Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,224
Registered: ‎11-03-2013

Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

Ok my recipe friends I need your help with figuring out a pasta salad dressing.  There was a lovely butcher/deli/small grocer who has the best pasta salad I have ever had (they make everything from scratch).  The consistency of the dressing is very thick, the thickest I have ever seen yet still very creamy (and did I mention delicious?).  It's almost like maybe there is like a cream cheese or maybe ricotta cheese added to the dressing?


I have Googled pasta salad dressings for over a year and can't find anything with these ingredients (just the standard mayo/vinegar and sometimes sour cream).  Would the sour cream add that kind of creaminess and stand up to the vinegar?


I'd like to make a small batch for my Christmas dinner as I am having a small spiral ham and that would go perfectly (I am going to try and make that KFC coleslaw knock off recipe too).


Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions would be most gratefully appreciated!


Thanking you in advance . . . Smiley Happy

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,747
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

You may have already checked this out, but, I say to try Allrecipes.  Wonder about Martha Stewart, oh, even how about Rachel Ray?  I have never looked at her things, but maybe she has some ideas.  How about Ina, is that it?  or even Garth Brooks wife, I hate when I can't think of her name.  I see her face just fine!!  LOL  Did you try the southern lady who has her own restaurants?  Or even Amish ideas?  Just a few suggestions.  Try the Amish idea first!!!  Paula Dean.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,942
Registered: ‎06-08-2016

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

You are much braver than I am.

I have been searching for the perfect pasta salad recipe for years.


You are probably going to need to look at a variety of recipes and pick & choose ingredients.

I taped a segment of Cook's Country or one of those similar shows. (Julia & Bridget)  They made a dressing, not creamy, that clung to the pasta rather than draining to the bottom of the bowl.

It's a rather short recipe, if you think you may be interested, I can share it.


But in the meantime, I'm going to watch this thread.

My recommendation is to buy the pasta salad you love.   There's enough to do around the holidays.    They may even share their recipe.



Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,316
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

Since you said it is thick, cream cheese would make sense. Not sure that they would use ricotta. My first thought was it might be sour cream, cream cheese and something else like mayonnaise.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 934
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

[ Edited ]

Salad dressing:


Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing made according to directions, one raw egg, place in a Waring Blender, whurl away.  The egg emulsifies it and it becomes thick and creamy.  You can add a can of anchovies to it and no one will ever know.  You can add blu cheese to it as well.  These make fabulous dips, too.


I know some are concerned about using a raw egg but I have made this dressing for over 40 years using a raw egg and am still alive!!!  No one has ever gotten sick,ever but then I eat raw cookie dough without any problems, either.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,891
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

I've never used a creamy dressing for pasta salad. My favorite (and others, since this goes in a heartbeat) is made w/ EVOO & Herbs di Napoli balsamic that I get from seasons tap room. (They do mail orders.)


Herbs di Napoli 


Here's a classic creamy Italian using mayonnaise and Parm. (I never would have thought to use honey in there, though. And I wouldn't stray too much to other cheeses.)



  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup natural, high-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few tablespoons of water (ONLY IF NEEDED to thin the dressing out a little bit)
  1. Add all ingredients to a large mason jar and shake very well until combined. Store in the fridge for a few hours before serving, or serve immediately over your favourite garden salad.

  2. Shake well before serving.

  3. If the dressing is too thick, simply add water one teaspoon at a time to thin it out to the desired consistency.

Recipe Notes

This salad dressing keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, so make it a day or two ahead of serving to save time!

If you prefer to make salad dressing without mayonnaise, simply substitute the mayonnaise in this recipe for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and shake very well (or blend for best results).



Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,862
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

I wonder if the dressing is cooked.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 785
Registered: ‎07-21-2015

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

@mtc  This is a long shot...have you Googled the name of the shop with pasta recipe?  There might be others out there who wanted this too and have cobbled the recipe together?  I so hope you are able to find this recipe.  Fingers crossed.

Super Contributor
Posts: 307
Registered: ‎09-30-2012

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

How about asking the butcher/deli/small grocer what makes it so thick and creamy.  Some are reluctant to give out recipes but may just give one or two ingredients.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,862
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need help/ideas/thoughts on pasta salad

@mtc @I checked and has a cooked dressing for pasta and potato salad.It looks like it may be something you could try.