13 Stellar Pasta Salads for Summer

From a version with chorizo and peppers to an old-school macaroni number, these recipes give pasta salad a new claim to fame.

Daniel Gritzer

We'll start with some truth: There's a lot of bad pasta salad out there. No one wants to eat an assemblage of limp, greasy vegetables and cardboard-like pasta. Fortunately, it's possible to make a pasta salad that's worth eating, but first you have to recognize one fundamental fact: Pasta salad is pasta, not salad. As such, it should be sauced rather than dressed, made with cooked vegetables rather than raw ones, and served at room temperature. Keep these guidelines in mind—though there are exceptions, as you'll see below!—and you'll end up with a pasta salad that completely changes how you view the dish. These 13 recipes, including ones for fideuà salad with chorizo and peppers, spicy peanut noodle salad, and an old-school macaroni number, are all stellar examples of pasta salad's true potential.