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12-Minute Pasta Salad

12-Minute Pasta Salad

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OK, OK. It's not ready in twelve minutes. But it only takes twelve minutes of actual effort, so I'm calling it 12-Minute Pasta Salad.

If you're making this ahead of time, add just enough dressing to moisten the pasta, and hold the rest until you’re ready to eat. Pasta salad has a tendency to absorb all available liquid, which would leave you with limp, soggy, and yet oddly dry pasta.

Feel free to add your choice of protein: edamame, leftover cooked chicken, tuna, beans, or cheese (bocconcini, those little balls of mozzarella cheese, are fun here), just to name a few examples.

Click here to see 15 Easy 15-Minute Pasta Recipes.


  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 ears corn, or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6-8 large basil leaves, sliced thinly
  • 12-14 1/2 Ounces medium-sized whole-grain pasta
  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar or fruit-infused vinegar

10 Pasta Salad Recipes to Try This Summer

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes grilling season! Whether you’re hosting a BBQ for friends and family, going on a picnic, or just grilling dinner for your family on a busy weeknight, we’ve got some side dishes you won’t want to pass up. These pasta salads are the perfect companion for a freshly grilled burger or chicken breast. Go ahead and check out the list below to find your new favorite pasta salad recipe!

My 12 Minute Pasta Salad, Yours Could be Quicker! Picnic, BBQ Worthy!

I love when a lightbulb goes off as the saying goes. This day was one of those days. I needed to make something fast but still yummy, with not a lot of preparation time. As I scoured my meager fridge items I spotted a container of 4 bean salad from my store deli, that included thin sliced red onions also in a nice vinaigrette dressing. Also, this particular day, I had a small piece of leftover ham steak already cooked. Next I headed to my cupboard and grabbed my pasta choices, of which there are several in all shapes sizes and types. Then I picked one with cooking time 10-12 minutes, and made that for the 12 minutes. In the meantime I diced up the ham in small pieces. Once the pasta was done I rinsed well in cold water and tossed everything together, and my simple but really good pasta salad was done. Popped it in the fridge for the 45 minutes I had left before I needed it and felt pretty proud of myself. IF you used a pasta that takes less time, it could even be done quicker. I actually tried a little still warm and it wasn't bad, but I had a chilled pasta salad on my mind.

You will notice today, however, my photo shows leftover shrimp this time on the salad. I have even had it without anything else just the bean salad. Some bean salads just have 3 types of beans, this one I like because it has green and yellow beans as well as the kidney and chic peas. The amount of pasta you use will depend on the amount of the salad, when you get ready to serve if the pasta seems a little dry after stirring, just add a little more of your own vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes if the pasta is not cooked well, it will absorb some of the dressing like it does in soup broth. Note: I also added some leftover red peppers I had chopped for a different recipe and didn't need.

This is also great to take to a summer picnic/barbecue as is, will keep many hours without any added meats or shrimp etc., of course!! you can of course always add them later!

Pasta salad recipes

Pasta needn't be served hot. Try one of our tasty ideas for lunches, picnics and sides.

Deli pasta salad

Simple storecupboard pasta salad with sunny Mediterranean flavours

Storecupboard pasta salad

This pasta salad makes a quick and healthy lunch, or is perfect prepared ahead for a picnic or lunchbox

Pick & mix pesto pasta salad bar

Put out all the ingredients for classic pasta salad with pesto dressing and let the kids pick whatever they like to stir in – it's great for fussy eaters

Scandi beetroot & salmon pasta

Eat well at work with this easy-to-prepare Scandinavian-inspired beetroot and salmon fusilli salad. It'll keep you going through the afternoon

Tortellini with pesto & broccoli

A speedy pasta salad with Mediterranean flavours - perfect for packed lunches

Greek pasta salad

For a fresh idea with pasta, try Greek salad

Pasta salad with pesto & prawns

This is a wonderful, zingy dish, perfect for a lunch out in the garden - use our recipe for homemade pesto to make it extra special

Pesto pasta salad

Enjoy this veggie pesto pasta salad with cucumber, peas, cherry tomatoes and basil for an easy family meal. It's great for a packed lunch or summery picnic

BLT Pasta Salad Recipe Looks Perfect For Summer

Summer is the season for barbecues and parties with friends — and BLT pasta salad is the perfect summer side dish to serve at all of your gatherings this year. Everyone loves a classic BLT sandwich, and this BLT pasta salad recipe incorporates its familiar flavors into a brand-new form your guests will enjoy just as much.

It can be served hot or cold, so feel free to make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to serve. Of course, this pasta salad features bacon, lettuce and tomato. A good BLT sandwich isn’t complete without a creamy sauce, so this recipe uses a sour cream and ranch-based dressing that gives it a richness and a bit of a kick. From start to finish, the BLT pasta salad recipe will be ready in just 25 minutes, so it’s ideal for when you’re in a time crunch or need a last-minute addition to your spread.

Check out this video tutorial from Delish on YouTube that will show you how to put together the BLT pasta salad recipe of your dreams:

This layered pasta salad looks as great as it tastes, making for an impressive presentation that’s sure to wow your guests.

