Mix & Match Pasta Salad {Recipe}

Pasta salad. I love it! Such a versatile and filling dish. It works great as a side dish at pot lucks, or a killer main dish for the family! The recipe below is a “Mix and Match” or “Build Your Own” style. Basically, just pick one thing from each section and mix it all up!



- One package of pasta, cooked al dente in salted water. Drain it and rinse it in cold water.

- Tortellini works great when making pasta salad as a main dish!


- 2-3 Cups of fresh, chopped veggies.

- Some of my faves include: Cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli. But be creative!


- 1/2 – 1 Cup of cubed, hard cheese.

- Pepperjack gives a great kick!


- 1 – 2 Cups dressing, my favorite combo is 1 C. ranch and 1 C. Italian.

- It’s important to incorporate oil into your sauce. This can be as simple as adding some oil based dressing with a cream dressing, or drizzling 1/4 C. of olive oil into your salad.


- Salt and Pepper, at least! And season it liberally! Think about being adventurous and experimenting with celery salt, seasoning salt, Mrs. Dash, etc.


- Beans – one can beans, drained and rinsed

- Olives, drained

- Fresh herbs

- Pepperoncinis, roasted red peppers, pickled jalapenos, etc.

- Meats – mini pepperonis, lunch meat (cut in small squares), shredded or cubed chicken

- Canned corn


- “Southwest” – Pasta, canned corn, pepperjack cheese, cilantro, bell pepper, black beans, ranch/salsa mix dressing, drizzle of olive oil.

- “Cobb” – Pasta, cubed cheddar, cucumber, tomatoes, bacon, cubed chicken, red wine vinaigrette

- “Chicken Salad” – Pasta, cubed chicken, cubed mozzarella, ranch dressing, honey mustard/olive oil, dried cranberries, celery, spinach leaves (fresh)

This recipe featured on Delicious Dish Tuesday, hosted by Full Time Mama and Coping With Frugality.

Full Time Mama


  1. I’ve never been a huge fan of oasta salad, but I really like how you gave options of how to construct the salad.

  2. So many great ideas to build your own… Looks SO good!! We love doing the southwest style flavor! MMMMMM
    Thanks for linking up!! <3
    Alesha @ Full Time Mama recently posted..Delicious Dish Tuesday Recipe Link Up- To Die For DessertsMy Profile

  3. Pasta salad is a weakness of mine. So yummy! I love the different ways you listed to switch it up!
    Whitney Jordan recently posted..Holiday Break is Over: Back to SchoolMy Profile

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