Quick & Easy Pasta Salad Recipes

Kale Pesto Mozzarella Pasta Salad, Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad, and Chicken Pasta Salad make the perfect picnic fare. Leftovers last for days, so each are a wonderful make ahead meal.

pesto pasta salad in a bowl and strawberry feta pasta salad in a bowl

Let’s focus on p-a-s-t-a. Today I’m linking to 3 of my favorite homemade pasta salad recipes:

  1. Kale Pesto Mozzarella Pasta Salad
  2. Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad
  3. Chicken Pasta Salad

I created separate posts for these pasta salad recipes so they’d be easily accessible if you’re searching through my savory recipes archive.

pesto pasta salad in a glass bowl and strawberry feta pasta salad in a glass bowl

Why I Love these Pasta Salad Recipes

Calling it now: these pasta salads are destined to be part of your summer meals, picnics, date nights… pretty much ANY fun-time gathering! They’re so simple and keep for days in the refrigerator, which is handy for quick and flavorful lunches. Let me know which you try first. 


The fabulous kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad is made with a versatile kale pesto that is beyond irresistible. It can be served as a vibrant sauce for warm pasta, a dressing for cold pasta salads, a bright topping for pizza, a true flavor-booster when slathered on grilled chicken and salmon. It’s even an unbelievable spread on toast. Combined with fresh mozzarella, pine nuts, and tomatoes – it’s a home run pasta salad that will RULE your summertime spread. Trust me.

pesto pasta salad in a ceramic bowl with a fork

The strawberry feta pasta salad explodes with flavor and texture. We’re talking crunchy almonds + romaine intertwined with creamy avocado and mountains of sweet, juicy strawberries. It’s a pasta dish for those of us who like “pasta salad stuff” more than the actual pasta. And the homemade poppy seed dressing made with Greek yogurt is on the healthier side compared to store-bought versions. Nailed it.

strawberry feta pasta salad in a ceramic bowl

The chicken pasta salad has the works! I prepare it with bacon, chopped bell peppers, broccoli, feta cheese, chicken, and tomatoes. Cover everything with a creamy buttermilk Greek yogurt dressing. This is my go-to pasta salad recipe for picnics and other summer gatherings because it’s quick, easy, and ALWAYS a crowd pleaser.

creamy chicken pasta salad in a white bowl

How to Choose the Right Pasta Shape

When it comes to pasta shapes, the world is your oyster. But I usually choose pasta with twists or creases so the dressing can pile up on each bite. Elbow macaroni or spirals are great choices. 


Unusual Flavor Combinations

Some people might be put off by the unlikely pairing of fruit and cheese in the strawberry feta pasta salad, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. The sweet + salty flavors work beautifully together – which is why cheese pairs so well with fruit spreads on a cheese platter. Here, the briny feta holds its own in this robust salad, but goat cheese would work equally well. 


More Favorite Salad Recipes

Creamy strawberry feta pasta salad is an easy summer pasta salad! It's super flavorful, feeds a crowd, and you can make it ahead. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad is an easy summer pasta salad! It's absolutely delicious, feeds a crowd, and you can make it ahead. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

2 Comments

  1. Found myself wanting pasta salad to go with dinner since it was so hot yesterday. I had no time to go to the store so I subbed spinach for the kale and left out the basil. Still delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. I made the Creamy Strawberry Feta Pasta salad for a big (12 people) family dinner yesterday. I made it the day before which was very convenient. Served it with barbecue ribs and it was really delicious. Followed your recipe exactly. The dressing is really good. Thank you, Sally. 

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