They say no barbecue is complete without the pasta salad, and they’re right—but pasta salad can bring a lot more to the table than just the cream and crunch. Pasta salad is not just another side dish and to prove it, here are 10 of the best pasta salad recipes we’ve tried.
Pasta salad recipes
1. Prawn primavera pasta salad
As the Italian name suggests, this prawn pasta salad is the perfect dish for spring as the weather begins to warm up. The al dente pasta and prawns have a soft chew while the green veggies offer a slight crunch—both wonderful, refreshing textures that are a great contrast to the creamy sauce that holds it all together.
2. Easy chorizo and corn pasta salad
Pasta salads don’t come much easier than this one. With just 5 ingredients and 30 minutes, you can have a hearty bowl of Iberian-inspired risoni pasta salad ready to go. Packed with tasty chorizo, bright tomato, and sweet, charred corn, this dish is a great example of no-fuss, no-frills deliciousness.
3. Chicken skewers with summer salad
This pasta salad recipe is a complete balanced meal, covering all bases from your chicken protein to your fruits and vegetables. Pairing plums and raspberries with asparagus and corn, sprinkled with spices, topped with fetta and a splash of pesto, it’s easy to make, takes only half an hour to cook, and looks very impressive on the plate.
4. Pasta salad with grilled peach, fetta and rocket
If summer was a dish, it would be this pasta salad recipe. The bright, juicy sweetness of grilled peaches, the creamy tang of Danish fetta, the bite of mustard and the salt-and-pepper combo of rocket and pistachio is what makes this dish the one you’ll make over and over again—and in just 15 minutes!
5. Tortellini, prosciutto and tomato salad
This hearty tortellini pasta salad brings out some big-notes to pack in the flavour. Salty prosciutto, citrussy tomato, bright basil and the acidic tang of balsamic vinegar comes together in an elegant balance with the veal, pasta, broad beans and bocconcini for a salad that really satisfies.
6. Chicken and fennel rigatoni salad
Chicken and fennel might not be quite the classic combination, but it is one that packs a surprising punch, especially when bolstered with other flavours like mustard, tarragon, lemon, and carrot. Rigatoni is a great choice for pasta salad as it traps sauce and smaller ingredients within its wide, cylindrical shape to make each bite a good one.
7. Pea and ham pasta salad
Pea and ham is a classic combination, and this pasta salad recipe takes this dynamic duo and gives it a bit of a facelift. This recipe highlights pumpkin and broad beans as well, nestling it all in the cocoons of pasta shells and topping it with creamy dressing and dollops of caramelised onion jam.
8. Antipasto, bocconcini and risoni salad
Delicious and refreshing as a first course, side dish or the main meal, this pasta salad contains all of your Italian antipasto favourites: green olives, capsicum, bocconcini , red onion, and more. Full of flavour and texture, this easy pasta salad is done in just 25 minutes.
9. Portuguese-style chorizo pasta salad
Take a trip to the Iberian peninsula with this chorizo and halloumi pasta salad. Full of rich flavours and textures, this colourful salad has plenty of creamy, crunchy goodness to please any palate and keep you completely satisfied.
10. Salmon Nicoise pasta salad
Named for its style of the French city of Nice, this pasta salad takes classic Nicoise cuisine ingredients like olives, capers, tomatoes, green beans, and eggs, swaps the traditional tuna for omega-rich salmon, and adds bowtie pasta to the mix for a light yet satisfying meal.