THE Pasta Salad Recipe -
THE Pasta Salad Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 9 hrs

THE Pasta Salad

Recipe by  

"This is a wonderful cold pasta salad that has been a family favorite of ours for years. Wonderful for potlucks, picnics, or any gathering."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 7 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    8 hrs 55 mins


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Over medium heat, bring water to a full boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately plunge eggs into cold water. Let cool completely, then peel and slice.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss together the pasta, egg, ham, peas, and Swiss cheese. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, green onion, mustard, mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Stir until well blended.
  4. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the pasta, and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the remaining dressing evenly over the top of the pasta salad, all the way to the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, cover tightly, and chill 4 hours, or overnight for best flavor.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 26, 2008

Awesome main dish salad. Changes I made: used penne instead of seashells, cheddar instead of swiss. I cubed the ham and cheese and added some diced sweet onion and salt and pepper. I also added garlic and wish I hadnt as it didnt seem to meld well with the other ingredients.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 19, 2008

I'm wondering if the folks who are finding this salad too dry aren't following the direction to toss it with 3/4 of the dressing, spread the rest over the top edge to edge, then cover tightly and chill at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. The salad is not dry when you do this. The dressing weeps a bit when you follow these directions exactly, and when you stir it up the next day (or after the chill) the dressing is slightly thinner and the salad isn't dry any more. I like this dressing -- don't skip the mustard or hot sauce, they are NOT overwhelming at all and they make the salad -- but I really prefer a pasta salad with a lot of veggies. I made this for a group who really love PROTEIN in their pasta salads, but next time I make it for my family I'll probably try to substitute a lot of veggies for the meat and cheese.

May 18, 2008

Great recipe, the basic sauce is superb and so easy, to play around with. I added mixed veggies to mine (corn and peas) as well as yellow pepper. Used red onions. I didn't have four hours so I just prepared the sauce ahead of time and left in the fridge for about an hour and half, then mixed with pasta (used elbow macaroni) and the other ingredients and popped in the freezer for another half hour. Had to double at the last minute because of unexpected guests. Everyone had seconds, including them.

Feb 01, 2007

I thought the flavor was good - mustardy, spicy (I actually used cayenne instead of paprika due to a previous comment), really flavorful. My only issue with this was that it is very heavy. Pasta, mayo, ham, cheese - it really needs some veggies to lighten it up a bit! I didn't feel that the cheese or ham added anything. The mayo was so flavorful that they were just there for texture. Next time, I'll make the dressing, but toss it with a pasta and veggie salad. Maybe tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, even cabbage. It needs something with a taste and texture that will stand up to, and compliment, the pasta & mayo.

May 17, 2008

I love this salad. I often change it up, depending on what's on hand, but it's always a hit. The sauce is wonderful, and I always make extra, as I tend to add more veggies(ie.; celery, carrot, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber). I also sub the swiss for cheddar, because no one here will eat swiss. Basically, this is an awesome base recipe to suit any liking. Thanks.

May 27, 2007

This recipe is great!!! The only thing I changed was I doubled the dressing, and instead of green onions, I cut a little bit of red onion very finely and 1 clove of garlic and put it in the dressing and let it sit for an hour in the fridge to blend the flavor before I put the dressing on. I also put salt, pepper and onion powder into the dressing. It was delicous!

May 08, 2007

I think it's great! I absentmindedly used a full pound of pasta so I'm going to make a little more dressing. I love spicy food so one of the things that turned me onto this salad was the pepper sauce, but I agree with some that it isn't enough. When I first mixed up the dressing (even after 2 tsp) I could just barely sense the zing in it which is good if you are sharing it with people who might be sensitive to that. But once I got the dressing mixed with the pasta I couldn't find the zing at all. So I will definitely add even more hot sauce. I did cube the cheese and I added some little grape tomatoes. I like the flavor and adds a pop of color. But I LOVE this!

Dec 21, 2003

Really good choice of ingredients.... but the dressing was not that spicy.... kinda bland. I would probably recommend using a different dressing.... Alison's Pasta Salad on this site is awesome. And maybe chunks of cheese, I used shredded.


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  • Calories
  • 450 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 31.9 g
  • 10%
  • Cholesterol
  • 99 mg
  • 33%
  • Fat
  • 27.7 g
  • 43%
  • Fiber
  • 2.9 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 19.5 g
  • 39%
  • Sodium
  • 335 mg
  • 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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