How Do I Choose the Best Pasta Salad Dressing?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 April 2019
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The ideal dressing can make a pasta salad unique and flavorful. Some ingredients work better with a salty dressing, while others require sweet varieties. The consistency of pasta salad dressing can vary based on how it is being served. Colored dressings normally work better with some salads, but others could benefit from a white or clear sauce instead. Dressings with added spices might enhance many dishes provided they are not extremely hot.

Mayonnaise and Italian dressing are two types of pasta salad dressing that work well with traditional dishes. Italian dressing is normally saltier, so it could be a good choice when making pasta salads with pepperoni, ham, or bacon. Mayonnaise is an option if the dish contains cheese or eggs because this condiment blends well with the taste of these. A sweeter variety is often preferred if tomatoes or cucumbers are added, in which case a homemade salad dressing made from sugar, vinegar, and oil might be used instead.


When a pasta salad also contains meat, cheese, and vegetables, this dish can be eaten as a meal in itself. In this case, you might want a thicker dressing because these are normally more filling. One that has a sour cream or yogurt base could fit the bill nicely. The right pasta salad dressing is usually much thinner whenever this food is eaten as a snack or side dish. A flavored vinaigrette dressing or an Italian variety might be ideal in this instance.

Some types of pasta are white, while others are multi-colored. If you are using white pasta, a colored dressing can prevent the dish from having a bland appearance. You may want to try one that is derived from French or Catalina salad dressing to do this. Colored noodles might benefit more from a clear or white pasta salad dressing, so Italian or ranch dressing could be used to cover these dishes.

Pepper, oregano, and sage are sometimes added to pasta salad dressing, and these complement the flavor of meats such as pepperoni or chicken. These should be added in small amounts so as not to overwhelm the dish with an especially strong taste. It can be a good idea to add just a dash of these spices and mix well before trying. You can always add more spices if needed, but it can be difficult to disguise the flavor if you inadvertently put too much of them in the dressing.



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Post 2

I have had yogurt based dressings that are very good. I'm allergic to eggs, so I can't do mayonnaise. Yogurt is a pretty good substitute, though.

Whatever dressing I use, I like it to be well seasoned. I don't like bland food. I prefer good, strong seasonings in what I eat.

Post 1

Personally, I prefer a light vinaigrette dressing for pasta salad. I am not fond of mayonnaise, and I don't really like a dressing like that on pasta salad, anyway. A nice, light, Italian type dressing works the best for me. They're easy to make, and usually easy on the waistline, in my opinion.

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