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Best-Ever Pasta Salad recipe

Best-Ever Pasta Salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Pasta salad

A super-tasty salad that is packed full of flavours and textures. Macaroni is tossed with celery, red onion, olives, sweet pickle, carrots and green pepper in a creamy mayonnaise dressing.

126 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 450g macaroni pasta
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml mayonnaise
  • 125ml soured cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
  • 120g chopped celery
  • 85g chopped red onion
  • 110g pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 4 tablespoons chopped sweet pickle
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to the boil. Cover, remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool. Peel and chop.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, soured cream, mustard powder and sweet pickle juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pasta, celery, onion, olives, sweet pickles, carrots, green pepper, celery seeds and eggs. Stir in dressing and mix well.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(171)

Reviews in English (135)


I made this for a cover dish dinner, and it did NOT last. Everyone remarked about the flavor and how creamy it was. It is so good. I did change just a couple of things. One, I left out the onion as neither my husband or myself can eat them..and it was n't missed. Also, instead of using pickle juice and the sweet pickle, I used sweet relish. I did increase the dressing half again, as we do not like a dry macaroni salad, and this did not get dry. I made it the day before, and yes, it tastes better the second day after the ingredients have had a chance to sit and blend. I put the carrots through my food processor and they were perfect for this salad. And one little tip. When using celery seed, rub the seeds between your palms to crush them a little. This releases not only the aroma, but the flavor as well. Oh, and if you are making a dish that requires both onion and celery, cut the celery last, and rub some leaves, or even part of the rib on your hands. It will remove the onion.-13 Feb 2003


I made this over the holiday weekend for my family and it was a hit. The only thing I did differently was I chopped the carrot and added sweet pickle relish instead of the chopped pickles. I will make it again. The celery seed and spanish olives were nice additions.-30 May 2000


This is a very good recipe. Multiplied it many times and made it for my daughter's wedding reception, and I received many compliments. My only question would be about the number of servings. This recipe makes between 13 and 14 cups of salad. Unless you are feeding Paul Bunyan and his brothers, I think that's a lot more than six servings. Maybe it 's supposed to say 16?-21 Aug 2001

We Tried 4 Famous Pasta Salads and the Winner Completely Stole the Show

When I think of pasta salad, I think of summer potlucks and barbecues. This chilled dish is often served as a side and is rarely the star of the show, but as a pasta-lover, I’ve often wondered why. Is it because we’re all serving subpar pasta salads? It’s high time we fix that.

For this recipe showdown, I set out to find the best-ever pasta salad recipe — the one that would be impossible to overlook at any gathering. I was looking for one with a punchy, boldly flavored vinaigrette the right ratio of pasta to mix-ins and the perfect balance of salt, fat, and acid that would keep me coming back for more.

What type of pasta shape would reign supreme? Is fresh produce superior, or are the best mix-ins pickled and jarred? I tried four popular recipes to find out — and I’ll be making the winning recipe all summer long.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Italian Pasta Salad:

  • Pasta
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh garlic
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

I do not recommend substituting any of the ingredients. The fresh ingredients and the balsamic are what make this dish so amazing. You can adjust the quantities however and it will still be amazing. I love adding a little more balsamic and cayenne pepper!

As I mentioned above, the reason this pasta salad recipe is so good is because of the techniques used to make it. If you follow them, you will have the perfect pasta salad!

5 tips on how to select fresh fruits & vegetables

  1. Don’t pick produce that is bruised or damaged. Brown spots or leaves are signs of aging.
  2. Before selecting, give produce a light squeeze. This helps to know if it is ripe. The only fruit that should be rock solid is an apple. If an apple is squishy, put it down. Other fruits, including pears, bananas and avocados, continue to soften after picking if left at room temperature. *If my apples, pears or avocados start to become overly soft, I stick them in the fridge.
  3. To check fruit, smell it. My son recently taught me this. The sweeter the smell, the more ripe it is for picking.
  4. Choose vibrant, colorful produce to add some color to your dish and extra vitamins.
  5. Buy produce seasonally. This not only helps with saving money, but also with the quality of the produce too.

What’s great about shopping at Safeway is that I have the luxury of using their delivery & to go services. I was so excited when my local Safeway started offering this. I first saw it in California and couldn’t wait until they rolled it out in Colorado.

I initially thought I would be hesitant in ordering my produce there. And the first time I was because it is hard to trust someone picking out your idea of quality. With that said, when it comes to understanding fresh produce, I think Safeway does an amazing job.

I prefer the Safeway Drive Up & Go™ method. It’s easy to do online on my computer or on my phone via the app! You select your day and the time of pick-up, and that’s it.

Every time, I have had amazing service and even the option for no contact. I literally pull up, pop the trunk to my SUV and call the number to tell them the name of my order and what number stall I am in. They walk up with a few clarifying questions from the back of my car, give me any updates I have on my order and then load the groceries and close the door.

This summer has been about simplifying, whether by choice or situation, I have had to change the way I do some things in what used to be my normal every day life.

So it’s nice and truly a privilege that I can still get fresh produce and groceries delivered right to my car or even my home. And this is something I have become even more grateful for these past few months. Stay well friends & eat pasta salad.

Best Ever Pasta Salad Recipe

Everyone has a favourite ‘bring a plate’ recipe up their sleeve, and this is mine. My pasta salad is always a hit at family barbecues and entertaining events, and for good reason too – it’s delicious!!

