Try this classic pasta salad recipe when you want to make something that you know everyone will love! This is our friends’ and family’s favourite pasta salad.
I’ve been searching for the perfect pasta salad recipe for a few years now. You know the one. It’s that reliable recipe that you can make when you’re having a last-minute neighbourhood BBQ and you just want something classic that will work with whatever’s being served. Something simple and straightforward and yet undeniably delicious in a way that makes everyone ask for the recipe. Is that so much to ask? I finally found it last year and I made it over and over enough times that I think it’s fair to say that this is now our family’s favourite pasta salad.
Our Favourite Pasta Salad
The great thing about this recipe is that I almost always have the basic ingredients for this pasta salad in the house, so I really can whip it up in a moment’s notice. You’ll need:
- Cooked and cooled pasta (almost any kind of short noodle will do, I usually use whole grain rotini)
- Regular Yellow Mustard
- Onion Powder
- White Sugar or Maple Syrup
- Green Onions
- Capers (use chopped dill pickles in a pinch)
It sounds ridiculously simple and like it couldn’t possibly be all that great, but you’ve got to try this one! You’ll be surprised at how well this turns out. It really is the perfect classic pasta salad recipe!
- 3 cups Cooked and cooled pasta
- 1/2 cup Finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup Finely chopped celery
- 2 Sliced green onions
- 2 tbsp Capers
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp Yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp Onion powder
- 1 tbsp White sugar or maple syrup
Cook your pasta according to package directions and let it cool. Chop your veggies.
In a small bowl, make your dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, onion powder and white sugar and set it aside.
In a large bowl toss the pasta, capers, and veggies together until well-mixed, then toss with the dressing to coat everything completely.
Let the pasta salad chill for 1-2 hours prior to serving.
I’ll often use different veggies if I have some that I want to use up and I’ve even used frozen veggies before. The carrot/celery/green onion combo seems to make a good basic salad though that will work for any occasion.
I cringe a little at the idea of adding extra white sugar to a recipe where I don’t need to, so I’ll often add in maple syrup instead and it works just as well for me.
So that’s our family favourite pasta salad! Do you have a favourite pasta salad recipe that you make over and over again for all of the different summer cooking occasions that come up?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.