If you’re a pasta salad lover like me, then you know that the dressing is key.
You can have any ingredients you want in there, but if it’s not dressed right, it will be a big disappointment.
That’s why I’m here today to tell you about 12 dressings that go well on pasta salad!
These are all easy-to-make and delicious.
So, what dressing goes on pasta salad?
The most common dressing for pasta salad is Italian dressing. The reason for this is that it works well with most other ingredients, and it has a lot of flavor. It’s also easy to find and affordable if you’re on a budget.
For more ideas, keep scrolling!
12 Dressings that Go Well on Pasta Salad
Here are 12 delicious dressings that will take your pasta salad from “good” to “gorgeous.”
1. Lemon-Herb Dressing
This dressing is one of my go-to’s when I’m making a pasta salad.
It has a little bit of everything in it—lemon zest, fresh herbs like parsley and thyme, and olive oil. I just add all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir them up until they’re combined.
Then I pour it over the pasta, toss it together, and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
2. Orange-Honey Vinaigrette
I love this dressing because it’s so simple: just orange juice, honey, olive oil, mustard powder (or Dijon), vinegar, salt and pepper!
Just mix those together until they’re well combined (you can use an immersion blender if you want), then pour over your dish.
3. Pesto Dressing
Pesto is typically made out of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts (or walnuts), parmesan cheese, salt/pepper/olive oil/butter and garlic powder/onion powder—you get the idea!
It’s super versatile because all of these ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store and can be substituted for one another pretty easily too!
4. Honey-Mustard Dressing
This dressing is a great way to add a little sweetness and spice to your salad.
It’s also an excellent way to enjoy the flavors of honey and mustard, which are two of my favorite ingredients.
The best part about this dressing is that it’s simple to make!
Just whisk together 1 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard until well combined.
You can also add salt and pepper if you’d like!
5. Avocado Ranch Dressing
If you’re looking for a creamy dressing for your meal, this is the one for you.
Avocado Ranch Dressing contains all the good stuff: avocado, ranch, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder and cilantro.
It’s delicious on its own or as an addition to other dressings.
6. Raspberry Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is perfect for adding a hint of sweetness and tartness to any dish!
It works particularly well on salads because it has a nice balance between sweet and sour flavors that really complements the natural flavors in fruits like raspberries (or even stone fruits like peaches!).
7. Creamy Caesar Dressing
This dressing is a classic, and it’s a great way to add a little kick to your pasta.
Just add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Then mix in some garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if you want it spicy).
It’ll give your salad that classic Caesar taste that we all know and love!
8. Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
If you want something sweet but not too sweet (and not super creamy), then this is the dressing for you!
Just combine 1/4 cup honey with 2 tablespoons lime juice and a dash of salt.
The honey will coat your salad in sweetness while the lime adds an acidic kick to balance it out.
This will be sure to satisfy that sweet tooth without making your salad too heavy or rich—and believe me when I say my family has tried every possible combination of dressings on pasta salad, so when I say this one is good…I mean it!
9. Creamy Italian Herb Vinaigrette
This dressing is simple and flavorful, and it complements the other ingredients in the salad.
It’s also really easy to make—just mix together olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper!
10. Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
This is another classic dressing that never fails me.
It’s great because it has a creamy texture that goes so well with the crunch of the veggies and other ingredients in this dish.
Plus, it has a surprising amount of flavor considering how simple it is to make: just mix together mayo, sour cream, buttermilk (or milk), garlic powder, onion powder, and dill weed until smooth!
You can use more or less of each ingredient depending on your tastes—I usually go for about half as much dill as everything else combined!
11. Russian dressing
I love to use Russian dressing because it adds a nice kick to the dish and gives it a bit of tanginess that makes it stand out from other traditional pasta salads.
To make Russian dressing, you can mix together 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Mix everything together until smooth and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
12. Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue cheese dressing is another one of my favorites to use on my pasta salad because it adds an extra layer of flavor that really makes this dish pop!
Why You Should Dress up Your Pasta Salad
I think it’s beneficial to put a dressing on your pasta salad dish because:
1. It Adds Flavor
For one, putting dressing on your pasta salad dish will add flavor to your meal.
This is because the dressing can be made from a variety of ingredients, including vinegar, oil, herbs and spices.
The dressing can also be made from any type of liquid (such as water or milk).
2. It Helps Keep the Salad from Getting Soggy
Salads are awesome because they’re a great way to get a lot of nutrients in one meal.
But even salads can get soggy if you don’t store them right, and that’s just no good.
That’s why it’s always important to put dressing on your pasta salad dish—it helps keep the salad from getting soggy!
3. It Keeps the Pasta Separate from The Vegetables
When you’re making pasta salad, it’s important to keep your pasta separate from other ingredients.
If you don’t put dressing on your pasta salad dish, then the pasta can get wet and mushy by mixing with other ingredients in the dish.
12 Dressings that Go Well on Pasta Salad
- Lemon-Herb Dressing
- Orange-Honey Vinaigrette
- Pesto Dressing
- Honey-Mustard Dressing
- Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Creamy Caesar Dressing
- Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
- Creamy Italian Herb Vinaigrette
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Russian dressing
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Pick a dressing from this list to use on your dish.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your meal in less than 20 minutes!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.