11 Healthy & Yummy Pasta Salad Recipes You Need To Try

Pasta salad is one of the easiest and quickest dishes to prepare. Not only are they healthy, but super yummy as well because you can just include any ingredients you like and toss! Here are some delicious ones we found that you can try to make this week to be packed as office lunch boxes:

1. Tuscan pasta salad

tuscan pasta salad
Photo credit: The Recipe Critic

If you usually go for Italian dressing for your salads, you might really like this one. This Tuscan-styled pasta salad has sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, and oregano to give it a tangy and slightly herby taste. Thanks to The Recipe Critic for this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounce bowtie pasta, cooked and drained in cold water
  • 1 7 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 6.5 ounce can sliced olives,
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Dressing:
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black pepper to taste

 Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl combine pasta, sundried tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, spinach, basil, and parmesan cheese. Toss until combined.
  2. To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar, water, salt, sugar, oregano, basil, garlic and salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and serve.

2. Greek pasta salad

greek pasta salad
Photo credit: Oh, Sweet Basil

Go Greek with lots and lots of feta cheese! The great thing about this recipe is that you can throw in all your favourite vegetables, and it’ll still turn out perfect! Kudos to Oh, Sweet Basil for this.

Ingredients:

1 pound rotini or other small pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces Persian cucumbers, diced (about 3)
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 (8 ounce) chunk feta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

Directions:

To cook the pasta, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, feta, and olives. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently until uniformly combined and serve.

3. Spicy chicken pasta salad

spicy chicken pasta salad
Photo credit: Aninas Recipes

We know you like a bit of heat in your food – we’re Malaysians after all! We practically grew up eating spicy food for most of our lives. The dressing for this recipe uses curry powder as one of the key ingredients. You can add as much curry powder as you want, depending on your preference. Thank you Aninas Recipes for sharing such a tasteful recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets sliced into strips
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper to season
  • chicken spice to season
  • 500 gr fusilli pasta
  • water to boil pasta
  • 180 gr white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder/garam masala
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 

Instructions:

  1. First off, heat the olive oil in a wok, and brown the chicken strips until done. Season with salt, pepper and spices. Set aside to cool.
  2. Then, get your water for the pasta boiling, add pasta, give it a good stir and cook until al dente.
  3. Transfer the cooked pasta to a colander and rinse with cold water, transfer again to a large mixing bowl.
  4. In another mixing bowl add the sugar, curry, onion, green pepper, tomato sauce, vinegar and oil. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and stir, season with salt and pepper.

4. Avocado pasta salad

avocado pasta salad
Photo credit: Spend With Pennies

This is the recipe for all avocado lovers. There are chunks of avocados in the salad, and the dressing is also made from it as well! Feel free to add in roasted chicken or bacon bits for some added flavour. Check out the video here.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 8 oz rotini or bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , diced
  • 8 slices bacon , cooked crisp & crumbled
  • 1 green onion , thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado , diced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

Dressing

  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 1/2 fresh Lime , juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Dressing

  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Salad

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
  2. Toss diced avocado with lime juice.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl gently toss with dressing.
  4. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

5. Southwestern pasta salad

southwestern pasta salad
Photo credit: Vegan Heaven

We love southwestern food. Just keep those tomatoes and black beans coming. Don’t forget the lime juice and paprika for that tangy kick! Here‘s the recipe for the salad dressing.

Ingredients:

For the vegan Southwestern pasta salad:

  • 12 oz farfalle pasta
  • 1 heaped cup black beans (canned)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into stripes
  • 1 avocado, cut into medium-sized chunks
  • 3 green onions, cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

For the lime dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 splash agave
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • black pepper
  • salt

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Add the ingredients for the pasta salad and stir well. Let the salad sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. Enjoy!

6. Chicken bacon ranch pasta salad

chicken bacon ranch pasta salad
Photo credit: Dinner Then Dessert

Did you see those cheese cubes? This is a salad made in heaven for cheese lovers. Just combine all your favourite meat with some cheddar cheese, then finish it with a simple ranch dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, diced finely in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 pound cooked fusilli pasta

Directions:

  • Butterfly the chicken breasts open, cutting them to be the same shape but half as thick.
  • Add salt and pepper to the chicken breasts.
  • Add canola oil to your large skillet and heat on high heat.
  • Add to the pan and sear for 3-5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and cook on the other side.
  • Remove from the pan and let cool.
  • Chop the chicken into 1 inch cubes.
  • In a large bowl add the cream cheese and ranch dressing and mix well.
  • Add the chicken bacon, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing and pasta.
  • Toss together until well coated.

