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Let’s make this coleslaw pasta salad one of your new favorite summer side dishes that combines coleslaw mix with tender pasta, a creamy salad dressing, and other savory goodies. This rustic, casual side dish is ideal for cookouts, barbecues, or a light lunch. It’s a great base recipe to build on and is a fun alternative to regular macaroni salads.

A white ceramic dish filled with coleslaw pasta salad, featuring diced vegetables such as bell peppers, corn, and cucumber, placed on a green cloth.

This awesome recipe for coleslaw pasta salad is made with basic dressing ingredients and is a cozy, dreamy kind of side dish.

If you loved this pasta salad recipe, you’ve got to hop over and try this smoked Italian pasta salad. Go to town with this collection of pasta salad recipes and definitely don’t skip this dill pickle pasta salad.

A large bowl of colorful coleslaw pasta salad with corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, and parsley sits center stage, flanked by smaller bowls of the same vibrant dish and empty dishes in the background.

Why You’ll Love It

Easy to make: With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, this coleslaw pasta salad comes together quickly and effortlessly. It’s a really great option for busy weeknights or last-minute get togethers.
Perfect for meal prep: This salad holds up well in the refrigerator. It is an excellent option for meal prep or packed lunches.
Kid-Friendly: With its creamy dressing and cheesy cubes, this salad will be a hit with kids at a family gathering. It’s a great way to sneak in some veggies while still offering a dish that’s familiar.
Great for potlucks: This coleslaw pasta salad is always a crowd-pleaser. Its colorful appearance and bold flavors make it stand out on the buffet.

A close-up of a spoon holding a serving of coleslaw pasta salad with vibrant, colorful vegetables over a bowl of the same dish.

Ingredients for Pasta Salad with Coleslaw Mix

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Ditalini pasta: Ditalini is a small, tube-shaped pasta that works well in salads because of its size and ability to hold dressing. You can use elbow macaroni as an alternative, or look for a gluten free pasta.
Bag coleslaw mix: A bag of coleslaw mix typically contains shredded cabbage, carrots, and sometimes red cabbage.
Cheddar cheese: Go for a sharp cheddar for a more pronounced flavor in your coleslaw pasta salad. Cut it into small cubes to get it evenly spread through the salad.
Mayonnaise: This is the creamy base for the dressing. It adds richness and smoothness to the salad. It helps bind the ingredients and coats the pasta and coleslaw mix for a cohesive flavor.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a tangy acidity that balance the richness of the mayonnaise and cheese. White wine vinegar will work as an alternative.
Minced parsley: You could finely chop basil or cilantro and use that.
Celery salt: It brings out the overall taste of the salad and complements the other ingredients well.

An assortment of ingredients for a coleslaw pasta salad, including chopped red bell peppers, ditalini pasta, cucumber, mayonnaise, corn, spices, shredded cabbage mix, cheese cubes, cilantro, oil, and sugar arranged in bowls.

How To Make Macaroni Coleslaw Salad

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Cook the pasta: Do this according to the package directions, drain it well, and rinse it under cold water to cool quickly.
Mix the veggies and pasta: In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, coleslaw, corn, bell pepper, cucumber, and cheese cubes.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, parsley, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper.
Combine everything: Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

A bowl of coleslaw pasta salad mixed with diced vegetables, including red and yellow bell peppers, cucumbers, and cabbage, garnished with herbs, placed on a green cloth with a serving spoon.

Substitutions and Variations

Add protein: Boost the protein content of your salad by adding grilled chicken, diced hard boiled eggs, cooked shrimp, or canned tuna. Alternatively, add cooked chickpeas, black beans, or tofu for a vegetarian option.
Fruit add-ins: Add something slightly sweet by including diced apples, grapes, or dried cranberries to the salad. Tropical fruits like pineapple or mango are great.
Crunchy toppings: Enhance the texture of your salad by topping it with crunchy additions like toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin), or crispy fried onions.
Spice it up: For some heat, add sliced jalapeños, crushed red pepper flakes, or a splash of hot sauce to the dressing.

