Creamy Cheesy Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe

Updated on January 7, 2020
Margie Lynn profile image

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.


This creamy cheesy rotini pasta salad has so many different flavors that each mouthful is so scrumptious. The recipe does not call for meat, but we like adding meat to most of our salads and make it into a meal! It is even better the next day if that is possible.

I found this recipe and changed a few things; I did not have the fresh red pepper, so I added the smoked jarred red pepper and used regular vinegar because I never have apple cider vinegar in my cupboards. I had some spiral ham I had leftover from the holidays that I froze, and I pulled it out and diced it and tossed it into the pasta! It really took this pasta salad to a new level. It was very filling.

It made a big bowl, we had it for several meals and loved the flavors every time. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound rotini (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • optional add-ins (listed below)

I Like the Tri-Color Rotini Pasta


Instructions for Making Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the rotini pasta according to the package directions. When the pasta is done, drain and run cold water on the pasta until cool. Let the pasta drain a few minutes.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, dried parsley, sugar, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Toss the rotini with the dressing, then stir in the chopped onion, celery, chopped red bell pepper, celery, and chunks of cheese.
  4. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Optional Add-Ins

Cherry tomatoes, halved
Ham, cooked, chopped
Boiled eggs, chopped
Cucumbers, sliced
Pepperoni, sliced or chopped
Canned beans, drained
Asparagus, blanched, chopped
Turkey, cooked, chopped
Cheese, any type, shredded, chopped
Broccloli, blanched, chopped
Chicken, cooked, chopped
Corn, blanched
Bacon, cooked, crumbled
Zucchini, raw
Green onions, sliced

Video Recipe Making Chicken Club Pasta Salad

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • You could easily half this recipe, it does make a very large bowl especially if you add meat and add-ins.
  • Just add and delete the items to make it suit your taste! This salad is very forgiving with its ingredients so make it how you desire!

I Like to use an Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, as desired


  1. In a small bowl whisk 1/3 cup of good olive oil, 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 1 clove of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired.

Creamy Herb Dressing Recipe


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, chopped that you like
  • salt and black pepper,as you desire


  1. Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk.

I Like Rotini Tri-Color Pasta!

What is your favorite type of pasta to use when making pasta salads?

See results

© 2018 Margie's Southern Kitchen

I love pasta salad, how about you?

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    Post Comment
    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      2 years ago from the USA

      I have some more recipes in the making for other types of salads! Hope you enjoy!

    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      2 years ago from the USA

      Just Ask Susan, hope you enjoy as much as hubby and I did! Made us several meals by adding the ham! Thanks for stopping in!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm always looking for new recipes for salads and will save this hub for the next time I make one.


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