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Create Your Own: Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad Recipe

Learn the basic elements of a pasta salad and then mix and match to create a recipe tailored to your tastebuds:

Pasta
Experiment with shapes such as orecchiette, penne, or radiator, cooked al dente.

Create Your Own Pasta Salad Recipe

Vegetables
Choose one or two complimentary types and be sure to cut them into bite-size pieces roughly the same size as the pasta shape.

Sauce
Dress with a sauce, and don’t skimp. Pasta will absorb some of the sauce. A simple vinaigrette, a dressed up mayonnaise, a doctored salad dressing or a flavored oil and a squirt of lemon juice are nice.

Cheese
Optional but common. Try one of these: Parmesan, aged Cheddar, crumbled feta or blue.

Herbs
Try parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano or thyme.

Onion
Red, white, sweet, chives, shallots, garlic, ramps or scapes, either raw or pickled.

Nuts
Optional. Pine nuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts make great additions to a pasta salad.

Capers, Olives, Pickled Vegetables
Used occasionally, these ingredients add sharpness and brininess.

Meat
Slivered ham, sliced salami, crumbled bacon or diced pancetta add heft to your pasta salad.

New Macaroni Salad: Creamy yogurt and tangy feta step in to replace a heavy mayo-based dressing in this new spin on macaroni salad.

Now that you know the basics, start experimenting! And if you want a place to start, below are our favorite pasta salad recipes.

Cooking Channel’s Best Pasta Salad Recipes:

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