Today: Jun 17, 2024

D.I.Y. pasta salad recipe

Photo courtesy | A colorful spring pasta salad.

Mackenzie Hurlbert – Copy Editor

It’s starting to warm up outside (about time, right?), so small, portable meals like pasta salad are perfect for impromptu picnics in the park or study sessions in the sun. I love pasta salad, so when I make it, I make a lot at once and separate it into ready, on-the-go Tupperware containers. This is my personal recipe for pasta salad. I try to choose the healthier alternatives, but feel free to change it and make it your own!


All you need is:

-A box of Gemelli pasta

Photo courtesy | A colorful spring pasta salad.
Photo courtesy |
A colorful spring pasta salad.



-Grilled chicken


-Olive oil

-Balsamic vinegar

-Italian salad dressing


Boil your desired amount of pasta. I suggest cooking a whole box and letting it cool in the strainer. Then place the pasta in one big bowl in which you can mix in the other ingredients. If you don’t have a big bowl, use a gallon Ziploc bag. Just make sure you close it well before shaking or mixing up the salad. After this you can split it up into separate, portioned, meal-sized containers.

Cut up your tomatoes and cucumbers into small chunks. You can peel the cucumbers if you like, but I usually leave the skin on.

Slice your grilled chicken and cut that into chunks as well.

Mix those three ingredients (the cucumbers, tomatoes, and chicken) and the pasta in one large bowl along with some salt. I usually add two to three pinches of ground sea salt (but depending on the Italian dressing you use, you may not need any.

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad and mix so it is spread out evenly.

Separate into meal sized containers.

Add Italian dressing for more flavor. I like it because it has garlic and other seasons in it. I have also used balsamic dressing, but that can be a bit too vinegary for my liking.

And that is it. I know it is simple, but it is an easy recipe and it creates a delicious alternative to protein bars or Conn food.

As always feel free to change it in any way you please; get creative! You can always make it healthier by using light dressing, whole wheat pasta, and no salt. Or you can make it spicy by adding some chopped hot peppers to the mix.

Have fun and fuel that hunger!

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