The Best Creamy Pasta Salad with mayo

The Best Creamy Pasta Salad with mayo

This creamy pasta salad is in fact a powerhouse to reckon in the kitchen. It’s perfect for pairing with almost any dinner, and I especially love it with some grilled chicken, a nice salad, or some burgers. It’s also perfect for taking to a potluck-style dinner. Like it’s an all round dish that serves its purpose when duty calls.

a creamy pasta salad with mayonnaise

I remember one summer while we had gone to hang out with a few of my friends in Italy, I came across this dish in some suburb restaurant. Out of curiosity, I convinced my friends that we could try this new name on the menu. After a few bites, my stomach walls were in a frenzy. The taste of a lifetime, it was just out of this world.

Being a Hospitality student by then, I was always on the lookout for any new food recipes so that while back in my hostel, we could it out. This dish made it to my top list of dishes I wanted to try. My kitchen campaign turned out to be successful and since then, I have been trying it a lot of times.

Everyone needs a classic pasta salad recipe in their collection. With a light, creamy homemade salad dressing and packed with crunchy veggies (if you choose to use it), you will absolutely love the fresh flavors and textures in this one.

Whether you pair it as a simple side for a family dinner or take it to share at a BBQ or Christmas celebration, this pasta salad is always going to smash occasions!

Why you are going to love this pasta salad recipe

  • Quick and Easy – made with basic pantry staples, this dish is a last-minute throw-together salad that can be made from ingredients you’ll find in your pantry and fridge.
  • The BEST Homemade Salad Dressing that holds onto the pasta perfectly. Made with a mix of mayonnaise and sour cream, it is creamy but still light.
  • Perfect for Entertaining and Feeding a Hungry Crowd – bring it along to your next barbeque or picnic and watch it disappear!
  • Better than Store-Bought – it might be easier to buy pasta salad from the shops, but making this version with fresh ingredients and an easy homemade dressing tastes so much better!
  • Vegetarian – a great option when catering for vegetarian families and friends.

What you need for the Pasta recipe

Samples of a few ingredients from your fridge and pantry are all you need to make this creamy pasta salad! Mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper are some of the common ingredients used in the preparation process.

If you are looking to try out an Italian dish for your hunger in minutes, and you feel you have run out of options, then you got the right food in mind here! Below, you’ll find the easiest directions on how to prepare this dish in minutes, and trust me, it’s gonna go down like for real.

Creamy pasta salad

This creamy pasta salad is loaded with peas, crispy bacon, and noodles, all covered in a smooth and creamy dressing. It's a perfect side dish for any dinner, potluck, or barbecue. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: creamy pasta salad, pasta salad, salad
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 379kcal
Author: daisol plate


  • 12 oz small pasta noodles
  • 2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 12 oz thick cut bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the Creamy Dressing:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar (to taste)
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tbsp. black pepper (to taste)


  • Cook the pasta noodles in a large pot of water according to their package directions, until cooked al dente. Drain the water out, and rinse the noodles in cold water.
    pasta noodles in large pot
  • While the pasta is cooking, make sure the peas are thawed, bacon is cooked and crumbled, and parmesan is grated. Set aside.
    grated parmesan
  • In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk them together till combined.
    mixing olive oil and vinegar
  • Add the pasta, peas, bacon, and parmesan to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top. Stir it all together till everything is coated evenly in the dressing.
    creamy pasta salad
  • Cover the pasta bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 1 to 2 hours, or serve immediately.


Tips for making this Creamy Bacon Pasta Salad:
  • This pasta salad is a great make ahead recipe. Add everything together, except for the bacon and half the dressing, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve the dish, toss in the crumbled bacon pieces, and the remaining dressing and serve.
  • I like to use medium sized pasta for this salad, I love medium shells, rotini, and farfalle the most. 
  • Don’t overcook your pasta noodles. You want it cooked al dente so it’s not too soggy, especially as it sits in the dressing.
  • Add in any additional veggies or mix-ins that you think would be delicious, chopped up carrots, bell pepper, corn. Even making it more hearty with some grilled chicken pieces, or cubed ham would be delicious too. Also some cubed cheddar cheese would be yummy.
How do I avoid overcooking pasta?
  • Overcooked pasta will make the salad too soft and mushy. Follow the packet directions as a guide, but the best way to test that pasta is done is to taste it!
    Start to test it 1-2 minutes before the end cooking time on the packet. Once pasta is al dente, immediately drain and run under a cold tap to stop the cooking process and remove the starch from the pasta.

The perfect creamy pasta salad has always won hearts as a to-go-for dish. You wouldn’t mind if I recommend this as one of the best there is. Made in the heavens, you surely can’t miss to try this out and of course I’ll be glad to hear from you. Feel free to share your experience and any ideas!