Easy Layered Pasta Salad | Little Luna
A dish that your taste buds and eyes can’t put it down! This beautiful layered pasta salad is filled with your favorite toppings, including pasta, chicken, peas, lettuce, celery, and more.
This delicious salad is the perfect starter for parties and potlucks. It’s a delightful medium between vegetable salads and pasta salads — similar to tortellini salads, tuna salads, and Asian pasta salads.
The perfect make ahead salad
It’s that time of year when I’m craving fruit and salads! Honestly, I want salad all year round, but especially this time of year I feel like I’m eating salad all the time. This is also the time of year when people get ready to go out for a barbecue.
We’ve started doing this for the past few weeks and have been enjoying the good weather and delicious food. Today’s recipe was tried by my mom and sisters and they say it’s perfect for any BBQ or party. Call it whatever you want – pea salad, layered pasta salad – whatever you call it, it’s delicious!
There’s no right or wrong way to make it, and it’s great for making ahead, unlike some salads that get soggy when you add dressing before serving. Another reason it’s perfect for parties!
How to make
Like I said, there is no wrong way to make this recipe, and honestly, you can make seven more (or less) layers! It’s entirely up to you. However, there are some guidelines on the order in which you layer it to keep it fresh before you serve it.
Here are some general guidelines!
plate. Use Liquidation! Not only does this dish taste good, it’s beautiful. Be sure to use a clear bowl to show off the layers. I use a very large (at least 3 quart) glass bowl or small plate. Another idea is to use small plastic or glass cups to make individual layered salads.
lettuce. Make sure lettuce is your bottom layer. Depending on how big your bowl is, you can make more or less than the recommended 4 cups. It will be packaged with all the other layers above it.
spaghetti. Cook the pasta, let it cool completely, then make the second layer. Any bite-sized pasta will do, such as elbow noodles, baby shells, macaroni or wagon wheels. You can even use a layer of cauliflower rice instead of pasta.
Additional layers. The rest of the layers can be in almost any order you want! Here are some ideas of what ingredients you can use in a layered pasta salad (or how many layers you decide to include).
- black pepper
- fully boiled egg
dressing. This is your last layer! Make sure the dressing layer completely covers the salad. This will create a seal and keep the salad fresh until serving.
Service Tips and FAQs
Will the salad get soggy or wilted in the fridge overnight? No! As long as the dressing layer completely covers the salad, it should stay fresh until you’re ready to serve.
Here’s a layered little secret: If you want each layer to look even, but you don’t want the whole layer to be a certain ingredient, then you can do this: I’ll use onions as an example. Just spread the onion layer around the circumference of the bowl and fill the center with something else. You keep the visual appeal and the taste balanced, and no one is smarter than that.
Use a long-handled spoon. You want each guest to be able to sample a portion of each floor. That means they need a scoop that can reach every level. Once the salad layer is on their plate, they can mix it with the dressing.
Whether you’re hosting a shower, attending a potluck, or grilling in the backyard, this layered salad will be the perfect dish for the occasion!
For more delicious salads and side dishes, check out:
course salad, side dish
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Refrigerate for 12 hours
Total time 13 minutes
Serving Size 6
Calories 526 kcal
by Lil’ Luna
- 4 cups mini macaroni or your favorite pasta
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen green beans
- 1/4 cup celery chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion (optional)
- 2 cups ham, chicken, tuna or salmon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta of your choice as directed. Drain and cool.
In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and celery salt
In a large bowl, start layering ingredients as follows: lettuce, then pasta…add your favorite toppings from there…green peppers, frozen peas, chopped celery, red Onions, meat (ham, chicken, tuna), black olives, seasoning
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours. Toss all ingredients before serving.