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A delicious and versatile recipe for Chopped Salad with Pasta. Perfect for a summertime picnic or day at the beach.

Our Chopped Salad with Pasta is another great option for a light summer menu!  What I particularly like about this recipe is that it’s a complete all-in-one meal – so it’s great packed as a take-along lunch for a picnic or a day at the beach.

This chopped salad with pasta is full of delicious, fresh vegetables – crisp lettuce, green and red bell peppers, peas, celery and red onion.  Chunks of cooked Virginia ham and pasta (we used mini penne) are added, and then all of the ingredients are tossed with a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, sour cream, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard and other seasonings.  It’s a really delicious combination of fresh flavors!

A delicious and versatile recipe for Chopped Salad with Pasta. Perfect for a summertime picnic or day at the beach.

You can vary the ingredients however you might like by adding carrots, radish slices, cucumbers, chickpeas, edamame – pretty much anything you typically add to your salads would go great in this chopped salad with pasta!  Additionally, the ham can be replaced with cooked chunks of chicken, canned tuna or even cooked salmon – the dressing is versatile and it tastes delicious with many substitutions.

This recipe is inspired by one that was shared with us many years ago by my sister-in-law Pam, who served this salad layered in a bowl for an impressive presentation at a barbecue!  Enjoy!

A delicious and versatile recipe for Chopped Salad with Pasta. Perfect for a summertime picnic or day at the beach.

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Chopped Salad with Pasta - A Family Feast

Chopped Salad with Pasta

  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 6 cups raw mini penne, or your favorite pasta
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cups chopped baked ham, chicken, tuna or salmon
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. Make dressing. In a medium bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream, white sugar, vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, dry mustard, and celery salt.
  3. In a large bowl, start layering ingredients in the following order; Lettuce, pasta, green peppers, red peppers, frozen peas, chopped celery, red onion, ham, black olives, dressing and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Cover and let sit overnight or at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, toss all ingredients and serve.

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  • Katrina wrote:

    This looks delicious! I was just wondering if the lettuce gets soggy over night?

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Katrina! The recipe calls for iceberg lettuce and it’s layered right under the pasta – so not a lot of dressing reaches the very bottom even though it sits overnight! So – no – the lettuce doesn’t get soggy! Hope that helps!

  • Jennifer wrote:

    I really love is recipe. I always serve a tossed salad… and a pasta salad. I just feel that getting those veggies in there is so important. I never thought about combining the two! Great idea. Thank you.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jennifer – hope you enjoy the recipe!

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