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Cold Pasta Salad Recipes – The Perfect Summer Meal

By Laura Cokherell

Cold pasta salads are perfect quick summer meals. Here are some simple pasta recipes that are easy to prepare, contain just a few fresh ingredients, simple preparation, and make flavorful and healthy meals in minutes. Enjoy them all summer long and anytime you want a quick and delicious meal.

Zucchini Pasta Salad with Pesto Cream: You will need, 2 cups whole grain pasta (cooked – choose a small to medium noodle like penne, farfalle or macaroni), 1 cup zucchini (thinly sliced half-moons), one-half cup frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained), one-quarter cup prepared sun-dried tomato pesto, and one-half cup low-fat sour cream. Directions: Prepare pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and place in a mixing bowl with the zucchini and the corn. In a smaller bowl, combine the pesto and the sour cream and mix until well blended. Add this mixture to the salad ingredients and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serving Idea: For a simple light meal serve this easy pasta salad over a bed of salad greens with pita chips on the side. Makes 2-3 servings.

Simple Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Tuna: You will need, 3 cups cooked whole grain pasta (farfalle or rotini), 1 (6oz) can tuna in olive oil (drain tuna and reserve oil), one-quarter cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drain tomatoes and roughly chop), and 4 cups fresh arugula (wash, pat or spin dry and tear into pieces). Directions: Prepare the pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare other ingredients. When pasta is finished cooking, drain and place in a mixing bowl. Add arugula and toss to wilt the leaves. Then add the tuna, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine. If salad is not moist enough, add a little of the reserved oil from the tuna to dress the salad. You can add freshly grated Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese over the top if desired. Chill until ready to serve. Serving Idea: Serve salad scooped into hollowed out yellow bell pepper halves with garlic breadsticks on the side. Makes 3-4 servings.

Pasta Salad with Avocado Lime Salsa: You will need, 1 pound package of rotini or fusili pasta (cooked according to package directions), one-half cup green pimiento-stuffed olives (chopped), 1 (16oz) jar salsa (your favorite brand), 1 medium size avocado (pit removed, peeled and cut into medium size pieces), and 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice. Directions: Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain. Place pasta and olives in a bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, combine the salsa, avocado and the lime juice and mix well. Creamier Option: If you want a creamier salsa, simply mash the avocado to your own preference and add to the salsa and lime juice. Serving Idea: Place pasta and vegetables on red cabbage leaves, top with the avocado lime salsa, and some shaved Parmesan cheese along with some garlic bread. Makes 4 servings.

Cold pasta salads are delicious and simple. Try these recipes anytime you want something easy and quick to prepare.

Looking for some fast and flavorful meal ideas? Visit Quick Salad for a large selection of free recipes, like these easy pasta salads, made with short ingredient lists, fresh and natural food, and simple preparation. Take the work out of everyday meal planning for everyone from meat eaters to vegans with these fresh, wholesome, and easy meal recipes.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Cokherell, Laura "Cold Pasta Salad Recipes – The Perfect Summer Meal." Cold Pasta Salad Recipes – The Perfect Summer Meal. 1 Jul. 2010. 20 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Cokherell, L (2010, July 1). Cold Pasta Salad Recipes – The Perfect Summer Meal. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Cokherell, Laura "Cold Pasta Salad Recipes – The Perfect Summer Meal"

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