Make-It-Your-Own Pasta Salad Recipe: A Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe As Unique As You Are by Melissa Vickers

Make-It-Your-Own Pasta Salad Recipe: A Creamy Pasta Salad Recipe As Unique As You Are

Here’s one of those fun salad recipes that you can easily substitute what you like for what you don’t, what you have for what you thought you had, and make it your own. The original recipe was a tuna salad, but we prefer chicken. It called for frozen peas (thawed) that I really didn’t have, but I had a bag of fresh broccoli. The dressing called for relish, which I don’t like, so I chopped up pickles.

This makes a big salad, which is prefect for potlucks, cookouts and summer barbecues. If you have time, make it the night before so the flavors can meld.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8+


  • 1 pound elbow pasta, cooked to al dente according to package directions and rinsed under cold water
  • 2 cans (12.5 ounces each) chicken, drained (or use leftover or rotisserie chicken)
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 12 ounces fresh broccoli, finely chopped  
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a bowl, combine mayo, mustard, pickles, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, chopped veggies and dressing, Mix until well coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Note: If bacon is your thing, this would be a tasty addition. If you like a little sweetness, add some dried cranberries. Try other fresh veggies like carrots or cucumbers in addition or instead of anything here. And try it with tuna, green peas and relish!

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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Donna John
Looks so good! Love the idea of broccoli in a pasta salad. Making it ASAP.
Elisa Schmitz
Mmm, so great when recipes can be adjusted to suit your own tastes and what you have on hand. Thanks for the inspiration, Melissa Vickers !

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