Pasta salad isn't just for Summer anymore! This fun and delicious Halloween pasta salad is ready in less than 20 minutes and loaded with veggies! Serve this pasta salad on Halloween after trick or treating or on a spooky Halloween party buffet table!
When you think about pasta salad, I'm sure everyone thinks of making it during a barbecue in the Summer. Pasta salads are easy to make and a great make ahead menu item!
This would be perfect to serve after trick or treating, because I know after chasing my kids around on Halloween, the last thing I want to do is slave over the stove and make a full meal.
This can be made well in advance, leave it in the refrigerator, and then serve it when you're ready to eat. Serve it with Chicken Burgers or Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas for a filling dinner after a long day!
If you need some recipes to serve with pasta salad, make sure to check out all these delicious recipes in this what to serve with pasta salad roundup!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's ready in less than 20 minutes! While the pasta cooks, you'll do the chopping of all the other ingredients. Then once the pasta is ready, add it all together and mix!
- It's a great made ahead menu item! You can make this pasta salad in the morning and let it sit in the refrigerator all day. When you are ready to serve it, take it out of the refrigerator and serve!
- It's great at room temperature! Since there isn't anything in this recipe that needs to be refrigerated, this recipe is great for a Halloween buffet table. Let it sit and have people enjoy it throughout the evening.
- It's a fun way to get kids to each their veggies! I've found that my kids eat more vegetables when I cut them into fun shapes using cookie cutters or cutting out shapes myself. You don't have to cut all the cucumbers into the shape of a jack o lantern, just a few to get the picture!
Ingredients You'll Need to Make Halloween Pasta Salad
This recipe doesn't have any ingredients that are wild and crazy. You probably already have most of these in your house already!
- Pasta- Tricolor pasta will give the pasta salad that Halloween vibe. This pasta I used was from Trader Joe's.
- Mozzarella pearls- I like them because they are easier than having to cut fresh mozzarella.
- Carrots- For some more Halloween orange color and some nutrition
- Cucumbers- You'll want an English cucumber because they are easiest to carve the jack o lantern face in to. The skins of English cucumbers are very thin, so there is no need to peel them for this recipe.
- Fresh herbs- basil and parsley are my favorite, but thyme, tarragon, or rosemary can be added as well.
- Balsamic Vinegar- The dark color of the balsamic vinegar adds to the spooky theme in this pasta salad
Equipment You'll Need
Let's Make Halloween Pasta Salad!
Boil a pot of water and season with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
Cut the carrots into bite sized pieces and add the carrots to the pasta 3 minutes after you add the pasta in. Cooking the carrots for a few minutes will soften then up so they are easier for little teeth to chew. They also have a sweeter flavor when they are cooked.
While the pasta cooks, cut half the cucumber into small, bite sized pieces, and slice the other half into ¼ inch slices. Add the diced pieces to a large bowl.
It's time to make the spooky faces! With a knife, cut triangles out as the eyes of a jack o lantern, and cut out a mouth as well. Set those pieces of the cucumber aside for garnish. Be as creative as you would like! Make some scary cucumber faces and some silly ones!
Add the drained mozzarella pearls, chopped basil, and chopped parsley to the bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the same large bowl.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain it well, and run cold water over the pasta. This will stop the cooking process and cool the pasta down so it does not melt the fresh mozzarella balls. Add the vinegar, oil, and garlic powder to the bowl. Season with salt and mix well.
Garnish the pasta salad with the cucumber faces. The pasta salad can be served at room temperature, or it can be refrigerated to allow for the flavors to marry together.
Tips and Tricks
- If you can't find this specific pasta from Trader Joe's, you can use a Tricolor pasta that is available at most supermarkets, or you can use Halloween shaped pasta.
- You can also dye the pasta water black, using food coloring. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and the pasta will turn black.
- Fresh mozzarella pearls are easy to find in the grocery store, but if you are having trouble finding them, use fresh mozzarella and cut it into chunks.
- Be creative with this salad! Add salami, broccoli, black olives, or mini peppers. The possibilities are endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure! You can use your favorite gluten free pasta here instead of traditional pasta. If you can find gluten free tri colored pasta, even better!
This will last up to 5 days in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
If you do not like balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar are all perfect substitutes. You can also use your favorite store bought salad dressing to dress this pasta salad.
Other Recipes To Try!
Did you love this Halloween Pasta Salad? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5 star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
- Sourdough Pizza Dough
- Beer Pizza Dough
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Drumstick Sheet Pan Dinner
Halloween Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Vegetable Pasta
- 1 cup Carrots, Chopped 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup English Cucumber, chopped Plus ¼ cucumber to carve for garnish
- 1 cup Halved cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Pearls Drained
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil Chopped
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Parsley Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
- ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- While the pasta cooks, chop the carrots and add them to the pasta water 3 minutes after you add in the pasta.
- Divide the cucumber in half and chop half of the cucumber into bite sized pieces. The other half of the cucumber, slice into ¼ inch thick pieces. Carefully, using a pairing knife, cut two triangles into the cucumber slices for the jack o lantern's eyes, and then cut a mouth using the same technique. Place the carved cucumbers aside to garnish with, and place the diced cucumbers into a large bowl.
- Add the halved tomatoes, chopped basil, chopped parsley, and fresh mozzarella pearls into the bowl.
- When the pasta and carrots are done cooking, drain them into a colander and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down.
- Add the pasta and carrots to the large bowl and add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and granulated garlic to the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and mix everything well. Garnish with the carved cucumber faces.
- This is best served chilled after the flavors have had a chance to come together, but it can be served at room temperature as well.
- If you can't find vegetable pasta, use black bean pasta, whole wheat pasta, or your favorite pasta shape.
- Instead of using vegetable pasta, you can dye the pasta water black to get black pasta.
- Diced fresh mozzarella can be substituted for mozzarella pearls.
- The skins of the English cucumbers are very thin, so you do not need to peel them. If you are using a regular cucumber, you will probably need to peel them as the skin can be tough.