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Creamy Cheesy Rotini Pasta Salad Recipe

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

Have your hand at this delicious, creamy rotini pasta salad recipe.

Have your hand at this delicious, creamy rotini pasta salad recipe.

Changed a Few Things in the Recipe

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 making 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 left over from the holidays that I froze, and I pulled it out, 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 of 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.

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 for 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



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 extra-virgin olive oil.

I like to use extra-virgin olive oil.

Homemade Dressing Recipes for Pasta Salad

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 tablespoon 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.

© 2018 Margie's Southern Kitchen