Layered Pasta Salad

Layered Pasta Salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Chilling Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes Recipe Intensity: Easy


For the Salad:

  • 8 ounces pasta (such as rotini, bowtie, or penne), cooked according to package instructions and cooled
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked and diced chicken or ham (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large glass serving dish or trifle bowl, start layering the ingredients for the salad. Begin with a layer of cooked and cooled pasta as the base.
  3. Add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes on top of the pasta.
  4. Next, add a layer of diced cucumber followed by a layer of diced bell peppers.
  5. Sprinkle a layer of thinly sliced red onion and sliced black olives over the bell peppers.
  6. If using, add a layer of cooked and diced chicken or ham on top of the vegetables.
  7. Pour half of the prepared dressing evenly over the layered salad ingredients, spreading it with a spoon or spatula to cover everything.
  8. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheddar cheese over the dressing.
  9. Repeat the layers starting with the remaining pasta, followed by cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, red onion, black olives, and optional chicken or ham.
  10. Pour the remaining dressing over the top layer of the salad, spreading it evenly.
  11. Cover the layered pasta salad with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the salad to chill.
  12. Before serving, garnish the top of the salad with chopped fresh parsley or basil for a pop of color.
  13. Serve the chilled Layered Pasta Salad as a refreshing and colorful dish for picnics, potlucks, or as a side for grilled meats.

Note: You can customize this layered pasta salad by adding other vegetables or protein of your choice, such as shredded carrots, broccoli florets, or cooked shrimp. Adjust the dressing ingredients according to your taste preferences, adding more vinegar for tanginess or sugar for sweetness. Enjoy the delicious layers of flavors in this satisfying and versatile pasta salad!

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