15 Unique Pasta Salads with Meat to Add to Your Summer Menu
Tasty and unique pasta salad recipes with meat! These savory summer salads are so versatile and delicious that you’ll definitely be adding them to your menu often.
Remember those traditional pasta salads at basically every BBQ of your childhood?
(Macaroni noodles swimming in mayo, with maybe some tiny pieces of onion or celery.)
While tasty and nostalgic, there are SO many different kinds of pasta salad out there for us to try!
Pasta salads with meat, for example.
By adding some protein to a pasta salad, they become so much more versatile. And, dare I say, crowd-pleasing!
I put together a list of deliciously unique pasta salads with meat, so you have lots of inspiration for new ones to try this year.
These fun recipes make excellent:
- Summer lunch ideas (perfect for meal prep!)
- Light dinners on hot days
- Hearty side dishes for BBQs, picnics, and parties
From chicken to turkey, ground beef, bacon, salami, ham, and more, there’s a recipe for everyone.
Let’s dive in!
Read Next: 85+ BEST Pasta Salad Recipes on the Planet
The Best Meat Pasta Salad Recipes
1. Taco Pasta Salad
This Easy Taco Pasta Salad recipe is loaded with Mexican-inspired flavors.
Quick to make, it’s perfect for the next potluck or BBQ.
And because the recipe includes ground beef, it also makes an excellent side dish or standalone meal for a family dinner.
2. Cold Turkey Pasta Salad with Honey-Citrus Dressing
This sweet and savory main dish Cold Turkey Pasta Salad is loaded with turkey, grapes, and toasted walnuts and tossed in a deliciously refreshing honey-citrus dressing.
3. BLT Pasta Salad
Bring on the summer BBQs and serve loaded BLT Pasta Salad with a creamy ranch dressing!
This yummy easy cold pasta salad recipe is full of bacon, tomato, lettuce, pasta and more – one of my favorites!
4. Tortellini Pasta Salad with Chicken
This Easy Tortellini Pasta Salad is filled with pillowy cheese tortellini, juicy grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, kalamata olives, and feta cheese, all tossed in a tangy homemade Italian dressing.
5. Chicken Macaroni Salad
Talk about an easy and delicious lunch or potluck contribution! Chicken Macaroni Salad has so much flavor that everyone will be grabbing second helpings.
And it’s even easier with leftover rotisserie chicken!
6. Greek Pasta Salad with Salami
Greek pasta salad with salami is a totally delicious gluten-free pasta salad full of hearty ingredients and tossed with a Greek style salad dressing.
Not only is colorful and look pretty in a bowl, but the homemade dressing deserves to be bottled.
7. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
All the great flavors of buffalo chicken dip, in a satisfying tortellini pasta salad!
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is perfect as a main dish salad, or makes a tasty hearty side for picnics, cookouts, tailgating and potlucks.
It’s sure to win raves every time you make it!
8. German Pasta Salad with Ham
With ham, pickles, and peppers, this creamy German Pasta Salad is easy to whip together and totally unique.
And if you want to seem extra cultured, tell everyone that this recipe is actually pronounced Nudelsalat in German.
9. Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
Fast and easy Tortellini Pasta Salad with cheese tortellini, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, olives, peppers, parmesan and Italian dressing.
It’s truly pasta salad on a whole new level!
Read Next: 9 Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipes (that are better than the deli!)
10. Cobb Pasta Salad
Classic cobb salad turned up a notch!
This quick and easy Cobb Pasta Salad features perfectly cooked pasta, crisp bacon, ripe tomatoes, cubed chicken, chopped eggs, creamy avocado, and blue cheese dressing.
11. Creamy Smoked Beef Pasta Salad
Smoked Beef Pasta Salad always goes fast at a potluck or picnic, and might win the award for Most Unique.
It’s definitely a unique twist on the traditional recipe.
12. Healthy Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Colorful and packed with flavor, Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad only takes 30 minutes to make.
Not only is it the perfect addition to a potluck or BBQ, but it makes great meal prep for weekday lunch.
Read Next: 15 Refreshingly Easy Seafood Pasta Salad Recipes
13. Gluten Free Italian Pasta Salad with Salami & Feta
Super easy gluten free Italian Pasta Salad with Salami and Feta starts with the best pasta, salami, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and tossed with a simple homemade zesty dressing.
You just can’t go wrong with all those flavorful ingredients!
14. Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
You’ll love that this super easy and delicious summery Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad recipe comes together in just 15 minutes.
Tender chicken with peas in a creamy, zesty dressing makes for the perfect cold lunch or light dinner for hot days.
15. Smoked Corn Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad
(“It’s corn!” If you know you know.)
Smoked Corn Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad is a fun update on a classic pasta salad.
Featuring smoked corn, bacon, and avocado, it’s all tied together with a zesty Avocado Cilantro Dressing.
Ready to try some new pasta salads with meat?
I hope this list of meat pasta salad recipes has given you lots of inspiration for tasty summer salads to make this year.
It’s a whole new way of thinking about pasta salad!
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