My go-to dish for a backyard bbq. People fuss over it every time!

Layered pasta salad is a delightful, visually appealing dish perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, or as a hearty meal on its own. Combining fresh vegetables, savory meats, and a creamy dressing, this salad offers a burst of flavors and textures. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything from the ingredients and preparation steps to variations and tips for making the best layered pasta salad.



For the Dressing:

Ingredient Amount
Mayo 1/2 cup
Sour cream 3/4 cup
White wine vinegar 2 teaspoons
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper 1/2 teaspoon

For the Salad:

Ingredient Amount
Macaroni pasta, cooked and drained 3 cups
Chopped romaine lettuce 3 cups
Red bell pepper, diced Half of 1
Red onion, finely diced 1/4 cup
Frozen green peas, thawed 1/2 cup
Chopped celery 1/3 cup
Diced ham 1 1/2 cups
Black olives 1/3 cup
Shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup


  1. Prepare the Dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, white wine vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the Salad: In a large glass trifle dish or serving bowl, begin layering the ingredients. Start with a layer of cooked and drained macaroni pasta at the bottom of the dish.
  3. Add the Lettuce: Next, add a layer of chopped romaine lettuce on top of the pasta, spreading it out evenly.
  4. Layer the Vegetables: Continue layering with diced red bell pepper, finely diced red onion, thawed green peas, chopped celery, diced ham, and black olives, ensuring each layer is evenly distributed.
  5. Drizzle with Dressing: Once all the layers are in place, drizzle the prepared dressing evenly over the top of the salad, covering all the ingredients.
  6. Top with Cheese: Finish off the salad by sprinkling shredded cheddar cheese over the dressing layer, adding a delicious cheesy finish.
  7. Chill and Serve: Cover the layered pasta salad with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve chilled and enjoy!

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