Give your tastebuds a truly refreshing flavor! This Summer Pasta Salad is perfect for summer gatherings and is a great addition to easy meals. The best part of these cold pasta salad? It literally takes just minutes to whip up!
Be sure to check out my Italian Chicken Pasta Salad for another easy pasta salad recipe. It’s always fun to have optional recipes to use up your fresh garden vegetables.
In my opinion, this is the perfect side dish. I could literally eat this by the bowlful, and honestly – I do! It’s not only great for outdoor parties, but it’s perfect for summer picnics as well.
Easy Summer Salad with Pasta
This great pasta salad is so refreshing on hot summer days and is a great choice to make. There’s nothing like fresh summer tomatoes and other fresh veggies to combat the heat! It just might be one of my favorite cold pasta salad recipes ever!
The first time that I made this easy pasta salad with mayo, I knew it was a great recipe. The texture of the crunchy vegetables with the cooled pasta made every bite literally amazing.
I knew that even making a big batch was going to be devoured on a hot day! This is why this creamy summer pasta salad is my go-to for summer potlucks!
I also really enjoy that you can vary up the flavor a bit if you’d like. I always use fresh ingredients, but you can easily add in more. Some fresh basil would be amazing in this easy summer pasta salad! You can also make this for a quick lunch to sit out on the patio and enjoy!
You’re going to love the simplicity of this entire dish. With less than 10 minutes of cook time, this pasta salad with mayo will be ready to enjoy. Just gather up your best large serving bowl so that you can add the delicious pasta salad once it’s cooked and ready.
Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- Cavatappi Pasta
- Red Onion,
- Yellow Bell Pepper
- Grape Tomatoes
- Canned Whole Corn
- Feta Cheese
- Fresh Parsley
- Sour Cream
- Sweet Pickles
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Granulated Sugar
- Dijon Mustard
- Cloves Garlic
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe card with the exact measurements needed to create one of the best cold pasta salad recipes.
How To Make Classic Pasta Salad with Fresh Vegetables
Cook the pasta per the package instructions. Immediately drain and rinse under cold water, so the noodles don’t overcook.
Chop the red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, and radishes.
Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, sweet pickles, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and garlic, and mix well with a small whisk.
Pour all over the salad ingredients then take salad utensils and mix into the salad until all the noodles and ingredients have been evenly coated with the dressing.
If you don’t want to make your own homemade dressing, you can always use tangy Italian dressing from the bottle as well. Just be careful with the amount that you use as you don’t want to overpour and create a soggy pasta dish.
Adding a little bit of crunch is fn for the texture. Topping with pine nuts or crushed pecans, or peanuts adds a delicious flavor.
If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, you can use mozzarella cheese instead. You really can’t go wrong with anything that you want to add to this macaroni salad!
You can also change up the type of vinegar that you use in this recipe. Champagne vinegar and red wine vinegar are both great options. Just know what type you like because you will notice a tad bit of difference in the taste.
My family is big pickle fans, and we really love dill pickles. If you want to opt for dill pickles instead of sweet, go for it! You can even use bread and butter pickles as well to have a combination of sweet and sour.
If you want some extra crunch, add small pieces of crisp cucumbers! That refreshing flavor paired with the pasta is such a great combination! Perfect pairing as well with the salty feta cheese.
How long will leftover of this pasta salad stay fresh?
The best way to store leftovers is to store the entire pasta dish in a bowl with a lid. Make sure that it has an airtight seal so that it stays fresh. As long as it’s covered and sealed well, it should stay good to enjoy for up to 4 days.
Can you use other types of pasta?
You really can. You can use hearty pasta shapes, elbow macaroni, or even gluten-free pasta. Change it up and see what texture or size of pasta you like best. As long as you cook it al dente, it should all be yummy.
Can you freeze pasta salad?
I wouldn’t. Since this summer salad recipe has mayonnaise in it, it’s best to enjoy it fresh. Mayonnaise can sometimes unthaw a little bit funky so eating it fresh is best. The cooked pasta can also change texture as well if you freeze and then unthaw it.
Can I prep and cook the pasta beforehand?
Absolutely! You can easily cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water and then store the cooled pasta for later. This is a great way to save time on the meal prep on the day that you want to make the salad.
Anything that you can do to prep and cook some of the recipe beforehand go for it. The pasta cooks really easily and will stay good in the fridge for a day or two without issues. You can then add in your juicy tomatoes and other ingredients when you’re ready to serve.
I really think that you’re going to love this simple summer salad recipe. It’s light and delicious, and the flavors just scream summer!
MORE RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- Crawfish Pie
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Donut Holes
- Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti
- Beef Tips and Rice
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Summer Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces Cavatappi pasta
- 1/2 cup red onion sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 large carrot peeled and julienned
- 1/2 cup corn whole, canned
- 1/2 cup radishes sliced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 2 Tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons sweet pickles diced
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Cook the pasta per the package instructions. Immediately drain and rinse under cold water, so the noodles don’t overcook.
- Chop the red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, and radishes.
- Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, sweet pickles, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and garlic, and mix well with a small whisk.
- Pour all over the salad ingredients then take salad utensils and mix into the salad until all the noodles and ingredients have been evenly coated with the dressing.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you’re using with each recipe.