I love creamy pasta salad! You can make this recipe for the best pasta salad on any day and in a very short time.
It is one of those recipes for which you only need a minimum of ingredients, most of which you probably have in your kitchen.
Plus, it tastes fantastic. After all, this easy pasta salad contains only good stuff. We all like pickles, peppers, ham, or peas. The recipe for classic pasta salad is also interesting in that you can really use anything you feel like eating and what you can find in your fridge.
Do you like hard-boiled eggs in a salad? Yes, please. Do you want to spend some unused cheese that you have left from the last recipe? Feel free to use it.
However, what this salad should not miss are ham, corn, and red bell pepper. And of course pasta as well.
What pasta for classic pasta salad?
I think macaroni is best. Nah, I’m sure macaroni is the best option. That means you have to use them!
I’m joking, you can use a different type of pasta too. For example, if you have fusilli or penne at home, your fantastic pasta salad is unlikely to be offended. But not spaghetti. You’d probably be a little weird.
However, macaroni pasta fits well, because they keep dressing well, which also gets into their holes running through the center. Their size is also perfect.
When cooking pasta, I do one thing differently than usual. When you make any Italian pasta, whether your favorite spaghetti carbonara or pasta all’Amatriciana, it is a matter of course to cook the pasta al dente (and therefore not quite soft).
Pasta salad is probably the only recipe for which I recommend cooking pasta more than al dente. So maybe 2 or 3 minutes longer. But be careful not to overcook them.
Cold pasta salad is consumed, obviously, cold. That’s probably why I like when the pasta is a bit softer.
Creamy pasta salad with mayo or without?
I’m not gonna lie, mayonnaise makes a great taste in salad and it really belongs there. Easy pasta salad with mayo is a classic. But adding nearly a pound of mayonnaise almost hurts – especially your moral sense.
That’s why I try to find a middle ground. Mix approximately 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 cup of natural Greek yogurt. Of course, natural yogurt is healthy and the taste will remain excellent.
Add pickle juice and pasta water to these two ingredients. Combine with minced garlic, salt and pepper, and your nice dressing for pasta salad is ready.
If your salad seems a little dry, add more yogurt or pickle juice. I love the typical acidity and flavor of pickle juice, so I like to add a bit more.
If you’re looking for a recipe for a different tasty salad, try this German Potato Salad!
Pasta salad with chicken?
As I outlined at the beginning, it’s up to you what ingredients to use. Pasta salad with chicken is also a very tasty recipe. Therefore, there would be no need to add ham.
An equally good and delicious choice is a pasta salad with tuna. So don’t be afraid to use the different ingredients that you have available right now.Print
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
The best creamy pasta salad that takes a short time to prepare. This quick and easy pasta salad with mayo, yogurt, ham and vegetables will definitely not disappoint. You can enjoy it as a quick dinner or as a side dish.
- 500g pasta (maccheroni)
- 200g ham
- 1 red bell pepper
- 300g corn
- 300g peas
- 100g pickles (cornichons)
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- 80g mayonnaise
- 220g Greek yogurt
- 1 small clove of garlic (minced)
- 50ml pickle juice
- 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
- 4 tbsp of pasta water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring well-salted water to a boil in a pot and place your pasta. Cook according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, chop the red bell pepper, pickles, and ham. Prepare peas and corn (remove canned water).
- Now the dressing. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt, minced garlic, and pickle juice. Season with salt and black pepper.
- If the pasta is cooked (more than al dente), strain it and place in a larger bowl. But save some water.
- Add chopped ham and vegetables to a bowl of your still-warm pasta. Add a little water from the pasta, pour over the dressing and mix well.
- Taste for seasoning. It might need more salt, pepper, or pickle juice. Garnish with fresh parsley.
By adding pasta water, you’ll get a creamier texture. And it is definitely better to use some pasta water instead of more mayo.
It’s not your typical pasta dish. You can cook the pasta a bit more than al dente.
Add chili powder for some extra kick and taste.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 5 servings , Amount per serving:
- Calories: 490
- Sugar: 8.9g
- Sodium: 1174mg
- Fat: 11.2g
- Saturated Fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 76g
- Fiber: 5.9g
- Protein: 24.1g
- Cholesterol: 85mg
Keywords: easy pasta salad, creamy pasta salad, classic pasta salad, pasta salad cold, pasta salad with mayo
This is one of my favorite side dishes. But as you mentioned, I love it as a lunch or dinner as well!
I love it too 🙂
Looks tasty! Perfect salat for barbecue😋
I love this dish! I actually use only yogurt and it’s as good as with mayo. And it’s perfect idea with the pickle juice. Now I need to make this.
Thank you very much!
Flavorful Extras: My favorite part about pasta salad is adding extra secret ingredients that make it shine. Olives add tanginess and a lot of flavor. Pickled vegetables are fun (try pickled onions ), and sliced pepperoncini peppers add a little extra kick. If you aren t going for a vegetarian pasta salad, you can add a handful of chopped salami, pepperoni, turkey or ham. You could even shred a rotisserie or roasted chicken and toss it in. So many options!
Hey Joris, I will try next time some of the ingredients you mentioned. Sliced Pepperoncini peppers sound really good!