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10 Delicious Mayo-Free Pasta Salad Recipe Ideas

By Ariel Knutson
June 13, 2024
Courtesy of Midwest Foodie

No summer potluck is complete without pasta salad. As soon as it starts to warm up outside, we start to hunt for the best pasta salad recipe ideas.

Why we love pasta salad:

  • It’s endlessly adaptable and always a crowd-pleaser
  • It’s easy to transport
  • It keeps well in the fridge for days — which means it’s a great make-ahead option

But many traditional pasta salad recipes call for loads of mayo — and sometimes you want something on the lighter side. That’s when these mayo-free pasta salads come in handy. You won’t miss the mayo one bit — these salads are loaded with so many fresh ingredients and so much flavor, they’ll be the hit of your potlucks throughout the season.

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1. Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Grilled vegetable pasta salad

Courtesy of Salt & Lavender

You use the grill to make your main dishes, why not your sides? This pasta salad is filled with all your favorite summer veggies, including zucchini, corn, and bell peppers. It gets a little zing from lemon juice and zest, and you top it all off with shaved Parmesan and basil.

Try this recipe from Salt & Lavender.

2. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean pasta salad

Courtesy of Zestful Kitchen

This Mediterranean dish is packed with flavor thanks to olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. It’s also endlessly versatile. Swap feta for the goat cheese; make it a meal by adding shredded chicken; or go gluten-free by using chickpea pasta. Whatever you choose, it’s guaranteed to be delicious.

Try this recipe from Zestful Kitchen.

3. Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad

Grilled chicken and asparagus pesto pasta salad

Courtesy of Recipe Runner

One of the easiest ways to make a mayo-less pasta salad is with pesto. Whip up your own, or make it super-simple by picking it up pre-made. With plenty of grilled chicken and asparagus, this is a bowl full of favorites.

Try this recipe from Recipe Runner.

4. Sun-Dried Tomato, White Bean, and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

Sun dried tomato, white bean, and goat cheese pasta salad

Courtesy of Half-Baked Harvest

When it comes to pasta salad recipe ideas, creativity is key. This savory pasta salad is all about the basil vinaigrette, which, when mixed with the goat cheese, creates a delicious sauce that mimics the creaminess of mayo. Add in some sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, and avocado, and you’re ready to eat.

Try this recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.

5. Tahini and Greens Pasta Salad

Tahini and greens pasta salad

Courtesy of Rainbow Plant Life

Instead of mayo, this vegan pasta salad gets its creaminess from a brilliant lemon-tahini sauce. It’s also filled with asparagus and green beans pine nuts for crunch, and chickpeas for protein.

Try this recipe from Rainbow Plant Life.

6. Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Jalapeño Pesto

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Jalapeño Pesto

Courtesy of Cookie + Kate

Pasta salads only get better as you let them sit in the fridge, and this recipe is no exception. The pesto gets an unexpected kick from jalapeño, and the heat is balanced with cool tomatoes, fresh corn, black beans, and feta.

Try this recipe from Cookie + Kate.

7. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Chicken caesar pasta salad

Courtesy of Kale Junkie

Who doesn’t love a good chicken caesar salad? Here it’s made even better by adding pasta. The dressing is creamy thanks to plain yogurt; use Greek if you want to add even more protein.

Try this recipe from Kale Junkie.

8. Strawberry Spinach Pasta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry spinach pasta salad

Courtesy of Creme de la Crumb

If you appreciate a sweet-savory combo, this pasta salad is for you. It includes strawberries and pineapple chunks, along with baby spinach, dried cranberries, and cashews, There’s also a really zippy poppy seed dressing that brightens the entire dish.

Try this recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

9. Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Easy Italian pasta salad

Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Just like the viral grinder salad that took TikTok by storm recently, this protein-rich pasta salad features lots of antipasto favorites. With summer sausage, pepperoncini, mozzarella balls, kalamata olives, and cherry tomatoes, every bite has something interesting. You can (and should) make this for a summer potluck, but it’s also equally as exciting as an easy weeknight dinner.

Try this recipe from Pinch of Yum.

10. Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese pasta salad

Courtesy of Midwest Foodie

Caprese is always a crowd pleaser, and tossing those popular ingredients with pasta only adds to the appeal. Plus, it’s so simple to throw together. Aside from cooking the pasta, you can have this ready in 5 minutes. Look for different-hued cherry tomatoes for an extra pop of color.

Try this recipe from Midwest Foodie.

Read next: 12 Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes You’ll Make All Summer

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