The Delish recipe calls for bow tie pasta, but you could sub in any pasta of your choice. This version from Spend With Pennies calls for rotini pasta, which the blog’s author says is ideal for soaking up the delicious dressing into its crevices.

This BLT pasta salad recipe’s dressing is made from a combo of mayonnaise and ranch dressing. The recipe notes that you can use bottled ranch dressing, but if you want to go the extra mile, whip up some homemade ranch dressing. Your tastebuds will thank you! If mayo is not your thing, Crunchy Creamy Sweet recommends replacing it with extra sour cream or ranch dressing.

While this pasta salad works great as a side to be served alongside burgers, hot dogs or other fare from the grill, thanks to the bacon, it’s hearty enough to work as a light meal on its own. Pack some in a Tupperware container for an on-the-go lunch, or eat it straight from the refrigerator on a summer night when it’s way too hot to cook.

You might think that BLT pasta salad is about as far from a vegan dish as you can get, but it’s actually possible to whip up a version that does not contain animal products. This recipe from Allergy Awesomeness can be made with a vegan bacon substitute and a vegan mayonnaise spread. Avocados add healthy fat as well as some extra creaminess. It can also be made with gluten-free pasta if gluten is a concern.

Looking for more tasty pasta salad recipes to add to your summer rotation? This pasta salad featuring ricotta cheese and spinach was one of the most popular on Pinterest. Dill pickle pasta salad is a departure from your everyday pasta salad and a must for anyone who is a fan of dill pickles.

Pasta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

WHISK dressing ingredients in small bowl until blended.

COMBINE pasta, broccoli, tomato and carrot in large bowl toss. POUR dressing over pasta mixture toss until evenly coated. ADD eggs toss briefly.

REFRIGERATE, covered, at least 4 hours to blend flavors.

Easy 12-Minute Method for Hard-Boiled Eggs: Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from the burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water for about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs 15 minutes for extra large eggs). Drain. Shock the eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool them immediately. Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling.

Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.


Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!

Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares his favorite pasta salad recipe: 'This is how I want to eat the rest of my life'

Whether you know Geoffrey Zakarian from judging Food Network's Chopped, as an iconic Iron Chef or hosting The Kitchen, he's been a fixture in our homes — and inspiration in our kitchens — for decades. But despite being totally at home on a TV screen, his favorite place in the world is a bit more colorful: The Mediterranean.

The region served as inspiration for the Iron Chef from childhood.

"My mom was a great cook," Zakarian shared with Yahoo Life. "So when I went to France in my early twenties — French-Mediterranean, south of France and Italy — all that food just resonated with me. It's the taste I remember from my childhood."

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just delicious, however — to Zakarian, it's a way of life. The fitness-minded chef relies heavily on those ingredients for his own meals and to keep him in shape.

"Exercise is very important," he noted. "But if you exercise and don't eat right, it's not going to matter. That's why I love to cook with [Mediterranean] ingredients. I love to incorporate [them] into all my meals — almost all of them are Mediterranean in style."

One of his go-to recipes? An easy summer pasta salad that's perfect for entertaining. The Mediterranean-inspired dish is anything but basic and oh-so-delicious.

Here's what you need to get started:

Arugula pesto ingredients:

Genova yellowfin tuna pasta salad with dates:

Start with blanching your arugula in ice water — it'll give your pesto that beautiful green color. Next, put it in a food prep machine and follow with pine nuts, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and lemon zest. Add a touch of butter, a clove of garlic, and finish with a "very generous" amount of olive oil.

Once all your ingredients are added, blend your ingredients until they're creamy. Set aside.

While Zakarian shares that any kind of pasta will do for this recipe, he loves using whole wheat orecchiette (which means "little ears" in Italian). Next, add your Genova Premium Tuna — Zakarian is a paid spokesperson for the brand — and you can also receive a free meal kit with the chef's recipe. Follow with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, slivered dates and finish with dried parsley and dried dill. Finally, toss the salad with your "magic" pesto. Be generous with it!

"Fresh, simple, great ingredients," Zakarian enthused. "Great protein, like Genova Premium Tuna. This is how I want to eat the rest of my life."

Read More from Yahoo Life:

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15 Pasta Salad Recipes

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Everyone loves a good summer grill-out, with some burgers and brats on the grill. But let’s be real — the highlight of any picnic (and we would contend, any Thanksgiving feast as well!) is rarely the main dish.

Especially all of the famous side salads.

You’ve got your traditional potato salad, fruit salad, broccoli salad, and green salads galore. But if you’re really lucky? Pasta salad will make an appearance. And not necessarily the infamous Italian tri-color pasta salad of of our childhoods, or its blobby, mayo-drenched counterpart. Modern pasta salads are full of delicious, fresh, and creative ingredients. Plus they’re typically very quick and easy to make, and easy to prepare in advance, which makes them perfect for busy summer days.

So today, we’ve found 15 cool and creative pasta salads to share with you that would be perfect for your next summer BBQ. From a pasta with a fun southwestern spin, to a bright and colorful peanut and ginger flavored soba noodle salad, these recipes are more inventive than the stuff you grew up with, and are sure to please a crowd.


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