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

28 Comments

  1. Jenny from jennyisbaking.com says:

    They do look delicious! Especially the one with strawberries. I will try it on the weekend.

    1. Let me know how you like it!

  2. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    I love pasta salads! They’re generally easy to make and great for bringing to potluck. I can’t wait to try these versions of pasta salad. Both sound amazing and perfect for summer. I’m going to miss Facebook Live, but I really wish I could make it! Maybe next time.

  3. Ohhhhhh!! I am frustrated. I can’t view your recipes because when I press on the link it says “new tab” but nothing shows up!!! Any ideas???

    1. Hi Wendy! I just checked it 3x and seems to be working! Are you viewing on mobile or desktop? Can you try again?

  4. So sorry Sally. I just tried on my husbands computer and it worked fine. Time for a new computer!! Lol

    1. Oh wonderful– I was worried! 🙂

  5. jess larson | plays well with butter says:

    i am so excited for both of these recipes – i can’t decide which one to try first!! LOVE anything with pesto (& have a big jar of homemade pesto in my fridge right now), but also the combination of strawberries & feta is one that i adore. what’s a gal to do?! xx

    1. make both! 😉

  6. Hello beautiful! Two quick things: 1- (nerd alert) where did you get your salad bowls??? I’m seriously lacking in cute bowls and with summer and picnic season coming up I am on the hunt! and 2- these look so good and I can’t wait to make both. IF you get sick of them (like that will happen!) you must check out Oh Sweet Basil’s Bowtie Chicken pasta- the combination of flavor and texture is out of this world! It’s the number one request people make of me for summer parties! I’m getting ready to make it for my future sis in law’s bridal shower in a couple of weeks!

    1. I love Oh Sweet Basil’s recipes! I’m going to check out her bowtie chicken pasta, thanks for the recommendation! And here are those bowls 🙂

  7. These both look absolutely delicious, Sally. I’m so ready for summer and all the pasta salads, garden salads and fruity desserts (no wonder I’m always so healthy in the summer months). I know a lot of people seem to think kale is “gross” but I love it – especially in salads! If you haven’t tried kale in other types of salads, I love tossing it with a little bit of romaine and tomatoes and making a Kale Caesar Salad… Not traditional, but still so good!

    1. I agree – there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy kale! I love it too!

  8. I love to stir fry chicken with Italian seasoning. Then I toss the chicken with basil pesto. Finally I toss the chicken pesto mixture with gnocchi. Ahhh, scrumptious.

    1. sounds so good– I love gnocchi!

  9. Oh, Sally! These look delicious. Just perfect for all the upcoming fun weekends – pasta salads are perfect to throw together quickly ~smile~

  10. These look great! Thanks for the link for the cute bowls too. But I have to ask, where did you get your flatware? Love it!

    1. Thanks Katie! They’re from Anthropologie.

  11. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- these salad’s look so yummy!

  12. Blogtastic Food says:

    Thanks for sharing, they look great! I love the pesto one especially (:

  13. They look delicious

  14. Michelle @ Acupuncture Marketing says:

    Can’t wait to try the kale pesto salad! Looks amazing 🙂

  15. Haha Sally-I can relate on the house colors. We have lived in our house now for 7 mos and I have yet to decide on my living room colors. That is my goal this summer so I can put my pictures up–tired of living in a bare house–oops

    1. Have fun decorating the walls!

  16. Sara @ Last Night's Feast says:

    Perfection!!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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. 

    1. Sounds like my kind of family dinner! Glad you all liked it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×