Updated date:

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

Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily. Kids Cook Monday offers simple recipes kids can help with.

Cold Italian Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad--this was soooooo good!

Italian Pasta Salad--this was soooooo good!

Pasta Salads are Easy!

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!


Ingredients for Cold Pasta Italian Salad

the main ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad

the main ingredients for Italian Pasta Salad

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.


Start with Elbow Macaroni

versatile elbow macaroni

versatile elbow macaroni

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.



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

Here is a veggie option!

  • 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)

This is a great veggie option. Choose from the above vegetables, or add others, or just use what you have on hand. The ranch dressing is a great tough, but If you don't like ranch dressing, try blue cheese dressing for a tasty flavor.

Pick your favorite pasta salad:

Like these recipes? Rate them!

© 2012 Victoria Lynn

Comments

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 13, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 11, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 11, 2014:

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

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 09, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 09, 2014:

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

Raimer Gel on July 09, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 08, 2014:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 08, 2014:

I don't blame you, Audrey! Yummy!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 08, 2014:

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

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 07, 2014:

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 from North Carolina on July 07, 2014:

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

Audrey Howitt from California on July 07, 2014:

My favorite might be the artichoke!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 24, 2014:

It is good, Lee Ann! Go for it!

Lee Ann March on April 24, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 23, 2013:

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 from Germany and Philippines on April 23, 2013:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 13, 2012:

I love it, Sunshine! :-)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on July 13, 2012:

The Italian Pasta Salad looks delish!!!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 13, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 11, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 10, 2012:

Thanks, lovedoctor.. Glad you enjoy my recipes!

kumar24894 from Fuck of HUBPAGES on July 10, 2012:

It's Monsoon season in India now .

Kathryn Lamoreux on July 10, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 10, 2012:

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

lovedoctor926 on July 10, 2012:

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

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on July 10, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 04, 2012:

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

kumar24894 from Fuck of HUBPAGES on July 04, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on July 01, 2012:

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

Dianna Mendez on June 30, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 29, 2012:

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!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 29, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 29, 2012:

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

mariexotoni on June 28, 2012:

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

voted up, up, up!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Angela Blair from Central Texas on June 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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?

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on June 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Micheal from United Kingdom on June 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on June 28, 2012:

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

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 28, 2012:

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!

Swetank Raj from India on June 28, 2012:

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 (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on June 28, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 28, 2012:

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

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on June 28, 2012:

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

poojasd7 from India on June 28, 2012:

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