A close-up of a coleslaw pasta salad featuring tube-shaped pasta (ditalini), corn kernels, diced red bell peppers, cucumber pieces, shredded cabbage, cheese cubes and fresh herbs in a white bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizer: This coleslaw salad can be served as mini portion with a mini side salad of sweet potato kale.
Main: Make it as a side to my buffalo burgers in a brioche bun or with these maple bacon turkey sliders – so good. It’s also delicious with these smoked cheddar bacon stuffed burgers.
Dessert: Make up a batch of these Nanaimo bars to end with.

A close-up of a spoonful of coleslaw pasta salad with corn, diced bell peppers, cucumbers, and a creamy dressing, held above a bowl of the same salad.

How To Store Coleslaw Macaroni Salad

Store: If you plan to store the salad and dressing separately, this salad will stay fresh for 2 or 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freeze: This salad is not suitable for freezing.

A close-up of a bowl filled with creamy macaroni pasta salad, including diced vegetables and pasta, with another bowl of the same salad blurred in the background.

Top Tips

Let the flavors meld: While this can be served as soon as it is made, it just gets better if it refrigerates for at least 2 to 3 hours. 
Cook pasta al dente: When cooking the pasta, aim for al dente, which means it’s cooked just until it’s tender but still has a slight firmness to it. Overcooked pasta can become mushy.
Rinse pasta: After cooking it, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. This prevents the pasta from sticking together and becoming clumpy.
Drain coleslaw mix: If you’re using bagged coleslaw mix, drain any excess moisture before adding it to the salad. Excess liquid can dilute the coleslaw dressing and make the salad watery.
Toss salad just before serving: Mix the pasta, coleslaw mix, cheese, and dressing together just before serving to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. This ensures that each bite is fresh and flavorful.

Two bowls of ditalini pasta salad with diced vegetables and creamy dressing. A block of cheese and parsley garnish are nearby.

Coleslaw Pasta Salad FAQs

Can I make coleslaw pasta salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare coleslaw pasta salad ahead of time. However, it’s best to dress the salad just before serving to prevent it from becoming soggy. You can cook the pasta, chop the vegetables, and make the dressing beforehand, then put everything together when you’re ready to eat.

What can I serve with coleslaw pasta salad?

Coleslaw pasta salad pairs well with a variety of dishes, including grilled meats, sandwiches, burgers, or as part of a buffet spread at a barbecue or potluck. It’s also delicious on its own as a light meal or snack.

What can I do if my coleslaw pasta salad is too dry?

If your coleslaw pasta salad is too dry, you can add a little more dressing or a splash of olive oil to moisten it. Toss the salad well to evenly distribute the dressing.

A bowl of creamy coleslaw pasta salad with ditalini, chopped vegetables, and corn.

Coleslaw Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes

Coleslaw Pasta Salad

By: Bella Bucchiotti
This awesome recipe for coleslaw pasta salad is made with basic dressing ingredients and is a cozy, dreamy kind of side dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

  • 1 Pound ditalini pasta
  • 1 Bag coleslaw mix, 16 ounce bag
  • 1 Can corn, 15 ounce can, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 Cup cheddar cheese, in small cubes
  • Cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 Cup white sugar
  • ¼ Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoon parsley, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain well and run under cold water to cool quickly.
  • In a large bowl combine the pasta, coleslaw, corn, bell pepper, cucumber, and cheese cubes.
  • In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, parsley, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

Let the flavors meld: While this can be served as soon as it is made, it just gets better if it refrigerates for at least 2 to 3 hours. 
Cook pasta al dente: When cooking the pasta, aim for al dente, which means it’s cooked just until it’s tender but still has a slight firmness to it. Overcooked pasta can become mushy.
Rinse pasta: After cooking it, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. This prevents the pasta from sticking together and becoming clumpy.
Drain coleslaw mix: If you’re using bagged coleslaw mix, drain any excess moisture before adding it to the salad. Excess liquid can dilute the coleslaw dressing and make the salad watery.
Toss salad just before serving: Mix the pasta, coleslaw mix, cheese, and dressing together just before serving to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. This ensures that each bite is fresh and flavorful.

Nutrition

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 693IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Whip up a batch of this delicious pasta salad and eat it all week with your favorite grilled meats, burgers and wraps.

Other Pasta Salad Recipes To Try 

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    When I tried it, I was just plain curious. But it is absolutely good! It’s now one of my go-to recipes.