35+ Perfectly Packable Pasta Salads
Tuna Pasta Salad
This gluten-free pasta salad is soon to become a go-to for an easy lunch or picnic meal. It’s packed with fresh flavor thanks to herbs and veggies. Jarred tuna (we like the brand Tonino) makes for a flaky protein that’s not overly fishy. The entire dish is then wrapped in a light, creamy dressing. Feel free to substitute with another pasta if gluten is not a concern.
Pesto Pasta Salad
This fast pasta dish is easy to prep and makes for a nice quick, family-friendly, weeknight dinner. You can top it with chicken to give it a little extra staying power, but it also works well as a lunch salad, or to bring to a potluck as a side dish. We like to use fiber-packed chickpea pasta, but whole wheat is a tasty substitution.
Broccoli-Feta Pasta Salad
This healthy pasta salad is quick and easy to put together for picnics, potlucks, or to dole out throughout the week for lunch. Feel free to add more herbs and/or toss in others like oregano or dill for extra flavor.
Tortellini Salad with Zucchini and Peas
This light and summery zucchini salad is studded with green peas and brightened up with a hit of fresh lemon juice. This 20-minute lunch can be prepared in advance and is easily portable; just keep it refrigerated until mealtime. Enjoy it warm, chilled, or at room temperature for a satisfying, fiber-filled main. Zucchini ribbons are easy to make with a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, which will give you the best angle and control.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
We’re huge fans of the chickpea pasta in this recipe; packed with protein and fiber, it’s not only nutritious, but has a fantastic texture and flavor. Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are much more tender than dry-packed varieties, plus the oil from the jar kicks the flavor of this salad up a notch. Like most pasta salads, this gets even better the next day; freshen up leftovers by serving it over spinach, or with chunks of rotisserie chicken.
Warm Pasta Salad With Tomatoes and Eggplant
Congratulations—You just found your new go-to pasta salad! This veggie-packed beauty is nice and filling, thanks to meaty eggplant. If you can’t find burrata, simply tear 6 ounces of fresh mozzarella into bite-size pieces.
Heading to a potluck? Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time; just be sure to let it come to room temperature and toss with an extra drizzle of vinegar and oil before serving. Add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves for an extra layer of flavor.
Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad
This verdant pasta salad signals a fantastic start to spring with a shower of fresh herbs. Mini shell pasta and peas are a perfect pair—the pasta serves as a kind of catcher's mitt for the sweet, bright green peas. You could also use orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta that serves the same purpose.
Tortellini, Chicken, and Arugula Salad
Quality meets convenience in this speedy springtime main. This salad fits right into your weekday lineup with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Prewashed greens let you grab a handful and go. Build a salad, wilt into sautés, or blend into a pesto. Look to Buitoni pasta packs for quick meals on their own or to help you elevate salads and soups. Rotisserie chicken is one of your best supermarket allies for fast and fresh weeknight meals.
Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Pantry-friendly ingredients make this pasta salad easy on your budget. Toss warm pasta with the tangy dressing so it will absorb more flavor. If you prefer to serve this salad chilled, make it up to a day ahead, toss, and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Gemelli Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
Haricots verts are thin, tender green beans. If you can't find them, use trimmed regular green beans, but add them to the pasta after 8 minutes of cooking since they'll take longer to cook. You can make the salad ahead, but dress it just before serving so the beans don't turn drab.
Triple-Pepper Pasta Salad
This dish is an exposition of sweet peppers. Show off the sweet and crisp, charred and smoky sides of this colorful vegetable. Mild Aleppo pepper and spicy ground red pepper actually make this a five-pepper pasta.
Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Pasta salad gets a southwestern twist with the addition of corn, black beans, chili powder, and fresh cilantro. Make ahead for lunch, dinner, or even a picnic.
Chicken and Arugula Pasta Salad
In this dish, just a bit of a rich and pungent cheese can go quite a long way. Tossing hot pasta with a few ounces of creamy Brie makes for a light, luscious, and flavorful sauce to coat this abundant bowl of chicken, fresh veggies, and whole-grain noodles.
Spring Pea and Pasta Salad with Chicken and Asparagus
If your herb garden is going strong, you can snip parsley and chives fresh from the source. Tarragon is worth seeking out for this dish; its anise notes are the distinguishing flavor.
Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Penne Salad with Goat Cheese
Herbes de Provence lends a hit of floral flavor to the dressing of this penne salad. Serve this dish immediately or cover and chill for 2 hours for a cold pasta salad.
