8 Old Fashioned Pasta Salads That Deserve a Spot In Your Recipe Box

Close-up on bowl of macaroni salad with spoon
Photo: ReneePaj

Comfortingly creamy pasta salads never go out of style, and we've compiled our best old-school recipes that taste just like something Mom would make. From classic tricolored spiral noodle dishes to a decadent diced ham option, pasta salads are magic at making dinner a simple, scrumptious affair.

01 of 08

Chef John's Classic Macaroni Salad

closeup of a spoonful of macaroni salad being scooped from a square yellow bowl
France C

"Whether it's sitting next to some smoky ribs or just a humble hot dog, this deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd favorite," says Chef John. You'll love the kiss of heat courtesy of poblano and jalapeño peppers.

02 of 08

Amelia's Tuna Macaroni Salad

tuna macaroni salad in a metal bowl

Fresh flavor is the name of the game in this multifaceted recipe. Tuna, sweet onions, relish, and hardboiled eggs combine to create a uniquely addictive bite.

03 of 08

Classic Italian Pasta Salad

overhead shot pasta salad

Enjoy a creamy classic that's easily customizable with your favorite veggies. Ripe olives, Italian dressing, and Cheddar cheese combine for a forkful of tangy, satisfying flavor.

04 of 08

Shrimp Avocado Pasta Salad

Shrimp Avocado Pasta Salad


Try your hand at this easy and refreshing seafood pasta dish. It's the perfect complement to a lazy, warm-weather afternoon when you need something delicious in a flash. A bit of crushed red pepper rounds out each bite.

05 of 08

Magnificent Macaroni Salad

Close-up on bowl of macaroni salad with spoon

The mouthwatering blend of macaroni, mustard, parsley, and rice vinegar makes this pasta salad one-of-a-kind. A teaspoon of sugar adds a subtle sweetness that makes this dish worthy of its name.

06 of 08

Rainbow Pasta Salad II

rainbow pasta salad ll

All you'll need are five ingredients to create this bright, beautifully flavored salad. Juicy diced tomatoes and assertive red onion blend perfectly in this Italian-inspired dish that will have your guests raving.

07 of 08

Awesome Ham Pasta Salad

Awesome Ham Pasta Salad

A perfectly rich, old-school treat made with cubed ham, sweet pickles, and sour cream. "I added about 5 drops of Tabasco Sauce to give a little kick and the entire bowl disappeared quickly," says home cook CarolS. "My family loved it."

08 of 08

Mom's Best Macaroni Salad

portrait shot macaroni salad
Rachelle Shockey

Bell peppers and chopped celery add body to this delectable macaroni salad. Equal parts sweet and tart, this filling, summer-friendly meal is ready in just 30 minutes.

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