaghetti Salad

Dinner at the Zoo

Chances are you have spaghetti in the pantry—and this idea from Dinner at the Zoo is the perfect use for it! It’s also filled with crunchy vegetables for an extra healthy kick. 

Picnic Macaroni Salad (Gluten-free)

Boulder Locavore

Prepping for a picnic? Don’t forget this gluten-free dish from Boulder Locavore! It’s just like the old-school pasta salad that you had when you were a kid and even sports healthy twists like grated carrot. 

Meat Lovers Pasta Salad

The View from Great Island

This deli-inspired salad from The View from Great Island is a great way to please the meat lovers in your family. You can also customize with whatever meats you have in the fridge for an extra easy summer meal.

— Abigail Matsumoto & Karly Wood

 

RELATED STORIES
Simple Pasta Recipes
18 Ways to Cook with Spaghetti You Haven’t Tried Yet
Summer Meals That Don’t Require a Stove
Easy Summer Meals You Can Buy at Trader Joe’s

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