Peanut Chicken Soba Salad
You'll only need about 15 minutes to cook the chicken and noodles for this flavorful Asian salad. If short on time, substitute rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken, and purchase preshredded carrots from your supermarket's produce section.
Rotini, Summer Squash, and Prosciutto Salad with Rosemary Dressing
Using white balsamic vinegar helps maintains the salad dressing's pure golden color. Tip: Add the yellow squash and zucchini to the pasta during the last minute of cooking.
Orzo Salad with Radish and Fennel
Lemony dressing and fresh mint add vibrant flavor to this pasta salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature, and garnish with pretty mint leaves, if desired.
Roasted Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Salad
The flavor and contrasting textures―crunchy celery, onion, and walnut, chewy pasta, tender chicken, and juicy grapes―make an easy salad that can be made ahead and travels well, either for a dinner on the go or a workday lunch. Leftover chicken, or deli ham or turkey can take the place of the store-bought rotisserie bird if you prefer.
Chicken and Farfalle Salad with Walnut Pesto
To make sure the walnut pesto ingredients are evenly minced, stop the food processor halfway through processing, and scrape down the sides.
Kalamata olives are great to have on hand to add zesty saltiness to salads, sandwiches, and spreads.
Cavatappi with Bacon and Summer Vegetables
A light, flavorful pasta toss, accented with crumbled bacon, is a quick and easy dinner solution for any night of the week. Use whatever veggies you have on hand to add to the colorful dish. Serve with a mixed greens salad.
Lemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken
Fresh and light describe the flavors of this salad. With pops of green onions, herbs and cucumber, and bright red bell pepper, this dish will be a delight for both the eyes and the palate.
Macaroni Salad with Summer Tomatoes
White balsamic vinegar helps this side dish maintain its fresh appeal. Serve with grilled chicken. Or, for a meatless entrée, add mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese.
Rotini Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing
Bring this crowd-pleasing vinegar- and olive-based salad to your next picnic, barbecue, or get-together.
Cavatappi Pasta Salad with Walnut-Sage Pesto
Pasta salad isn't just for summer. Butternut squash and a walnut-sage pesto give this dish a hit of fall flavor. The pesto sauce darkens upon standing, so try to serve the salad shortly after tossing the ingredients.
Chicken-Penne Salad with Green Beans
You can have this entire meal ready in just about 35 minutes. To quickly prepare the beans in this recipe, trim just the stem ends, leaving the tapered blossom ends intact. Line up 5 or 6 beans at a time and cut them roughly the same length as the pasta.
Soba Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
This slightly spicy, easy recipe is perfect for a quick dinner. If you are a Sriracha fanatic or already have Asian sauces and spices on hand, this recipe is perfect for you. Serve with fruit salad – think kiwi, pineapple and mango.
Peppery Monterey Jack Pasta Salad
This protein-packed salad is filled with sharp, flavorful tastes like tart banana peppers and smoky salami. The protein and carbs make this an ideal post-workout meal.
Prosciutto and Melon Pasta Salad
The sweet melon and smoky prosciutto intertwine in this hearty dish to delight the taste buds. It’s substantial enough to be the main course or as the side dish to a lighter entrée.
This superfast and simple spinach dish is low-maintenance and easy. Top with wild-caught salmon or grilled chicken breast for a healthy dinner.
Spicy Pasta-Cucumber Salad
Fresh cucumbers and a sweet-and-spicy sauce coat tender linguine for a gourmet fare that won’t cost you a fortune.
Udon Noodle Salad with Broccolini and Spicy Tofu
If you can handle the heat, add this to your meal plan. With so many distinctive flavors – sharp radish, crisp broccolini, and nutty cashew – this dish is truly something to savor.
You’ll have a party in your bowl with this brightly colored, low-cal, international dish. Serve this salad chilled or at room temperature. You can prepare the recipe up to a day ahead, but stir in the basil just before serving.
Tuna-Fennel Pasta Salad
Sure, premium oil-packed tuna is a splurge, but the texture and rich flavor are worth it. This recipe is so simple and tasty, there’s no reason not to try it.
Vegetable Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese
Ready in just over 20 minutes, this delicious pasta salad is the perfect add-on to a soup main dish or in smaller portions with a meat-based entrée.
Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano
This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.
Pesto Pasta Salad With Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go. Use yellow and red tomatoes for a stunning presentation and wonderful flavor variety.