Updated December 2020
Ready for a Christmas Pasta Salad that is quick and easy? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how important it is to make dishes that are both quick ând easy to transport from one holiday gathering to the next. This Christmas Pasta Salad is sprinkled with the colors of the holiday and the fresh vegetables of the season. Plus, it transports like a charm so it’s a win-win.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, my girls love pasta and this Christmas Pasta Salad is no exception—they would eat it seven days a week if I allowed it. I do my best to incorporate fresh vegetables and fun pasta shapes into my Christmas Pasta Salad, so this was the perfect easy lunch idea for Riley’s 6th birthday party.
Christmas Pasta Salad – Tips
- Don’t cut the vegetables too small
- Try a creamy Italian dressing for more richness
- Substitute balsamic vinegar for Italian dressing for a sweet-tart taste
- Make sure not to overcook the pasta
- Try all different kinds of veggies
- Make enough for leftovers!
What Ingredients Are Needed For Christmas Macaroni Salad?
The beautiful thing about a cold pasta salad for Christmas is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand in the fridge right now. Of course, I used vegetables that are red and green in color, just to reinforce the holiday theme.
I used zucchini for my green vegetable, but you can also use broccoli, cucumber, celery, or green peppers. For red vegetables, I like grape tomatoes and red bell peppers for this salad. Use any red vegetable variety you enjoy.
I like to integrate different pasta shapes as well. Usually, I’ll have half a box of pasta laying around from a single meal or side dish, so this is a great opportunity to use up those partial boxes of pasta.
For the recipe as written, you will need:
- Tri-color pasta
- Wagon wheel pasta
- Grape tomatoes
- Red pepper
- Zesty Italian dressing
How Do You Make Christmas Pasta Salad?
Start by cooking both pasta shapes as per the package directions in boiling, salted water. Drain and set aside.
Slice your vegetables and add them to your cooled pasta.
Add in your dressing and mix well.
Refrigerate until cold and serve.
Tools To Help Make A Festive Pasta Salad
A large bowl with a lid is great for keeping the salad before serving.
Some large serving spoons are very impressive when scooping the Christmas-themed deliciousness onto guests’ plates.
Keep the holiday season in mind with a festive serving bowl reflecting the joyous occasion.
Why Is This Pasta Salad Only Served At Christmas?
While you can certainly make and eat this kind of pasta salad at any time of year, this particular Christmas Pasta Salad is served during the holidays because of the bright green and red colors in the salad. As long as the veggies are festively green and red, your pasta salad will look and taste like Christmas!
Can I Use Gluten-Free Pasta?
This recipe was tested exclusively with regular pasta; however, you can use gluten-free pasta in a holiday pasta salad if needed. Keep in mind that gluten-free pasta may change the texture of the salad.
How Long Will Christmas Pasta Salad Keep In The Fridge?
This holiday pasta salad will not last long in the fridge because your family will finish it by the next day! However, if you need to make this Christmas macaroni salad in advance, it will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Can I Add Meat To The Christmas Macaroni Salad?
This easy, festive pasta salad is vegetarian initially; however, you could add cold, shredded chicken to make the salad more filling and add so
me extra protein. I like to have a few vegetarian options at my festive gatherings to include everyone, and to also make sure there is enough for those with dietary restrictions.
Can I Use Another Dressing In A Cold Pasta Salad For Christmas?
Holiday pasta salad is so great with an Italian-style dressing, and most people already have that in their pantry. You could also use a vinaigrette-style dressing such as balsamic or sweet onion. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also make a homemade salad dressing, such as my Honey Mustard Dip!
Christmas Pasta Salad
This Christmas Pasta Salad is super easy to create and has all the colors of the holiday season. All of your guests and friends will love the freshness of this holiday salad recipe.
Christmas Pasta Salad
- 1 box tri color pasta
- 1/2 box wagon wheel pasta
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 8 oz grape tomatoes halved
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
- Cook both pastas according to the box instructions.
- Let the pasta cool and then add in the sliced vegetables.
- Add in the Italian dressing and mix well.
- Refrigerate and serve.
More Great Recipe Ideas
- There’s nothing better than giving your kids a super fun breakfast on Christmas morning! Try making some of these awesome Christmas Breakfast Ideas.
- This is another great holiday favorite in my household that the kids love helping me make: Christmas Tree Rice Krispies Cake
- THE all time favorite Holiday dessert in my family is this delicious Rum Cake Recipe