Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Hearty and Easy Pasta Salad recipe. Pasta shells with bacon, cucumbers and tomatoes, cheese in a creamy homemade Caesar dressing. The perfect salad for a family picnic or to make ahead for a potluck!

A good salad is a must for a party, like the Pasta Chicken Caesar Salad or the delicious Broccoli Salad and our personal favorite, our Caprese Salad.

Easy pasta salad recipe in a bowl with cheese, bacon, cucumbers and a creamy dressing.

easy pasta salad-

I just love this pasta salad recipe.  Cooked mini shell pasta combined with crispy bacon pieces, tomato, cucumber and cheese in the creamiest homemade parmesan Caesar dressing. This combination isn’t your typical one but it’s GREAT!

We especially love to bring pasta salads to summer events like picnics, barbecues and potlucks. This quick salad will become a favorite to bring to all your summertime parties once you try the recipe!

Serve the salad with easy Grilled Chicken Thighs or the sweet and tangy Grilled Shrimp!..

tips how to make an easy pasta salad-

  • Make salad ahead- If making the salad ahead of time, don’t mix it until you are ready to serve the salad. Unlike traditional pasta salad with Italian dressing that is best to mix overnight, this salad is best if mixed 1-2 hours in advance.
  • Pasta shells- Though you can use any pasta for this salad recipe, our favorite is the mini shells. They add appeal to the salad and perform so well with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut uniform sizes- Be sure to cut the cucumbers, cheese and tomatoes into small uniform pieces. Finely chop the red onion. This way you’ll get all of the ingredients in every bite.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta– it will become mushy and unpleasant in the salad. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to keep the shells from sticking.
  • Homemade salad dressing- The dressing can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated. You can tweak the dressing with more milk for a thinner consistency if desired but this proportion is our favorite! TIP: Add about 3/4 of the dressing and mix salad, add more dressing as needed.

can pasta salad be made in advance?

Yes! This salad can be made two days in advance, just don’t mix it until you are ready to serve the salad. Keep the dressing and salad covered and refrigerated.

This easy salad will become a favorite not only for parties but to enjoy at home for a lazy lunch enjoy leftovers for days! So good!


Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Quick and easy pasta salad recipe. Pasta shells with tomatoes, cucumbers, bacon and cheese in a creamy homemade parmesan Dijon dressing. Perfect for barbecues, potlucks and parties!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pasta salad
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 576kcal
Author: Valentina's Corner


  • 6 oz uncooked mini pasta shells
  • 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz Colby Jack cheese, cubed
  • 3 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked

Pasta Salad Dressing-


  • In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain water and rinse pasta under cold water.
  • Cut bacon into small pieces, saute until fully cooked. Pat with a paper towel to remove grease.
  • Cube cheese, finely chop onions, cut cherry tomatoes in half or quarter and slice the cucumbers.
  • In a large salad bowl, add all the ingredients for pasta salad. Pour in dressing and mix.
  • Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 576 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 699mg30%
Potassium 377mg11%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 224mg22%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Valentina's Corner

Show 12 Comments
  • Demeter 07/27/2019, 10:04 am Link Reply

    This dish is a must have for every get together you plan. It’s always a hit!

    • Valentina's Corner 07/27/2019, 4:42 pm Link Reply

      That’s great, Demeter! So happy you enjoyed the pasta salad.

  • Suzy 07/26/2019, 10:11 pm Link Reply

    I love how easy this pasta salad is to make and that dressing is delicious!

    • Valentina's Corner 07/26/2019, 11:44 pm Link Reply

      Thank you, Suzy!

  • April 07/26/2019, 7:01 pm Link Reply

    This is seriously one of the best pasta salads I’ve ever had. It was simple, but still had so much flavor! Love it!

    • Valentina's Corner 07/26/2019, 11:44 pm Link Reply

      April, thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  • Laura Reese 07/26/2019, 6:22 pm Link Reply

    This salad looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Valentina's Corner 07/26/2019, 11:43 pm Link Reply

      Laura, I hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Melissa 07/26/2019, 5:06 pm Link Reply

    Fresh and delicious!

    • Valentina's Corner 07/26/2019, 11:42 pm Link Reply

      Melissa, thank you! 🙂

  • Gabby 07/24/2019, 3:23 am Link Reply

    Really love how time-saving this pasta salad is. I am looking forward to new recipes from you. Hope you keep us posted.

    • Valentina's Corner 07/24/2019, 12:50 pm Link Reply

      Gabby, this pasta salad is truly time-saving! Thank you for visiting our online home! Many more recipes to come! 🙂

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