Jen's Often Requested Pasta Salad Recipe

Though why I am giving away my secrets, I just don’t know…

Okay, it’s not really a secret at all, but for some reason, I am the only person I know who makes this kind of pasta salad.  Everyone else puts all sorts of vegetables in theirs and uses Italian dressing.  (Which is fine, I like those too.  But this is excellent pasta salad here.)


Pasta (cook according to package directions and cool) (though it doesn’t have to be totally cool to actually put the salad together, just cool enough)

Summer fruits (Strawberries, raspberries, grapes, blackberries, peaches) (I’ve also used canned peaches, mandarin oranges, real oranges, clementines)

Large curd cottage cheese

Hard-boiled eggs

Poppyseed dressing (There is one brand of dressing, Brianna’s which is the best I’ve found.  I used Kraft today because the store was out of Brianna’s and it was not nearly as good.)

Slivered almonds

Cut up your fruit into pasta salad sized pieces.  (If you put in grapes, I insist that you cut them in half.  It is far too difficult to spear a whole grape with a fork.)  Smaller berries can go in whole, like raspberries and blackberries.  (Blueberries too, if you like them, I don’t really.  Too…blue.)  Chop your eggs or use an egg slicer.  (I slice my eggs once and then turn it, and I get slivers.)  Add two or three big spoonfuls of cottage cheese.  Add the dressing and mix it together.

If you are making ahead of time, I put the fruit in a separate container and leave the almonds on the side until I am ready to serve.  Overnight, the colors from the fruit will leech onto the pasta and it just doesn’t look as nice.  (Tastes fine though, so it depends who you are trying to impress.)  And the almonds tend to get soft if left in the dressing overnight.

And it looks like this:

It is always a little different because I basically use whatever fruit we have in the fridge.  Today I had strawberries, grapes, and cherries.  I wouldn’t use hard fruits like apples because I don’t like the differences in the texture.  (I think the almonds add enough crunch.)

This is the perfect summer salad and it is almost always what I bring to potlucks and picnics in the park.