11 Pasta Salad Recipes that Prove This Dish Is Made for Year-Round Consumption

As far as summer dishes go, pasta salad is a classic. With the fresh veggies, light dressing, and cold noodles, it's basically an edible dream come true. But as soon as the bathing suits and white pants are put away for the year, we seem to forget that pasta salad is still an amazingly delicious meal we can eat. The temperature outside doesn't need to determine what we should and should not consume. I drink just as much lemonade as I do cinnamon lattes, and that doesn't mean I'm a seasonal etiquette failure. I realize such a title has never been established, but it feels like it's a thing that exists, doesn't it? Especially with the rule around white pants. Wear 'em in October and puzzled glances will be in abundance.

How silly is that? You should always wear, eat, and do whatever you want, regardless of the potential reactions from others. And that applies to the erroneous expectations surrounding seasonal meals. Cold noodles taste just as good, if not better, than hot noodles do on a chilly winter day. Pasta salad is also just a fantastic leftover, since you never have to worry about reheating and getting that weird, day-after microwave taste. Here are 11 drool-worthy recipes that prove pasta salad is for year-round consumption.

Image: The Kitchn

Orecchiette with Roasted Grapes and Tomatoes

Grapes may seem like a summer fruit, but with harvesting starting in May and going through October, it’s actually more of a cold-weather produce item. And with the rich colors of the tomatoes, basil, and the grapes, this recipe from A Spicy Perspective is equal parts beautiful and tasty.

Image: A Spicy Perspective

Herb Chicken Tortellini Salad

This little food gem is perfect for three reasons: 1) the herb chicken tortellini tastes incredible as a hot or cold dish, 2) Caesar dressing is an unexpected choice for a salad like this with artichoke hearts, olives, and red peppers, but it absolutely works, and 3) it includes a large amount of cheese. So yeah. Taste and Tell nailed this one.

Image: Taste and Tell

Cold Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Sauce

Ladies and gents, this is how food babies are made. The spectacular combination of peanuts, fresh cilantro, noodles, and sesame oil in this dish makes it dangerously delectable. Sending the high-praise hands emoji to The Kitchn for this dish.

Image: The Kitchn

Fusilli Caesar Salad

Why are we just now adding noodles to Caesar salad? Fusilli in this pasta salad from Taste and Tell makes so much sense that I don’t understand why any restaurant serves this salad sans noodles.

Image: Taste and Tell

Cold Pasta with Burrata and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Looking out the window at the dark and ominous winter sky can bring you down. Escape to another time and place with this flavorful Italian recipe from Apron and Sneakers.

Image: Apron and Sneakers

Pasta with Peas, Smoked Almonds, and Dill

Peas are a winter and spring veggie, and thus a perfect ingredient in any dish from the time the first snow flake falls to the time the last one melts. And this recipe from A Spicy Perspective is so great because it has a subtle bite from the dill and green onions.

Image: A Spicy Perspective

Tri Color Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is perhaps most recognizable when it’s dressed in its tri-color best. Some kinds of pasta only work with certain ingredients, but tri-color rotini is extremely versatile. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe makes this yummy dish super simple to make, which is always appreciated.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Pesto Pasta and Ham Salad

Pesto just feels winter-y, am I right? Also, this recipe from Taste and Tell includes ham, which is wonderful because you know Liz Lemon would approve.

Image: Taste and Tell

Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

All hail, bow-ties made of carbs! This dish includes a homemade dressing that is extremely easy to make and is so so good. Also, cheese. Thank you for the cheese, The Kitchn.

Image: The Kitchn

Italian Chopped Salad

Pretty much every single ingredient in this Taste and Tell recipe is hearty and delicious, so put them all together in one bowl, and you basically have an awesome taste explosion. What more could you ask for in a meal?

Image: Taste and Tell

Spinach Chicken and Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

A pasta salad with winter ingredients and a sweet and tangy sauce is really your best case food scenario. All the flavors in this dish from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe complement each other extremely well. And since it tastes its best when marinated in the dressing for at least an hour before serving, you know it will make for amazing leftovers.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe