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Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo

Simple creamy pasta salad with mayo that’s a great side dish for any bbq or potluck. Simple creamy parmesan pasta salad recipe you can load up with anything like bacon bits or just diced vegetables.

Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo

It is almost summer and what that means to us is grilling and lots of yummy side dishes to go along with your meats. We have several that are super easy side dishes to throw together, and this creamy pasta salad recipe with mayonnaise is one of them! Loaded with parmesan goodness and it’s really pretty too. Here’s how you make creamy parmesan pasta salad….that’s a mouthful! (originally published 5/18, affiliate links present)

Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo

Super yum right??!! I love having a few easy side dish recipes ready when we are invited over for a potluck, BBQ, or we are having people over…after all it’s all about all the different goodies when you get together right!

When it comes down to it though it has to be EASY and things I usually already have in my fridge or are easy to grab and go at the store. Now this could be served cold or warm with a ton of different variations to it. For a Mexican flare you can tweak it to make our One Pot Taco Pasta which is delish. Load up the veggies for more Mediterranean.

noodles

Creamy Pasta Salad with Peas

You can use any type of shells or shape you want. I would choose medium size. Also this is a great one to add all the things into. Want to add vegetables into everything you serve? Just defrost some frozen peas and fold those right in there too. Drained corn kernels would work well too, or olives!

  1. Pasta – any shape you really want
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Onion
  4. Red bell pepper
  5. Could add tomatoes and zucchini like in our roasted vegetable pasta salad
  6. Hard boiled egg
  7. Celery
  8. Pepperoni or bacon bits are optional
  9. Use a bit of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, even dill pickle juice works
  10. Parmesan cheese
  11. Spices

You could boil potatoes in Instant Pot, cool, and dice them too if you wanted to add another element to the dish. I will go over other ideas you could add if you aren’t a huge fan of one of the ingredients we used listed here. There are TONS of possibilities so use what you like but other options are below as well.

Creamy pasta salad

Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayonnaise

You really could use just about any fork sized short pasta noodle like bow tie, elbow macaroni pasta or otherwise but we will use penne for now. Of course with any pasta salad you can also add as many yummy add ins you’d like or just make it really simple, your choice. You just;

  • Boil noodles until al dente, drain in a colander, run cold water over the top. Rinsing the pasta is done to stop the cooking and cool it down. Set aside.
  • Combine ingredients for your creamy dressing together like the mayonnaise, vinegar and seasonings.
  • Fold together with the diced vegetables, pasta, pepperoni and grated parmesan. Add drained cooked pasta and gently mix well.
  • Gently fold in diced hard boiled egg. Taste, add salt and/or pepper to your liking. Top with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Can store any sort of macaroni salad covered in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Fold in a bit more mayo with leftovers to make it creamy once again.

You really could serve this warm or cold but typically it is a sort of side dish for a barbecue that you would serve with chicken or beef. If you wanted it to be warm just boil and drain without cooling it down and fold in everything else right away and serve!

pasta salad

Simple Creamy Pasta Salad

Like I said you could add even more to this loaded pasta salad. Lots of bacon bits, mushrooms, olives, anything else you can think of would be great! Let’s go over a few other options here; We will start with vegetables you could dice up and add into the mix. Remember to make everything bite sized.

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Cucumbers, diced
  • Bell peppers, diced (use a mix of colors for visual appeal)
  • Red onions or green onions, thinly sliced or diced
  • Broccoli florets, blanched
  • Carrots, grated or thinly sliced
  • Zucchini or summer squash, diced

Chicken Pasta Salad with Mayo

Adding meat into the mix will transition it to more of a main dish and create a heartier dish. Anything works chopped up into small bits. As long as it is precooked you are good to go. I use leftovers in this case, a great way to make sure it doesn’t go to waste!

  • Grilled chicken, diced
  • Cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cubed ham or turkey
  • Salami or pepperoni slices
  • Canned tuna or salmon, drained
Hawaiian Style Loaded Tuna Macaroni Salad

Things to Add into a Pasta Salad

Cheese is a given for us on the top. For my husband I have found a great type of dairy free shredded varieties from Daiya at the market too. It doesn’t melt well but for cold dishes you can’t really tell the difference. I would keep this on the side if traveling with it and add once you get there or the texture will get strange. You could add;

  • Cubed mozzarella, cheddar, or feta cheese
  • Crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • Sliced almonds
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Olives, such as Kalamata or green, pitted and halved
  • Roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Artichoke hearts, chopped
  • Corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • Cooked and cooled beans, like chickpeas, black beans, or kidney beans

Pasta Salad Dressings

You don’t have to buy bottled from the store. There are ingredients you can whisk together at home to make something light and lo-cal like.

  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Italian dressing
  • Ranch dressing
  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • Pesto sauce
  • Dijon mustard and olive oil

Seasonings you could add beyond the obvious salt and pepper to taste would be;

  • Red pepper flakes for some heat
  • Garlic powder or minced garlic
  • Lemon zest for a burst of citrus flavor

Feel free to mix and match these ingredients to create a pasta salad that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. Remember to balance flavors, textures, and colors for an appealing and satisfying dish. It’s nice to have a few easy side dish recipes ready for when it’s time for a BBQ or otherwise. If you love this creamy pasta salad recipe try this:

Here’s the entire recipe as seen here, just omit anything you’d like. 😉

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Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo
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Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo

Creamy pasta salad with mayo that's a great side dish for any bbq or potluck. Simple creamy parmesan pasta salad recipe you can load up with anything.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cold, creamy, easy, mayonnaise, pasta, salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 302kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Boil noodles until al dente, drain in a colander, run cool water over the top to stop cooking and cool it down. Set aside.
  • Combine mayonnaise, vinegar and seasonings. Fold together with the diced vegetables, pasta, pepperoni and grated parmesan. Add drained cooked pasta and gently mix well. Gently fold in diced hard boiled egg. Taste, add salt and/or pepper to your liking. Top with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Can store covered in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Fold in a bit more mayo with leftovers to make it creamy once again.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Pasta Salad with Mayo
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 242mg11%
Potassium 130mg4%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
creamy pasta salad
Recipe Rating




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