These delicious and fresh summer pasta salads are perfect for your next backyard bbq or when you’re craving something light yet filling during the warmer summer months.

The Best Summer Pasta Salads

In my personal opinion, pasta salads are one of the best kinds of salads! Not only do you get all of the traditional salad crunch from a variety of veggies, you also get perfectly cooked pasta. It’s the perfect combination!

I love how hearty and satisfying pasta salads can be and that you can pack them with veggies, proteins, and healthy fats for the perfect meal.

If you’re looking for some delicious and unique pasta salad recipes then I’ve got you covered! You’re sure to find a new favorite on this list of flavorful reader favorite pasta salads. Plus, I’m sharing all of my best tips and tricks to get the best pasta every single time!

Summer Pasta Salads Video

dressing being poured over pasta salad

Tips for the Perfect Pasta Salad

  • Don’t over cook your pasta – Cook the pasta al dente so that it still has a bit of chew. You don’t want mushy pasta in your pasta salad.
  • Drain and rinse – use a colander to drain and then rinse the pasta with cool water before using. This helps to remove any excess starch on the outside of the pasta so that the pasta doesn’t clump together.
  • Salt your pasta water – the key to a good pasta salad is flavorful pasta so be sure to salt the pasta water well when cooking your pasta.
  • Dice the onion well – if the pasta salad recipe calls for fresh onion, be sure to dice it relatively small. Big chunks of red onion may not always be the most appetizing. You can also rinse or soak the red onion in cool water to remove some of that characteristic sharp “bite” that red onion tends to have.
  • Be sure to mince the garlic – similar to the red onion, your pasta salad calls for fresh garlic then be sure to mince it finely so that you don’t bite into huge pieces of raw garlic.
  • Get creative and customize – most pasta salad recipes can easily be customized to suit your individual needs. You can do things like add extra veggies, use gluten free pasta, leave out the cheese. All of the recipes included in this list have ingredient substitution sections that you may find helpful!

tuna pasta salad in small bowl

How to Serve

Pasta salad can be great on it’s own (especially if it includes a protein) for a light lunch or dinner. But, if you prefer, you can also pair the more veggie-based pasta salads with your favorite protein like chicken, fish, or beef to make a more complete meal. If you need some main meal ideas to serve your pasta salad with here are a few reader favorites:

broccoli pasta salad in bowl

Tips for Serving to a Crowd

Pasta salads are the perfect dish serve at a potluck or barbecue. If you need to feed a bit of a crowd you can easily double the recipe to feed more people!

Can You Make Pasta Salad in Advance?

Yes! I like to make most pasta salads a day in advance. This gives all the flavors in the pasta salad to really meld together so that it tastes even more delicious.

To keep your pasta salad fresh, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It will last for three to four days when stored in the fridge.

mixed pasta salad in bowl

Reader Favorite Summer Pasta Salad Recipes

pasta salad in bowl with fork

Greek Pasta Salad

This Greek Pasta Salad is full of crisp fresh veggies, perfectly cooked pasta, fresh herbs, creamy feta cheese and the most delicious Greek vinaigrette. It is the perfect light lunch or filling weeknight dinner side dish. get the full recipe

Italian pasta salad in bowl

Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian Pasta Salad is full of crisp fresh veggies, perfectly cooked pasta, fresh herbs, two different cheeses, and the most delicious flavorful vinaigrette. It’s a great option for a light lunch or a tasty dinner side dish. get the full recipe

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT Pasta Salad is full of crisp fresh veggies, perfectly cooked pasta, fresh herbs, crispy bacon, and the most delicious homemade ranch dressing. It’s the perfect addition to your next BBQ and a great option for a light lunch or a tasty dinner side dish! get the full recipe

taco pasta salad in bowl

Taco Pasta Salad

This creamy Taco Pasta Salad is full of hearty black beans, sweet corn, avocado, and of course Cotija cheese! This recipe comes together quickly and is absolutely delicious! get the full recipe

tuna pasta salad in small bowl with spoon

Tuna Pasta Salad

This protein-packed Tuna Pasta Salad is perfect for a quick healthy lunch or as a flavorful addition to your next summer barbecue. Made with tuna, veggies, and perfectly cooked pasta you’re sure to love this recipe! get the full recipe

caesar chicken pasta salad in bowl

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This creamy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad turns everyone’s favorite Caesar salad into a creamy and delicious pasta salad that you will love! This pasta salad is full of protein, veggies, and a flavorful Caesar dressing that’s so easy to make. get the full recipe

pesto pasta salad in bowl

Pesto Pasta Salad

This hearty Pesto Pasta Salad is filled with fresh veggies, cheese, and crunchy pine nuts. The perfectly cooked pasta is coated in a delicious pesto dressing that pulls everything together and tastes delicious! get the full recipe

broccoli pasta salad in bowl

Greek Broccoli Pasta Salad

Greek Broccoli Pasta Salad with crisp fresh veggies, perfectly cooked pasta, plenty of feta and a delicious Greek vinaigrette to pull it all together! get the full recipe

pasta salad ingredients in mixing bowl

Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad

This delicious Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad is packed with fresh veggies, chickpeas, and so much flavor. If you’re looking for a hearty side dish or filling lunch then you will love this recipe. get the full recipe

two pieces of shrimp on top of orzo salad

Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad

This delicious Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad is the perfect recipe for those warmer spring and summer months or all year round. It comes together in only 30 minutes, is made with just a few simple ingredients, and is so easy to make. This is sure to be a family favorite! get the full recipe

creamy cucumber salad in bowl with spoon

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This Creamy Cucumber Salad is light, refreshing, and perfectly creamy. Fresh herbs and the perfect creamy dressing coat each cucumber for the perfect salad! get the full recipe

pasta salad in bowl with fork

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

This Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad is full of grilled corn, avocado, fresh vegetables, Cotija cheese, and a tangy homemade dressing. It comes together quickly and is absolutely delicious as a side course or even main dish! get the full recipe

More Delicious Summer Recipes

I hope you give these Summer Pasta Salads a try! Each of them are unique, delicious, and easy to make!

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