Packed with fresh vegetables, pasta salads well known for their versatility, happily sitting alongside barbecued meats and crusty bread on many an Aussie backyard menu.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

Half a packet of curly pasta, French salad dressing, some shallots or green onions, a red capsicum, green beans, avocado, a tin of corn kernels, a punnet of cherry tomatoes, some fresh parsley and some leg ham.

Boil up some salty water and cook your pasta as per packet directions, then remove from the heat and drain. Then rinse under some cool water and allow to drain again.

Chop up all of your veggies and steam or boil the beans for one minute, then refresh under cold water. Stir everything together with the salad dressing and lots of salt and pepper and it’s ready to enjoy!

This pasta salad is best made within a few hours of serving as the avocado will start to brown if prepared too early.

Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe

Most Italian Pasta Recipes will have similar ingredients but there are a few differences in this recipe that I think make it the “best:” 1) tortellini, 2) Homemade Italian Dressing, 3) pepperoncins, 4) mozzarella balls.

  1. Tortellini: Does it get any better than your favorite pasta salad except with tender pillows of cheesy tortellini enveloped in tangy Italian dressing in every mouthful? I am obsessed. All pasta recipes should be made with tortellini in my book. I already have shared Greek Pasta Salad with Tortellini, Southwest Tortellini Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing and have a Shrimp Po’ Boy Tortellini Pasta Salad and a Cubano Tortellini Pasta Salad with Mojo Dressing coming your way because like I said – I am obsessed with tortellini pasta salads! If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon – do it!
  2. Homemade Italian Dressing: I’ve enjoyed my fair share of tasty bottled dressings, but I promise, nothing tastes as fresh and fabulous as your own Homemade Italian Dressing – and it takes MINUTES to whisk together using pantry ingredients! This easy Homemade Italian Dressing is a balanced tangy and testy blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried herbs and spices and the best part – Parmesan Cheese! It elevates this Cold Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing to a whole new level because after all a salad is only as good as it’s dressing – so use the best!
  3. Pepperoncini: Please don’t skip! Pepperoncini bring this Italian Pasta Salad to life! They are slightly sweet but mostly tangy with a slight zip of heat. The pepperoncini (100 to 500 Scoville heat units) is much closer to a bell pepper than a jalapeño (jalapenos are about 40x hotter) so don’t be scared away. Their sweet heat tang is explosively delicious.
  4. Mozzarella Balls: There is a reason they call them “snacking balls” because I could eat fresh mozzarella balls by the handful! They are soft and buttery and melt-in-your-mouth YUM. I promise you will be combing through the pasta salad just to find these pearls of satisfaction.

What is Greek salad dressing made of?

A traditional Greek salad dressing is made with:

  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

I’ve combined all of the aforementioned Greek Dressing ingredients and added:

  • a jar of sun-dried tomato in oil (which replaces the olive oil)
  • basil
  • almonds
  • feta
  • red pepper flakes

The resulting Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Dressing will knock your socks off AKA I’m thoroughly convinced this Greek Dressing is one of the best things on the planet which, in turn makes the BEST Greek Pasta Salad!

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Reader Interactions


Fred Jensen

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August 06, 2016 at 10:47 am

I was asked to bring a large macaroni salad to a family gathering. This is not something I normally make, due to it seeming a bland and pointless salad, but decided to rise to the challenge. I searched the internet for something more interesting. I landed on your recipe, and decided to try the Amish salad. Well, it is wonderful. I put in fewer eggs - was afraid to try the full 5. I also add some small chopped red and yellow peppers. Left the parsley out due to my boyfriend not liking it. Will add some bits of grape tomatoes just before serving - testing it with the tomatoes, they really make it pop. I also appreciate that the onion flavor is really subtle. I will look forward to taking it today, to see if others enjoy it as much as I do. I will also say I am normally not a fan of Miracle Whip. I'd only tried it at a friend's house for sandwiches, and didn't care for it that way. However, it is light and perfect for this salad. I'd say mayonnaise would be too heavy. Thank you! I'll have to peruse your site for more recipes.


August 07, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe modifications, Kay! I hope you explore and enjoy Amish365, thanks for stopping by!

The Best Ever Bowtie Pasta Salad

I grew up on this bowtie pasta salad. It is UNBELIEVABLE. Definitely my favorite pasta salad recipe of. all. time. I literally could live off of it (oh husband, couldn’t we eat this every day??) This pasta is light, but filling. A salad that is easy, but tastes gormet. It’s unique and boy is it a crowd pleaser! Basically, I think it’s pretty good. When I was taking pictures to blog this recipe my hubby said “haven’t you already blogged this pasta salad recipe like ten times?” Which illustrates how often I make this classic pasta salad and also how quickly it disappears!

The recipe comes from mine and Sarah’s bff Abigail’s amazing mother Tami. Dear Tami, you should start a blog. Talk about a great cook! Anyway, Tami is one of the Vinegar ladies (you can buy their cookbook here) they teach you to make homemade vinegars (which I do now and I love). I swear vinegar makes any food yummier. However, I know most of you won’t have the homemade vinegar this recipe calls for so I have adapted it just a little so I could share this classic pasta salad recipe with you guys today!

Even looking at this bowl of ingredients is making my stomach growl! Best bow tie pasta salad is not an exaggeration! S0, are you ready for the recipe?