Pasta Salad Recipes for the Summer

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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, vibrant dishes, and pasta salad recipes are at the top of my list. They’re so easy to prepare, pretty inexpensive, and there are just so many kinds! In fact, the choices are so plentiful that it can be hard to figure out what to serve as your summer side dishes. That is where I come in.

Whether you’re hosting a potluck, feeding a crowd, or just looking for a light, refreshing meal, I have picked out some of our highly rated pasta salad recipes (and a few of my own favorites) that won’t let you down at all your parties this year.

summer pasta salad recipes.

Chopped Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

I absolutely love this Chopped Italian Pasta Salad. Just published today on Salty Side Dish, this recipe is packed with flavors from salami, mozzarella, and a tangy Italian dressing. The first time I made it, I was amazed at how quickly it disappeared.

It’s a perfect pasta salad recipe for a crowd, combining savory meats and fresh vegetables. If you love an Italian slider or hoagie, this pasta salad recipe is for you!

Chopped Italian Pasta Salad recipe.

Cucumber Pepper Pasta Salad Recipe

This Cucumber Pepper Pasta Salad is a light, refreshing dish that’s ideal for summer. The crunchy cucumbers and bell peppers paired with tender pasta is a great vibrant combination that helps you use your summer garden veggies.

Plus, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a pasta salad without meat.

Close-up of vibrant cucumber and bell pepper pasta salad

Pea Pasta Salad Recipe

Pea Pasta Salad is one of those dishes that brings back childhood memories. My mom used to make it for every potluck, and it was always a hit. The sweetness of the peas combined with the creamy mayo-based dressing makes it a classic. This is a take on our 5 star pea salad and turns it into a pasta salad recipe that everyone will love.

pea pasta salad piled high on a plate

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

If you’re a fan of bold flavors, this Pesto Pasta Salad is for you. The rich pesto coats the pasta, making every bite a burst of flavor. I always make this one for my sons boy scout meetings and get tons of requests for the recipe.

If you want to make it more of a meal, just add some cooked shredded chicken.

bowtie pesto pasta salad ready to serve.

Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

Who doesn’t love ranch dressing? This Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad combines the creamy goodness of ranch with crispy bacon and tender pasta.

I made this for a potluck last summer, and it was the first dish to be finished. It’s a fantastic pasta salad with familiar flavors that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

large bowl of mixed ranch pasta salad

Tri-Color Pasta Salad Recipe

Tri-Color Pasta Salad is just simply delicious. The colorful pasta, fresh veggies, and tangy dressing make it a standout dish. I love making this one for summer gatherings because it doesn’t have mayo and instead relies on bottled Italian dressing. It’s also a great pasta salad without meat.

easy tri color pasta salad with italian dressing.

Ham Pasta Salad Recipe

This Ham Pasta Salad is hearty and satisfying, perfect for when you want something a bit more filling. The chunks of ham add some protein, making it pretty filling. This is my go to recipe when I have leftover ham from a holiday meal.

ham and macaroni pasta in a bowl.

Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Combining shrimp and pesto is a match made in heaven. This Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad recipe is elegant and delicious, perfect for a special summer meal. Anytime you can combine pesto and shrimp, you should.

shrimp pesto pasta salad recipe.

Shrimp Salad with Pasta Shells

Not to pile on the shrimp too much, but if you’re a seafood lover, you’ll also adore this Shrimp Salad with Pasta Shells. The tender shrimp and creamy dressing make it a luxurious dish that’s perfect for summer. I made this for a beach picnic, and it was the star of the meal.

shrimp with pasta shells recipe.

No matter where you are this summer – the beach, your in-laws house, pool side or simply a BBQ for your own family, these pasta salad recipes are perfect. Light and refreshing or rich and creamy, there’s something for everyone.

If you haven’t found quite what you are looking for in this recipe list, head over to my salad recipes page or my Pinterest and scroll around. Thank you for visiting and Happy Eating!

~Trisha

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