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Creamy ‘n’ Crunchy Pasta Salad

Creamy ‘n’ Crunchy Pasta Salad


The festival of Lag BaOmer is coming up, a time when it’s traditional to light bonfires, and many people make barbecues as well. What goes perfectly with grilled hot dogs and hamburgers? A nice cold pasta salad! This is an easy one to throw together, and not only delicious, but pretty as well.

Choose which shape pasta to use. I like any kind of twirly shape, but elbows or penne or small shells could also work. Cook the pasta according to package directions. It should be cooked but still firm. If it’s overcooked, it will fall apart, leaving you with mushy salad. Drain and rinse the pasta so it doesn’t stick together.

While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the vegetables. You’ll need diced celery, carrots, yellow peppers and sliced radishes. You could also add some finely diced purple onion.

When the pasta has cooled, toss the pasta and vegetables together. If you’re not happy with the ratio of vegetables to pasta, this is a good time to adjust it. Add some more veggies, if you like.

Prepare the dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, sugar and garlic powder in a small bowl, until smooth and well combined. Now add the vinegar slowly, mixing in one direction to prevent lumps from forming.

Pour dressing over salad and mix to combine. I always recommend adding half the dressing, tasting and then deciding if you want to add more. You can always add, but if you pour it all on right away, you can’t then reduce the amount of dressing without a significant amount of work.

Serve the salad immediately, or you can refrigerate it for a couple of days and it will still taste great.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 (1 lb.) box pasta, cooked
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 6–8 radishes, sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar


  1. Cook the pasta according to packet directions. Be careful not to overcook it. Pasta should be cooked, but still firm. Rinse and let cool.
  2. Dice the pepper, carrots and celery, and slice the radishes.
  3. Toss the pasta and veggies.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the all the dressing ingredients together, except the vinegar. Then add the vinegar slowly, mixing in one direction to avoid lumps.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a couple of days.

Serves: 12 (as a side dish)

Looking for some other goodies to serve at your Lag BaOmer bonfire/barbecue? Try these recipes I shared last year:

Grilled Beef Kebabs with colorful veggies.

S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches—a delicious end to a summery meal.

What’s your favorite dish at a summer barbecue?

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Miriam Szokovski June 29, 2014

Tuna Rachelli - flaked tuna on top sounds like a great addition. Or chunks of salmon would probably also work.

And thanks Rishe - the Kebabs are indeed fantastic! Reply

Racheli Las Vegas May 13, 2014

What about... I would add tuna, flaked on top. Extra protein, yummy with crunchy veggies and pasta, and the kind of thing that travels well, to take for lunch for the next 3 days...
Only caveat, can't eat any fish with meat, so keep it for when you're grilling fish, or if you'll have vegetarians coming too. Reply

rishe kahn tziva May 12, 2014

another hit! ok the grilled beef kabobs are OUTRAGEOUS! delicious and healthy too. it's mostly vegetables and just a little protein, just the right ratio. thanks so much, Miriam! (the dessert looks great but i'm too lazy) Reply

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