Creamy Pasta Salad with Chorizo (+ Non-Creamy Style!)

One serving of creamy pasta salad on a wooden plate with bread.

 

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This cold pasta salad can be made either creamy or non-creamy and it is the perfect picnic or lunch idea for Summer! Bring some good bread and butter, a big bowl of (non-) creamy pasta salad with chorizo and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat.

 

I always make this for the Summer months, I love to bring a batch to the beach (in a cooler) or out on a picnic in the garden. It is so simple to make, really versatile and can easily feed a crowd! This is also very often served at parties, potlucks and bbqs for both adults and kids.

 

For a healthier and lighter pasta salad recipe, I can recommend this tomato and zucchini pasta salad with a lemon vinaigrette. But don’t rule this one out, because it has the very best pasta salad dressing.

 

Creamy pasta salad in a white serving bowl, flatlay.

 

The Best Pasta Salad Dressing

 

I do prefer this pasta salad with the creamy dressing, as you know I love my mayo. However, I know a lot of people don’t like the creamy mayoness (see what I did there?) and so I provide a super easy non-creamy version too, which is great as a dairy free option as well.

 

Hands holding a big serving bowl with creamy pasta salad.

 

For the creamy pasta salad dressing: Finely chop pickled cucumber and mix with all the other dressing ingredients. Taste and season accordingly.

 

For the non-creamy, sun-dried oil dressing: Shake the ingredients together in a jar with a lid. In photo numbered (1) in the collage, you can see how this dressing looks.

 

Big white bowl with pasta salad.

 

You can play around with the flavors you like best, but I really love the sweet and tangy mayo dressing, the pickles add such a nice briney touch!

 

How do you get the mayo dressing to stick to the pasta? Choosing the right pasta shape

 

To get the dressing to stick to the pasta salad, you need to choose the right kind of pasta or macaroni. Preferably you should have a ridged pasta, so that the dressing will stick in between the ridges. Choosing a hollow pasta is a great alternative, as the sauce gets trapped inside the pasta.

 

  • Fusilli: the corkscrew shape makes them perfect for holding onto sauces and dressings.
  • Penne: the tube shape makes them perfect for filling with sauce and the ridges on the outside holds the sauce well too.
  • Rigatoni: similar to the penne, and works great for the same reasons.
  • Strozzapreti: the ‘rolled towel’-shape also has nooks and crannies for sauces.
  • Macaroni: the sauce can get trapped inside the hollow shape, choose ridged macaroni for maximum sauciness.

 

I usually go for penne or fusilli for this recipe.

 

Creamy pasta salad in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.

 

Should I rinse pasta for a cold pasta salad?

 

Yes. If you don’t rinse the pasta, the extra starch will lump all your pasta together making one big chunk of pasta. Simply rinse the pasta in cold water, in a colander. As this is a cold pasta salad, it doesn’t matter that the pasta gets completely cold.

 

How long will it last properly stored?

 

Store this cold pasta salad in an airtight container, in the fridge for about 3-4 days. This is a dish that is great for make-ahead lunches!

 

Pasta salad in a big white bowl, blue background.

 

How to make creamy pasta salad from scratch

 

Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box, and rinse in cold water in a colander after. Chop all the ingredients to desired size and place in a large bowl along with the dressing and rinsed cold pasta!

 

If there’s any vegetable or meat you don’t like, just leave it out. You can omit anything and replace it with anything, it is just that versatile! In the recipe card below I share with you my personal favorite combination, making it into a Spanish style pasta salad.

 

Steps to make pasta salad.

 

It is delicious with bread and butter or why don’t you try these cheese and bacon dinner rolls!

 

Did you like this recipe? Here’s more Summer picnic recipes:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

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One serving of creamy pasta salad on a wooden plate.


One serving of creamy pasta salad on a wooden plate with bread.
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe with Chorizo

This cold pasta salad can be made either creamy or non-creamy and it is the perfect idea for Summer! Easy to serve a crowd for bbqs, potlucks or picnics.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Spanish
Keyword: cold pasta salad, creamy pasta salad, pasta salad recipe, picnic, potluck
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Ingredients

Creamy Pasta Dressing

  • 2/3 cup sour cream 150ml
  • 5 tbsp  mayonnaise homemade or store-bought
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped pickles about 60g / 2 oz
  • 2 tbsp pickle brine the liquid from the pickle jar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley or 1 tsp fresh, optional

Pasta Salad Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta 350g, fusilli or penne
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded or cubed cooked ham 180g
  • 1 cup chopped chorizo 100g
  • 3/4 cup cubed cheese 100g, like Swiss or Jarlsberg
  • 3/4 cup drained, canned corn 140g
  • 1/3 cup drained, chopped sun-dried tomatoes reserve the oil if making oily dressing*
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 4 spring onion thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula optional**

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, (see notes* if you want to make sun-dried oil dressing instead of creamy). Cook pasta according to instructions on the box, and then rinse in cold water in a colander.
  • Chop all the ingredients to desired size and place in a large bowl along with the dressing and rinsed, cold pasta. Great with a slice of bread with butter.
  • Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!
 
* Sun-Dried Oil Dressing: 1/4 cup oil from sun-dried tomato jar, 2 tbsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried parsley (optional), 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Shake to combine. This is just a little dressing, as I think oily dressings can feel greasy when over-done. Make another batch after if you think it's too little. Better to start with too little than too much!
 
** I think arugula works better with the sun-dried oil dressing than the creamy dressing, but it still works with both! Other ingredients that also are delicious in this pasta salad are green olives, avocado and cherry tomatoes.
 
Nutrition: Calories: 236 | Fat: 14.5g | Saturated Fat: 6.1g | Protein: 15.7g |  Carbohydrate: 11.2g |  Fiber 1.4g |  Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 933mg | Vitamin D: 4mcg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg | Potassium: 246mg. Estimate for informational purposes only.


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