Layered Pasta Salad


Can Layered Pasta Salad Be Both Delicious and Eye-Catching?

Absolutely! Imagine a dish that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also pleases your eyes with its vibrant layers. Layered Pasta Salad does just that. It’s a harmonious blend of pasta, chicken, peas, lettuce, celery, and more, presenting a feast for the senses. Just like tortellini salad, tuna salad, or Asian pasta salad, this dish strikes a perfect balance between a green salad and pasta salad, making it ideal for any gathering.

Why Is Layered Pasta Salad Perfect for Make-Ahead Meals?

The beauty of Layered Pasta Salad lies in its convenience for make-ahead meals. It’s a fantastic choice for barbecues, potlucks, and outdoor gatherings, especially when the weather beckons you to dine alfresco. This salad stands out because it stays fresh and doesn’t get soggy, unlike many other salads. It’s a dish that your family and friends will adore, and it’s so versatile that it suits any occasion.

How Do You Assemble the Perfect Layered Pasta Salad?

Wondering how to layer your salad for the best results? Start with a clear dish to showcase the beautiful layers. Use a large glass bowl or trifle dish. Begin with lettuce as the base, followed by cooled pasta like elbow noodles or ziti. Then, get creative with your layers – add peas, your choice of protein (ham, tuna, chicken), olives, peppers, onions, hard-boiled eggs, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, or nuts. Finish with a layer of dressing to seal in the freshness.

Will the Salad Stay Fresh Overnight?

Concerned about the salad getting soggy? No need to worry! As long as the dressing covers the salad completely, it will stay fresh and crisp. Here’s a trick for even layers: line the outer edge of the bowl with one ingredient, like onions, and fill the center with another. This keeps the layers visually appealing and evenly balanced in flavor.

Any Tips for Serving Layered Pasta Salad?

When it comes to serving, use a long-handled serving spoon. This ensures that your guests can reach every delicious layer. Once on their plates, they can mix the salad with the dressing to enjoy the full symphony of flavors. This Layered Pasta Salad is not just a dish; it’s a showstopper at any event, be it a casual barbecue or a formal gathering.

Layered Pasta Salad Recipe

Embrace the visual and gustatory pleasure with this exquisite Layered Pasta Salad! A harmonious blend of pasta, an assortment of proteins like chicken, and a variety of vegetables creates a symphony of flavors and textures. This dish is not just a treat for your palate but also a visual delight.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 8 minutes Chilling Time: 12 hours Total Time: 12 hours 13 minutes Type: Salad, Side Dish Cuisine: American Servings: 6


  • Pasta (mini penne or your choice), 4 cups
  • Mayonnaise, 3/4 cup
  • Sour cream, 3/4 cup
  • Sugar, 1 1/2 tsp
  • Champagne vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dry mustard, 1 tsp
  • Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp
  • Celery salt, 1 tsp
  • Romaine lettuce (chopped), 4 cups
  • Green bell pepper (chopped), 1/4 cup
  • Green peas (frozen), 1/2 cup
  • Celery (chopped), 1/4 cup
  • Red onion (sliced, optional), 1/4 cup
  • Protein choice (ham, chicken, tuna, or salmon, cooked and chopped), 2 cups
  • Black olives (sliced), 1/2 cup
  • Parmesan cheese (grated), 1/2 cup


  1. Cook your preferred pasta as per package instructions. Once cooked, drain and allow it to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, both mustards, Worcestershire sauce, and celery salt to create a smooth dressing.
  3. Begin assembling the salad in a large bowl. Start with a layer of lettuce, followed by a layer of cooked pasta. Then, add your chosen toppings in layers – green peppers, peas, celery, red onion, and your selected protein.
  4. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the layers.
  5. Finish with a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
  7. Before serving, toss the salad gently to evenly distribute the dressing and ingredients.

This Layered Pasta Salad is a versatile dish that can be adapted to your taste preferences. It’s perfect for a refreshing summer meal or as a side dish for gatherings. Enjoy the burst of flavors in each bite!