My Easy Asian Pasta Salad with sesame ginger dressing is a favorite recipe as not only does it pack a real punch of flavor; it takes only minutes to prepare, only as long as it takes to the cook the pasta!
Easy Asian Pasta Salad
This easy to make Asian Pasta Salad is delicious and full of flavor. I like to add a sesame and ginger salad dressing, which works perfectly with the sweetness of the mandarins and cherries.
I serve this easy pasta salad cold, it’s especially delicious on a hot summer day, the juicy mandarins just adding the right amount of zesty zing.
My Asian pasta salad can be make with just 5 ingredients, which also makes it affordable and budget friendly!
Make the salad up earlier in the day, allowing the flavors to meld together. It is sure to be a hit at any potluck, picnic, barbecue, or social gathering.
Our group of friends and family enjoys a variety of choices when we get together for a cookout, so we try to plan to have a pasta salad, potato salad, and a few other salads on the menu.
How to make Asian Pasta Salad:
- Cook pasta according to packaging.
- Drain and rinse.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta and bottle of dressing.
- Add cherries and mix well.
- Add mandarins and mix.
- Mix in chopped spinach.
- Refrigerate and serve cold.
Easy Asian Pasta Salad recipe ingredients:
- PASTA: I use a 1 lb box of Mini Farfalle Pasta to feed 4, this is 4 cups of dry pasta.
- SALAD DRESSING: I use Asian Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing as it has great flavor that work well with the mandarins and cherries. You can substitute with any other Asian salad dressing.
- CHERRIES: I use 1/2 cup of dried cherries.
- MANDARINS: For ease I use canned mandarins which I drain before adding to the salad.
- GREENS: I add 1 cup of freshly chopped spinach.
Flavor variations & substitutions:
- I’ve used farfalle pasta, but you can use any shape of pasta noodle, or swap for Asian egg or wheat noodles.
- Dried cherries add great texture, you could also use fresh cherries, or swap the cherries for dried cranberries.
- Canned mandarins make quick work of this salad, but you can also use fresh mandarins.
- Swap the spinach for any other leafy green like a bag of mixed salad greens, arugula, kale or chard.
- Add in other vegetables like shredded carrot, diced cucumber, red bell pepper, green onions or celery for added crunch.
- Toasted sesame seeds or crushed peanuts can be sprinkled over the salad for added crunch.
Recipe hints & tips:
- Only cook the pasta to al dente, you still want it to have a little bite.
- Once cooked, run the pasta under cold running water to cool it down before adding the remaining ingredients.
- This recipe can be easily doubled or trebled if feeding a crowd.
- To make a gluten free Asian pasta salad, use a gluten free pasta and ensure the salad dressing you are using is gluten free too.
Leftover Asian pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3-4 days. You may wish to add a touch more salad dressing before serving, if you think the salad is starting to dry out a little.
Pasta salad is a great make ahead salad as it actually tastes better the next day, once the flavors have had a change to meld together. The only ingredient I would leave out would be the spinach, which I prefer to add and stir through just before serving.
While you don’t rinse pasta for warm dishes (you need the starchy water to help the sauce stick to the pasta); you should rinse it when making a cold pasta salad as it stops the pasta from cooking and cools it down before you add the rest of the cold salad ingredients.
Don’t miss these other delicious Pasta Salad Recipes:
- Creamy Bacon Parmesan Pasta Salad
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Simple Pasta Salad
- Tomato Cucumber Greek Pasta Salad
- 1 lb box Mini Farfalle Pasta 4 cups dry
- 1 16 oz bottle Asian Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing or similar
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 15 oz can mandarins drained
- 1 cup fresh spinach chopped
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 63mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 7gSugar: 26gProtein: 11g
These are a few items I find helpful in my own kitchen when preparing this Asian Pasta Salad Recipe:
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)Food Network Asian Style Sesame Ginger Dressing (12 oz Bottle)DOLE Mandarin Oranges in 100% Fruit Juice, 23.5 Ounce JarKirkland Signature Dried Cherries, 20 OunceThe Ultimate Asian Salad Book: 50 Handpicked Salad Recipes from Different Parts of AsiaEasy Pasta Salad Cookbook: 50 Delicious Pasta Salad RecipesBeginner Pasta Salad Recipes Delicious, Nutritious, Low Budget, Mouthwatering Pasta Salad Recipes Cookbook