7. Tortellini pesto salad

tortellini pesto salad
Photo credit: Yummy Healthy Easy

Pesto all day, everyday, please! If you like herby flavours as much as we do, try this recipe with pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients:
  • 2 (10-oz) bags refrigerated tortellini pasta, your favorite kind
  • ¼ cup fresh mozzarella, diced into cubes
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup basil, sliced into ribbons
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, or more as needed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta as directed on packaging. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.
  2. Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, pesto and olive oil. Mix to combine.
  3. Pour in pasta to pesto mixture and lightly toss, careful not to break tortellini. Add more pesto or olive oil as needed. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

8. Mandarin orange and spinach pasta salad

mandarin orange spinach pasta salad
Photo credit: Mother Thyme

Fancy a bit of sweetness in an otherwise savoury salad? There’s no harm adding some mandarin orange slices and cranberries into a bowl of pasta and greens. Make it more interesting by using teriyaki sauce as the dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 10 ounces bag baby spinach
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup walnuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mandarin oranges, drainedDressing
  • ½ cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

 Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar with lid. Shake well until combined.
  3. In a large bowl toss pasta with spinach, dried cranberries, walnuts and oranges.
  4. Before serving drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat.

9. Creamy cucumber pasta salad

creamy cucumber pasta salad
Photo credit: Spend With Pennies

This crispy and cooling salad is great for sunny afternoons. The key is in the dressing: combine a generous amount of sour cream and mayonnaise together, then season with some sugar, salt, and fresh dill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 long english cucumber
  • 1/2 lb medium sized pasta (such as penne or rotini)
  • 1/2 sweet white onion

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Thinly slice onion and place in a bowl of cold water. (see note)
  3. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Run under cold water to stop cooking.
  4. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and remove seeds using a spoon. Slice into thin slices.
  5. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit at least 40 minutes before serving.

10. Deviled egg macaroni salad

deviled egg macaroni salad
Photo credit: Butter Your Biscuit

Oh glorious eggs. Mix the mayo with mustard and sour cream, add in your favourite vegetables, then serve with hard-boiled eggs. Don’t forget to sprinkle some paprika before that!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz salad macaroni or Ditalini pasta
  • 1½ cups Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2-3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 4 oz jar pimientos drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with green onions

11. Strawberry spinach caprese pasta salad

strawberry spinach caprese pasta salad
Photo credit: Peas & Crayons

Looking at this is enough to make us happy. The colours in this salad are so cheerful that it looks so fun to eat! The strawberries give an interesting twist to this otherwise Italian-inspired pasta salad dish.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Chickapea Pasta
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, balls or cubed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh baby spinach, or more!
  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • fresh chopped basil, to taste

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1.5 TBSP red or white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta per package instructions. For Chickpea Pasta, you’ll boil it in salted water for 8-9 minutes until al-dente, then rinse with cold water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, combine salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Secure the lid and shake well.
  3. Chop anywhere from 1-3 cups of baby spinach (add a little… or a lot!) and drizzle a little bit of the dressing over the leaves. Toss to lightly coat. I often like to take a few seconds to toss my hands in and gently massage the dressing into the spinach leaves. It helps remove some of the “squeakiness” of the veggie and makes it turn this luscious glossy green – love it so!
  4. Add pasta, strawberries, mozzarella pearls, and basil and add remaining dressing and mix well.
  5. Dive in and enjoy!

Simple, aren’t they? Now you know what to do with that leftover pasta and roasted chicken. There are enough recipes to last you for half a month’s supply of lunch boxes!

Planning to serve some healthy, tasty pasta salads at your next party? Just drop your request here, and we’ll email you some quotations along with the caterers’ profiles. Our caterers on Kaodim.com are experienced and talented professionals!


written by Esther Chung


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